'Empire's Jussie Smolett & Bryshere Gray Perform At The Billboard Music Awards & Attract In A New Wave Of Fans
Empire is the musical sensation that is sweeping the nation. If you haven't already gotten on board the party train, then you might have been confused to see Empire's Jussie Smolett and Bryshere "Yazz" Gray join Estelle on stage at the Billboard Music Awards. However, most of us recognize the two men as Jamal Lyon and Hakeem Lyon on the greatest show on television. The announcement that the pair would be performing at the BBMAs came as a delight to fans, who have gotten ample opportunity to witness their onstage chemistry during Jamal and Hakeem's many performances together, and, on Sunday night, they absolutely did not disappoint. Of course, Smolett and Gray are not their characters, but they do have one thing in common with Jamal and Hakeem: they sure know how to put on a show.
The pair were introduced by their on-screen mother, Taraji P. Henson aka Cookie Lyon. "We are bringing you a medley of the show's hits, performed by my two, my favorite, talented sons, Yazz and Jussie Smolett!" she said with all the pride in the world, as if the two men really were her kids. The pair were slated to perform "You're So Beautiful" and "Conqueror" with Estelle, both songs from the hit show Empire. While the former song was more of an ensemble piece (one that was performed no less than four different ways, three of which are available on iTunes), the version that Estelle, Smolett and Gray performed at the Billboard Music Awards was just as good, if not better.
"Conqueror" came first, performed by Smolett and Estelle exactly as it was performed on the show. The two had just as much chemistry at the BBMAs as they did on Empire, gazing into each other's eyes, harmonizing, and stretching their arms out at the fans who were swaying from side to side with the music. Of course, as soon as that was finished with, here comes Yazz surrounded by female backup dancers — exactly the same as Hakeem likely would be were he the one playing the BBMAs. Estelle disappeared so that Smolett could perform with his on-screen brother, and it was amazing.
Listen, anyone who wasn't already a fan of Empire probably just made a point of setting their DVR for future episodes, and then made a note to watch Season 1. Smolett and Yazz were adorable as they walked up and down the stage, singing together, neither one overshadowing each other but instead elevating each other's performances. Whether you view them as Smolett and Gray, or you view them as Jamal and Hakeem, the fact that they ended the performance by hugging was almost enough to bring a tear to your eye. Sorry, everyone else can go home, but that was definitely the cutest performance of the entire night.
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