What Is The 'Empire' Cast Doing Before Season 2? The Stars Are Really Living It Up On Their Hiatus — PHOTOS

With the end of the seasons for both of my favorite music shows, Empire AND Nashville, my Wednesday nights have been rendered pretty... uneventful. OK, so maybe I actually crawl out of my television cave a little more now that I'm not glued to my favorite dramas, but I am sure I'm just one of millions of fans who are anxiously waiting until this summer hiatus is over. At the end of May, Empire's matriarch herself, Taraji P. Henson, shared with fans on her Twitter that Empire Season 2 premiere date is September 23, and the countdown BEGAN.

Well, it seems like this painfully long hiatus is only tough on us viewers, because the cast of Empire has been keeping busy in the wake of the massive success of the show. The series quickly became one of the highest rated television shows this year and, perhaps most importantly, introduced us to the dysfunctional Lyon family that we can't help but love. (And don't get me started on the Lyon brothers because I could be here for quite some time gushing about them.)

Since I'm lurking them on their social media anyway, I decided to round up all the awesome things that the cast of Empire has been doing while on their summer hiatus.

Taraji P. Henson

The actress was recognized for her incredible portrayal of Cookie Lyon at the Critic's Choice Awards, becoming the first African-American actress to win the award for Best Actress in a TV Drama! Next up, Henson and her co-star, Terrence Howard, will host the Guys Choice Awards on Spike TV. I have no idea what those will be about, but I'm really excited to see Cookie and Lucious back together.

Terrence Howard


In addition to co-hosting the Guys Choice Awards with Henson, Lucious Lyon fans can catch him on their TV screens during the summer, when he stars as a cop in the mystery drama Wayward Pines. He is also playing a genie in a Spanish television show, Hada Madrina, which will be released on July 20.

Jussie Smollett

Yass! After performing at the Billboard Music Awards, fans are eagerly awaiting when Smollett will fully return to his music roots. This summer, he will be working on his album after snagging a recording deal with Columbia Records. Oh yeah, and I am also hoping for a few more magazine covers in the mean time...

Breyshere Gray

After making the girls drool on his cover for Essence, he has been seen at various industry events and is becoming quite the toast of the town. He performed with Smollett at the Billboard Music Awards, and told Vibe Magazine, "It was an amazing feeling... I’m just happy and I’m honored to be finally living my dreams and doing things I’ve always wanted to do. I hit the same stage Mariah Carey did. I feel so blessed right now." I think we can expect more music from Yazz The Greatest very soon.

Trai Byers

Byers also graced the cover of Essence along with his TV brothers, and convinced us all he should totally do a modeling side gig because... look at him. The actor was seen in the Empire writers' room recently, probably discussing Andre's moves for next season!

Serayah McNeill

McNeill seems to be truly enjoying her break and has been chilling in various tropical locales, which is exactly what I would be doing. On May 19, McNeill shared a new original track, "I Still Think Of You," which could mean more music very soon. Let's not forget that she was one of the lucky ladies in Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood" video and was initiated into the fabulous girl gang.

Grace Gealey

Anika Calhoun seems to be hitting it off with another Lyon brother off-screen. Rumors are that Grace Gealey and Trai Byers have been seeing each other since they met on set, and it makes sense considering they're both so good looking. Aside from finding some love, Gealey has been involved in a supporting a few non-profits and hosting charity events, lending her rising star to a good cause. She also recently played the leading lady in the video for Jamie Foxx's new single, "You Changed Me."

Gabourey Sidibe

Sidibe is taking her knack for words to the big leagues. It was announced that she will be writing a memoir on her life to be released in 2017. She plans to be very real and shared in a statement, “I’ve been writing since I was a child, and have always had so many stories to tell that are too long, shady, and impolite to share in interviews.” Until then, we can still keep track of her hilarious antics on her Twitter, where she frequently supports and boasts about her Empire family.

In fact, you can keep track of the other stars on social media too, which is exactly what I'll be doing head of the Season 2 premiere!