A few years ago, Jussie Smollett introduced the world to Jamal Lyons in the hit series “Empire.”
Since then, he’s graced TV screens across the nation playing the breakout role, who has become a fan favorite.
His character isn’t just admired for his musical talents. The middle son of Cookie and Lucious Lyon is also loved for his calm demeanor, unwavering support and fearless vulnerability.
That tender vulnerability is often revealed in his music, since his songs usually expose details of his personal struggles. Here are five times the star’s lyrics showed his sensitive side.
When he tried to win his father’s approval
In season one, Jamal struggled to convince his father Lucious to accept him. He was abused throughout his childhood and much of his early adulthood for being gay.
In “Good Enough,” he targeted his dad, singing, “I try to show you that I'm strong. Why do I even bother? Cause it's the same old [expletive] song. And you call yourself a father.”
When he publicly announced he was gay
During an all-white party in season one, Jamal hopped on stage with his brother Hakeem to perform “You’re So Beautiful.” The lyrics to the bridge are “This the kind of song make a woman love a man.” However, Jamal suddenly switched it to “This the kind of song make a man love a man.”
When he supported his brother Andre after his wife has a miscarriage
In the middle of season two, Andre’s wife Rhonda had a miscarriage. The entire Lyon family grieved, and Hakeem and Jamal uplifted their big brother with a song.
When he expressed his love for his mother
Unlike his father, Jamal’s mother Cookie has always accepted his personal and career choices. In season three, he sang a special song for her aptly titled “Mama.”
He sings, “So many words to describe you. Strong would be an understatement. Warrior would suit you so much better.”
Cookie was so moved by the performance that she was in tears by the end.
When his boyfriend betrayed him
In season four, Jamal fell in love with Warren Hall but didn’t know his new boyfriend was just a ploy. Diane Dubois, one of the main antagonists, forced Warren to start a relationship with Jamal only to break his heart.
When Jamal found out the truth, he called on Hakeem to help him create a new version of what was once a love song.
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