‘Empire’ Actress Taraji P. Henson Is Named Entertainer Of The Year

Last year at this time, none of us knew what Empire was or what it could be or even how big it was going to become. So it’s only fit to end 2015 with USA Today naming Empire’s own Taraji P. Henson as their annual Entertainer Of The Year. Even before Empire, Henson had a very full and versatile career, appearing in TV series like Person of Interest, Boston Legal and movies like Hustle & Flow and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. But audiences truly got to know and love Henson when she embodied the role of the sassy and sophisticated Cookie Lyon on Empire.

The role has truly thrust Henson into the spotlight, earning her nominations for an Emmy and a Golden Globe. And now she even gets mobbed at Target, Henson told USA Today. “[Before,] I could still go to Target and the grocery store without being harassed. It’s different now,” she said with a laugh. “I can’t really go anywhere.”


Henson understands that Cookie isn’t perfect — Empire’s pilot opens with Cookie being released from prison and walking into husband Lucious’ record label looking for her cut of the business’ success. But she told USA Today that she thinks people have probably taken a liking to Cookie because she tells it like it is. “That’s why Cookie is a hit,” she said. “She says the things that people are afraid to do and say.”

As for Taraji herself, she’s looking to explore life outside the Empire universe with some movie roles during hiatus. “I’m trying to capitalize on the success and get more business,” she told USA Today. “I’m looking to create more opportunities for other young artists coming up behind me, because I can’t do this forever.”

Congratulations to Taraji on this awesome honor!