Queen Latifah has joined the cast of “Empire” co-creator Lee Daniels’ unnamed girl-group drama.
An Oscar and Emmy nominee, Queen Latifah will play a beauty-salon owner who becomes a surrogate mother to the three young women in an emerging girl group.
Expect Queen Latifah to contribute to the new show’s soundtrack, since her character is described as having an “amazing voice” — though she doesn’t approve of her proteges’ musical ambitions.
The series will be written, created and directed by Daniels and will focus on the difficult choices the trio will have to make as they attempt to make it big in the music industry.
If the character descriptions are anything to go by, Daniels is sticking to the soapy elements that have made “Empire” a small-screen phenom. Jude Demorest will play 18-year-old Star, a tough former foster kid who is willing to do anything for stardom. In contrast is 20-year-old Alexandra (Ryan Destiny), a child of wealth and privilege who wants to make “authentic” music. Hoping she’ll be rescued by Star is the teen’s younger sister Simone (Brittany O’Grady), who dreams of a way out of her abusive foster home.
Pamela Oas Williams and Effie Brown will executive produce. Production begins this month in Atlanta.