Television

'Empire''s Cookie Based On Lil Kim, Foxy Brown & Salt-N-Pepa, Says Taraji P. Henson

By HHL Editors

When you watch Empire, it's pretty clear that some of the characters are based on real life figures from the Hip Hop world. Or, in the case family matriarch Cookie Lyon, an amalgamation of figures.

Taraji P. Henson, who plays Cookie, laid out her character's inspirations in an interview with Vogue:

"Is she influenced by Foxy Brown? Certainly," Henson says. "That’s where a lot of her style comes from—Salt-N-Pepa, all of that. That era of Hip Hop was her heyday, those are the woman she identifies with." "Kim is everything," she continued. "Today it’s Nicki Minaj, but Nicki Minaj got everything from Kim. Kim came on the scene and made everything change for women—she made it feminine and sexy and hardcore. She was a champion, and she’s certainly Cookie’s champion."
Lat week, New York magazine took a crack at "Which Real-Life People Might Have Inspired the World of Empire?" Take a look at their results and let us know who you think inspired TV's hottest show.

Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard): 60 percent Suge Knight, 40 percent Jay Z Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson): 40 percent Foxy Brown, 40 percent Lil' Kim, 20 percent Mary J. Blige Andre Lyon (Trai Byers): 50 percent Damon Dash, 50 percent Jared Kushner Jamal Lyon (Jussie Smollett): 60 percent Frank Ocean, 20 percent John Legend, 20 percent Lee Daniels Hakeem Lyon (Bryshere Gray): 70 percent Diggy Simmons, 30 percent Big Sean Anika Calhoun (Grace Gealey): 80 percent Sylvia Rhone, 20 percent Rihanna Rhonda Lyon (Kaitlin Doubleday): 60 percent Rachel Roy, 30 percent Kat Stacks, 10 percent Kelly Ripa Dwayne “Puma” Robinson (Cuba Gooding Jr.): 50 percent Babyface, 50 percent Dallas Austin Tiana Brown (Serayah): 80 percent Rihanna, 10 percent Tinashe, 10 percent Teyana Taylor
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