Lucious Lyon (born Dwight Walker) is the main character in the television series, Empire. Lucious is the head of the record label Empire Entertainment. He is the father of sons Andre, Jamal andHakeem Lyon with his ex-wife Cookie Lyon, as well as a daughter, Lola Lyon with his ex-lover and ex-daughter in law Olivia Lyon. He is portrayed by actor Terrence Howard, and he first appears in Pilot. He is currently incarcerated for the murder of Marcus ‘Bunkie’ Williams.
Dwight Walker grew up in the harsh streets of Philadelphia and began selling drugs as an orphan at the age of nine to support himself, after his father was murdered by the Nation of Islam. Believing that a black kid with the name “Dwight Walker” wouldn’t survive living on the streets, he took on the name ‘Lucious Lyon’, believing that one day that would be the name of an immortal god. He also started rapping sometime after, selling his CDs for $7 out of car trunks, at barbershops, and at strip clubs. He also met his future ex-wife, Cookie, who helped him sell drugs in order to finance his music career. Cookie is eventually arrested in a drug run and serves seventeen years in prison. Lucious immediately divorces her and raises their three young sons with the help of his best friends Vernon Turner and Cookie’s cousin, Bunkie. Some time later, he met Billy Beretti, the famously unorthodox head of Creedmoor Records, and with Creedmoor, Lucious spawned multi-platinum hits such asDeuce Deuce, 2-1-5 or Die, and That’s What the DJ Spins, the latter song coming out in 2002. However, by 2003, Lucious had a very bitter and public falling out with Beretti over royalties and creative control, and left Creedmoor to build his own vanity label, a label that eventually became the company known as Empire Entertainment today,
After announcing his plans to take Empire public, Lucious is informed that he has ALS and is given less than three years to live. Lucious becomes engaged to a younger woman and debutante named Anika Calhoun. His position in his company is threatened when Cookie, his ex-wife, returns from prison after having served her sentence, which was reduced due to her becoming an FBI informant (unbeknownst to Lucious). Cookie demands that Lucious give her half of Empire and the A&R position with the knowledge that he used drug money to finance the company. He refuses her demands, but nonetheless hires her on the company board and allows her to be the manager of their son Jamal, claiming that he “never wanted” him anyway due to his homosexuality.
Lucious and Cookie attempt to put Hakeem and Jamal against one another in an effort to prove who is more musically gifted and to determine which one will inherit Empire. Lucious orders Bunkie to spy on Cookie. Bunkie refuses to do so and instead attempts to blackmail him, demanding 3 million dollars to pay off his gambling debts. Lucious shoots and kills Bunkie after meeting with him later near the city docks.
Despite the continuity of his musical success, as he prepares to make Empire Entertainment public, he still struggles to cope with his diagnosis of ALS. Cookie, meanwhile, arrives to his mansion uninvited to convince Lucious to put Jamal and Hakeem together to perform at Laviticus. Lucious immediately denies as he claims that Jamal’s artistry does not meet with Hakeem’s audience, and because of his sexuality. Cookie confronts Lucious for underestimating Jamal’s abilities, while Lucious mentions that Cookie signed an agreement to not mention that she contributed to building Empire with $400,000.
Lucious faces a dilemma, meanwhile, when the backlash of his signed artist, Kidd Fo-Fo, gets tense, and he finds it difficult to choose between dropping him from the label or keeping him. However, he convinces Kidd Fo-Fo to perform with Hakeem, as back-up, at Laviticus. After killing Bunkie, Lucious attempts to cover up his deeds when Vernon reveals where his body was found, and he tells Cookie about Bunkie’s death. Because of the controversy regarding Kidd Fo-Fo, Lucious demands that the banks return in favor of the IPO launch. Meanwhile, Hakeem’s video goes viral, and Lucious expresses utter disappointment.
Meanwhile, Lucious prepares for an interview to address controversy with Kidd Fo-Fo, but Cookie deprecates him for his inability to express brutal honesty. Lucious, later on, forces Jamal not to have the press release, promoting his homosexuality, or everything he manages to buy for Jamal is gone. Lucious has an interview, where he expresses his input on the Kelly McGann show, and reflects how his childhood influenced his music. In the elevator, Lucious decides to drop Kidd Fo-Fo.
Lucious encourages a desperate Hakeem to record music before he makes music videos, and he attacks Veronica‘s manager to make himself the official manager of her. Meanwhile, Lucious is enraged when he discovers that Billy Beretti, Lucious’s former manager and head of Creedmoor Records, has taken in Kidd Fo-Fo for his label. In order to get back at Beretti, he demands his managing team to track him down and ensure that Empire is safe. Lucious gets Andre to track down the apparent eyewitness to Bunkie’s murder, secretly to protect his status.
Later on, Lucious discovers that Cookie has teamed up with the feds and confronts her, hoping that Cookie isn’t trying to jeopardize their family. Lucious, meanwhile, attends Bunkie’s funeral and delivers an emotional speech that forces him to flashback to his deeds that caused Bunkie’s death. Later, he decides to have a dinner party, inviting Cookie. A flashback shows Cookie and Lucious, who isn’t fond of a song that Puma has written. When Jamal performs this song, Lucious sardonically states that he didn’t know Jamal wanted the song.
Lucious goes to Jamal’s apartment, as a heated conversation ignites. Lucious doesn’t seem to be proud of Jamal’s sexuality, which forces Jamal to leave his apartment and plan to take over Empire.
Continuing to encourage Hakeem to record more music, Lucious encourages Hakeem to prove that he can
Lucious is the ruthless CEO and co-founder of Empire Entertainment. He often manipulates to get what he wants. Lucious is very concerned with preserving his image. He is willing to take down just about anyone to maintain that image, even those closest to him. Lucious was recently diagnosed with ALS and he wants to keep his illness a secret. Lucious is very manipulative. He uses this skill with Cookie, Anika, Andre, Hakeem, and recently, Jamal. He is also extremely narcissistic and selfish. He often calls himself a god.
Lucious is a very talented singer and rapper. He is also a very skilled pianist and guitarist. Lucious is also very experienced with guns and other firearms.
Cookie Lyon (ex-wife)
Jamal Lyon (son)
Lucious is Jamal’s father. Of all his sons and maybe even compared to him, Jamal has the most talent which he refuses to acknowledge due to his loathing of Jamal’s homosexuality. Lucious is embarrassed by Jamal as he views homosexuality as a choice but also a sign of weakness. He pays for everything Jamal owns threatening to cut him off if he is ever to go public with his sexuality.