Taraji P. Henson has made herself a household name by continuing to portray a number of iconic characters. Her big break was in 2001 for her first feature film Baby Boy. She starred as Yvette alongside Tyrese Gibson, who played Joseph “Jody” Summers. Their tumultuous relationship has been referenced in film, music, and television since then.
While Baby Boy was her big break, she began her career after her studies at Howard and took on small screen roles. She starred in guest roles on Sister, Sister, Smart Guy, Saved By The Bell, and more.
She’s been in other television roles after Baby Boy, such as Half & Half, House, and All of Us, before landing her lead role in FOX’s Empire. The FOX show is one of Henson’s prominent roles, where she played alongside Hustle & Flow costar Terrance Howard. The Washington D.C. native played the role of Cookie Lyon, the ex of Lucious Lyon, played by Howard. The Lyon family had a lot of drama going on behind the scenes, which many times affected how they ran their record label and entertainment company. Henson was known for her explosive scenes, and it was even pitched that her character get a spin-off. However, FOX decided not to move forward with the series.
While we know that Henson can capture a scene with her acting ability, she has also shown off her singing skills several times on screen. The first time was for her role in Hustle & Flow , which was released in 2005. Henson lent her vocals on the song “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp,” which later won Best Original Song for Three 6 Mafia. She and Three 6 Mafia performed it at the Academy Awards, where it was the second hip-hop song to win an Oscar.
Take a look below at some of Henson’s best roles that show off her acting and singing ability below: