‘Empire’ Loses Music Supervisor Timbaland
Timbaland is leaving his role as music supervisor on Fox’s hit Empire. The producer has led the music team on the series since it debuted in 2015, but he will not be returning to his post for the show’s upcoming third season.
Timbaland will be replaced by Grammy winning songwriter/producer Rodney Jerkins, who will serve as supervising music producer, and songwriter and Pitch Perfect actress Ester Dean. “We were happy to work with Timbaland during the first two seasons,” says Shawn Holiday, senior VP of A&R for Columbia Records, which releases Empire’s music. “But we wanted to take a different approach for season 3. We dealt a lot with family drama in the first season through songs like “Good Enough” when Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) threw his son Jamal (Jussie Smollett) in the trash can. That was a very emotional music moment. So we’re going for the same success with upcoming songs like “Mama,” about Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) being the backbone of the family, and a duet with Mariah Carey and Jussie Smollett.” Other newcomers include songwriters for artists such as Carey, Beyonce, Britney Spears and Rihanna. Ne-Yo and J.R. Rotem, who joined the music team for the most recent season, are both returning. The third season of Empire kicks off on September 21.