Timbaland Exits 'Empire' As Darkchild Signs On
Timbaland, who helmed the songwriting team for Empire since its inception, has exited. Joining Fox’s hit television series for its third season are four-time Grammy Award-winning songwriter/producer Rodney Jerkins as supervising music producer and chart-topping songwriter 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 threw his son Jamal 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 being the backbone of the family, and a duet with Mariah Carey and Jussie Smollett.” Of bringing Jerkins and Dean onboard, Holiday adds, “Rodney is a dynamic, multi-format producer experienced in urban, rhythmic and pop. And Dean excels at writing big songs with catchy hooks.”