Actor and recording artist Jussie Smollett most recently co-starred in Ridley Scott’s “Alien: Covenant.” He next has a cameo as poet Langston Hughes in Reginald Hudlin’s “Marshall,” scheduled for release in October.
On television, Smollett’s role on EMPIRE earned him the 2017 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. He also stunned audiences with his portrayal of “Josey,” a runaway slave desperate to find his wife, in “Underground.” He has made guest appearances on “Revenge” and “The Mindy Project.” Additionally, he starred with his five real-life siblings in the network comedy “On Our Own.”
In 2016, the EMPIRE soundtrack, for which Smollett was both a writer and vocalist, went to No. 1 on the Billboard charts, and was nominated for a Grammy, an Emmy and an American Music Award. At the 2016 NAACP Image Awards, Smollett won for Outstanding New Artist; Outstanding Collaboration for “Conqueror,” with Estelle; and Outstanding Song for “You’re So Beautiful,” which he co-wrote. He currently is recording his debut album for Columbia Records.
Smollett’s additional feature film credits include “The Mighty Ducks,” Rob Reiner’s “Queen,” “A Little Piece of Heaven” and “The Skinny.” He also portrayed British racecar driver Tariq Hamilton in the independent film “Born to Race: Fast Track,” and was seen in the independent film “Ask Me Anything,” alongside Britt Robertson and Justin Long.
Smollett is actively involved in numerous charities and community organizations. He recently was honored by the Black AIDS Institute, with the “Heroes in the Struggle” Award, for truly making a difference in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Smollett now sits on the board of the Black AIDS Institute, Sankofa.org, The Trayvon Martin Foundation and the RuJohn Foundation, which supplies clothes, school materials and scholarships to children in Jamaica and the U.S. In 2016, he received the prestigious NAACP Chairman’s Award and, in 2017, was honored by the AFL/CIO for his activism and using his platform to bring attention to civil rights and social justice causes.