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Queen Latifah Lands the Lead on Empire Creator's New Series

Move over Cookie!

Megan Vick

Lee Daniels has found a queen for his next project, literally. Queen Latifah has been cast as the lead role in his untitled music series, which was previously known under the working title Star, for Fox.

Latifah will play a talented singer turned beauty salon owned named Carlotta who becomes the surrogate mother to three young girls aspiring to be the music industry's next super group.


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Though she'll have the pipes and the experience, she's taking care of her young charges while disagreeing with their dreams of making it big.

Empire creator Lee Daniels teases Nicole Kidman cameo

Three unknown young actresses were given the girls' roles after a nationwide talent search. Jude Demorest will play Star, a tough 18-year old who's had to learn to survive terrible foster homes after the death of her mother, but won't give up her dreams. Brittany O'Grady will play Star's younger sister Simone, who was left in an abusive foster home five years before. Ryan Destiny will play Alexandra, a wealthy 20-year old trying to ditch her privilege to create "authentic music."

Reports in October called the series Star, but the latest release from Fox has reduced the group to three girls and there's no mention of "Cotton" - the half-black, half-latina transgender woman.

Production on the new show begins next month in Atlanta and is the first project from Daniels as part of his multi-year overall deal with 21st Century Fox television. It'll also be his first follow up to Empire, which is still sizzling through its sophomore season.

Do you think that Queen Latifah can be the next Cookie (Taraji P. Henson)? Let us know in the comments below.