Unearthing the Lyon Family Tree: Meet the Real World Inspirations Behind Fox’s ‘Empire’

Empires aren’t built by the cautious. Empires are built by the daring and brazen. Whether it’s industry, technology, or even conquering the entire known world, it takes a badass to make it big. Empire follows the Lyon family, a family of musicians and music executives inspired by some of the biggest, boldest names in music, and the trials and tribulations of building and protecting their own empire, Empire Records.

The trouble with empires is they’re always on the verge of being attacked. Season 3 of Empire saw an assault on Empire Records come very close to its complete and utter destruction. A tenuous Vegas deal, the FBI, and former lovers crawling out of the shadows all threatened the record company Cookie and Lucious sacrificed and struggled to build. But the biggest menace to the Lyon family was itself.

By the end of season 3, the Lyons had found their way back together, united by a new business venture and “Cucious,” Cookie and Lucious, were rekindling their relationship. But just when it seemed like the Lyons had everything they could want: creative control, a tight family unit, and a slew of successful albums on the way, it all got blown up… So how did the Lyon family end up stronger than ever only to see it go up in flames? And where might they go from here?