Bryshere Y. Gray
Bryshere Y. Gray
Bryshere Yazuan Gray
November 28, 1993
Bryshere Yazuan Gray (born November 28, 1993), also known by the stage name Yazz the Greatest or simply Yazz, is an American actor and rapper, best known for his role as Hakeem Lyon in the Fox primetime musical drama television series Empire. He is also known for his portrayal as Michael Bivins in the 2017 BET miniseries The New Edition Story.
Since 2013, Gray has performed at a variety of music festivals in the Philadelphia area, including Jay Z’s Made in America Festival, The Roots' Picnic Festival, and Power 99FM's Powerhouse concert. He also has been the opening act for rappers such as Fabolous and 2 Chainz. His debut single "Respect" was released in the same year. In 2015, Gray began his first acting role as Hakeem Lyon on the Fox drama TV series Empire, with co-stars Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Howard, and Jussie Smollett. In March 2015, it was confirmed that both Smollett and Gray had been signed on with Columbia Records as solo acts. In April 2016, Gray was cast alongside Elijah Kelley, Luke James, Algee Smith, Keith Powers and Woody McClain in the BET miniseries about R&B boy band, New Edition which debuted in January 2017. Gray signed on to portray co-founding member, Michael Bivins. In April 2018 Gray co starred with Teyana Taylor in Honey: Rise Up and Dance as Tyrell.
Gray was born and raised in West Philadelphia. His mother, Andria Mayberry, became pregnant with him when she was a teenager, and in the absence of his father, he was raised by a single mother. When he was five years old, he was diagnosed with ADHD. Gray played football at Overbrook High School, but he switched to music after getting injured when he was 16 years old. He began to use his talent as a street performer to earn money and help his single mother afford their expenses. He also worked at Pizza Hut and then he used the money he made there to pay for and make his first music video before being fired for writing music at work. His efforts eventually led to a partnership with manager Charlie Mack. Gray told 'Cosmopolitan' in February, 2015, that his estranged father had reached out to him when he became popular, and that he needed time and needed to grow some more before taking any step in that regard. He has a sister named Brianna.
On July 13, 2020, Gray was arrested by police in Goodyear, Arizona following an alleged domestic violence incident with his wife that culminated in a barricade situation with police. Gray is facing charges of aggravated assault, domestic violence and disorderly conduct. Gray was charged and sentenced to 10 days in jail and 3 years probation following the attack on his wife on May 24, 2021.
|2015–2020||Empire||Hakeem Lyon||Main cast|
|2016||Celebrity Name Game||Himself|
|2017||The New Edition Story||Michael Bivins||Miniseries; main cast|
|2017||Lip Sync Battle||Himself||Episode: "Bryshere Gray vs. Rumer Willis"|
|2018||Honey: Rise Up and Dance||Tyrell||Direct to video|
|2019||Canal Street||Kholi Styles|
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Album|
(featuring Jussie Smollett)
|2015||123||44||—||Empire: Original Soundtrack from Season 1|
|"You're So Beautiful"
(Jussie Smollett featuring Yazz)
|"Chasing the Sky"
(Terrence Howard featuring Jussie Smollett and Yazz)
|2016||—||—||24||Empire: Original Soundtrack Season 2 Volume 2|
(Jussie Smollett featuring Yazz)
Awards and nominations
- 2018: Best Actor: Empire (Nominated)
NAACP Image Awards
- 2016 NAACP Image Awards: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Empire (Nominated)
- 2016: Outstanding New Artist (Nominated)
Teen Choice Awards
- 2015: Choice TV: Breakout Star: Empire (Nominated)
- 2015: Choice TV: Chemistry: Empire (Nominated)
- 2015: Choice Music: Song From a Movie or TV Show: "You're So Beautiful" with Jussie Smollett (Nominated)
- Eichel, Molly (December 3, 2014). "Bravo host Andy Cohen loved working with Eagle Boykin". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
- "Meet Bryshere Gray, The Bad Boy Doing Better On 'Empire'". Vibe. 2015-01-21. Retrieved 2021-01-24.
- Kay, Ariel (8 January 2015). "Who Is Hakeem on 'Empire'? Bryshere Gray, aka Yazz the Greatest, Is Conquering TV & Music". Bustle. Retrieved 2021-01-24.
- "Empire State of Mind: Bryshere Gray Talks Hakeem And Working With Timbaland". HipHopDX. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
- "Who Plays Hakeem on Empire? 5 Things to Know About Bryshere Gray". Wetpaint. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
- Respect - Single by Yazz The Greatest, retrieved 2021-01-24
- Hammond, Evelyn (January 31, 2015). "'Empire' TV Series Cast Bryshere Gray And How He Crawled His Way Into The Phenomenal Fox Show Discussed". Franchise Herald. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
- Kennedy, Gerrick D. (March 11, 2015). "'Empire' aims to climb music charts as well as TV rankings". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
- "Bryshere Y. Gray Among Stars of BET's New Edition Project". ABC News. Associated Press. April 20, 2016. Archived from the original on April 21, 2016. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
- "Goodyear PD: 'Empire' actor arrested on domestic violence charges". KSAZ-TV. July 13, 2020. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
- "Empire Cast – Chart History (Billboard Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
- "Empire Cast – Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved November 14, 2016.