Terrence Howard has been a hardworking actor for nearly three decades. Throughout that time, he’s starred in several beloved movies and TV shows — and even showed off his talents as a singer.
Terrence Howard’s breakout role was in ‘Hustle & Flow’
Howard’s first role in the entertainment industry was portraying singer Jackie Jackson in the ABC miniseries The Jacksons: An American Dream in 1992. Three years later, he made his big film break in Mr. Holland’s Opus. He continued being cast in TV and movie roles, including alongside Taye Diggs and Nia Long in the 1999 romcom The Best Man. He even appeared in the music videos for Ashanti’s 2002 debut single “Foolish” and Mary J. Blige’s “Be Without You.”
In 2005, Howard was thrust onto everyone’s radar for his breakout role in the film Hustle & Flow. He played a pimp and aspiring rapper and even performed all the character’s tracks himself, including “It’s Hard out Here for a Pimp,” which ended up winning the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
Coincidentally enough, Howard starred opposite his future TV wife, Taraji P. Henson, in Hustle & Flow.
Terrence Howard became a household name on ‘Empire’
In 2015, Howard experienced another career peak with the FOX drama Empire, which ran for six seasons. He played Lucious Lyon, a hip-hop mogul and record executive who does everything to protect his music empire.
Empire featured an all-star cast of actors including Jussie Smollett and the incomparable Taraji P. Henson. It also featured a wide variety of superstar guests, including Mariah Carey, Naomi Campbell, and Kelly Rowland (who played his mother in flashbacks).
He announced in 2019 that he was retiring from acting after the final season of Empire because he was “tired of pretending. But in early 2021, it was announced that Howard would star in the British sci-fi/thriller film Beneath.
Terrence Howard released an R&B album
Interestingly enough, Howard had a connection to the power of a lion long before he became Lucious Lyon. In 2008, he released an R&B album titled Shine Through It, with all 11 tracks written and produced by him.
Howard spoke about his dive into the music industry in a 2008 interview with Blues & Soul. “My initial reason for making the album was because I felt I had something to say,” he admitted. “As an actor I’ve been limited by the direction of my director, limited by the imagination of my writer, and by the funding of my producer. I have had some autonomy in making the film and creating the character, but overall it’s always been controlled. Whereas music for me is my own personal form of expression.”
“The album title was representative of finding your inner voice and not being afraid of the roar within your inner voice,” he continued. “You know, a lion isn’t so concerned with the creatures of the jungle being frightened by his voice. He knows that they’re supposed to be. And, as a result, he roars to make sure that everyone not only hears it but feels it.”
“That’s exactly what light does,” he continued. “It pushes through and it illuminates not just the soul, but also the spirit — which is why I called my album Shine Through It.
Terrence Howard’s net worth in 2021
With such a varied body of work under his belt, Howard has amassed a sizable personal fortune over the years. According to CelebrityNetWorth, he’s worth approximately $5 million in 2021.
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