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His addiction ultimately leads to a visit to rehab. He is Wharton educated, power hungry, and suffers from bipolar disorder. He plans to run Empire, but is in a battle for the head chair with his younger brothers.
In the second season, Andre initially helps Cookie and Hakeem set up Lyon Dynasty, but returns to Empire.
The show is written by Strong while Lee Daniels, who has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director, made his television directorial debut with the show.
According to Strong, the show is based in part on William Shakespeare's King Lear, and James Goldman's The Lion in Winter; Daniels also acknowledged a strong influence from the ABC prime-time soap opera Dynasty.
Jamal later relinquishes control of Empire back to Lucious.
After being accidentally shot by Freda Gatz in Season 2, Jamal begins to present symptoms of PTSD and a reliance on painkillers.
Andre's wife is a "ride-or-die chick" who is extremely fierce and loyal, and sticks by Andre's side as he tries to gain control of Empire.
In Season 3 & 4 he loses his wife and becomes involved with Nessa, Charlotte and Pamela.After her recovery, Rhonda begins to work for Empire's fashion label, "Antony and Cleopatra", initially run by Camilla Marks-Whiteman.After Camilla's suicide, Rhonda is appointed Creative Director of Antony and Cleopatra.Initially combative towards his mother Cookie, Hakeem starts to become friendlier towards her, and has a great relationship with his older brother Jamal.He has had romantic relationships with Tiana, Camilla, Anika, Valentina, and Laura.