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FOX's 'Empire' - Season Two

As Timbaland makes his departure from Empire, new reports say Rodney Jerkins and Ester Dean have joined as the hit show’s songwriters.

“We were happy to work with Timbaland during the first two seasons,” Shawn Holiday, senior VP of A&R for Columbia Records, explained. “But we wanted to take a different approach for season 3. We dealt a lot with family drama in the first season through songs like ‘Good Enough’ when Lucious Lyon threw his son Jamal in the trash can. That was a very emotional music moment. So we’re going for the same success with upcoming songs like ‘Mama,’ about Cookie being the backbone of the family, and a duet with Mariah Carey and Jussie Smollett.”

Jerkins is known for songs like Michael Jackson‘s “Rock My World” and Beyonce‘s “Deja Vu.” Joining Dean and Jerkins will be Johnta Austin. Ne-Yo and J.R. Rotem will also remain on the team.

From Billboard:

“Dismissing critics of season 2’s storylines and music, Holiday says, ‘We started out with 24 million viewers. That’s like Michael Jordan scoring 80 points in the first half. There’s no way he’s going to score another 80 the second half. We knew some mistakes would be made. But you’re going to see the actors and characters grow more mature and seasoned as music artists. And we feel that we have the chance this season to break an artist from a television show. We haven’t seen that since the early American Idol days.’

An Empire season 3 soundtrack will arrive next spring. Empire: Original Soundtrack From Season One bowed at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, the first TV soundtrack to do so since 2010. The show’s Season 2, Volume 1 soundtrack peaked at No. 16 on the Billboard 200, while Volume 2 reached No. 26 on the same tally.”

Billboard reached out to Timbaland’s rep, who has yet to comment.

SOURCE: Billboard | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty

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