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EXCLUSIVES

‘Empire’ Star Says Her Character Tiana Is NOT Based On Teyana Taylor

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Will the real Tiana and Hakeem please stand up?!

Just days ago, Iman Shumpert claimed that characters from the hit show Empire were carbon copies of him, and his girlfriend, Teyana Taylor.

And while Tiana and Hakeem Lyon may vaguely resemble the NBA player and the singer, HipHollywood can confirm that the Empire characters were inspired by a few famous folks, but definitely not Shumpert and Taylor.

HH caught up with Empire actress Serayah McNeill, who plays Tiana on the FOX drama, and she revealed who her character is actually based on. “I talked to writers and I talked to producers about my character and about exactly what their view was and they mentioned people, but they didn’t mention them,” the talented singer stated. “They mentioned Rihanna, Beyonce … powerful women in the industry,” McNeill continued.

Iman has since backtracked on his statements and no longer believes Tiana and Hakeem Lyon are replicas. But the simple fact that he even considered that notion is hilarious.

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EXCLUSIVES

Dwyane Wade On New Heartfelt Documentary: It’s A Story “I Never Got A Chance To Tell As A Kid”

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It’s been an epic week for Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union.

It first started with one of the biggest trades of the year with Wade returning back to Miami to finish the rest of the season with the Heat. “I was happy,” Wade told us on Thursday night about the trade.

He added, “The journey of the NBA took me to Chicago, it took me to Cleveland, but it also brought me back to Miami; a place from a basketball sense birthed me.”

Days following the big NBA announcement, the lovebirds then celebrated the release of Dwyane’s documentary, Shot in the Dark, which the NBA champion produced alongside Chance the Rapper.

The film follows the Orr Academy High School basketball team on Chicago’s Westside. Throughout the documentary, cameras capture the journey of individual athletes trying to make it to the NBA despite growing up in the violent streets of Chicago.

During the screening, Wade also opened up to HipHollywood about why the project was near and dear to his heart. “It’s home,” the Chicago native said. “I jumped on board right away because it’s a story being told that I never got a chance to tell as a kid. To be able to shed some positive light on a tough, dark situation for us was big.”

Union added, “I’m so proud. Coming up on Hoop Dreams … It explores so many other topics that are critical to kids in Chicago.”

As for whether or not D-Wade picked up some advice from his TV star boo, not quite. When asked what tips Union gave Wade ahead of the project, the actress told us, “None. You have to learn. Humility and school of hard knocks. Things are not going to go your way and you have to learn through experience just like the rest of us.”

Check out the documentary on February 24 on Fox Sports.

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