“Empire” star Taraji P. Henson stopped by “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on Jan. 3 to promote her critically-acclaimed, SAG Award-nominated film “Hidden Figures.” The charismatic actress chatted with host Jimmy Kimmel about holiday time spent on a “private island” and two particularly daunting, star struck moments involving comedic legend Carol Burnett and late, great R&B icon Prince.
Henson said she “started shaking” when meeting Burnett who was a “comedy icon” for her while growing up in “the hood.” Kimmel shared his own surreal experience in meeting the multiple Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actress. Then he noted “Everybody who’s met Prince has a strange story. Did you have a weird encounter with Prince?”
A smiling Henson replied, “It was weird for him.” Kimmel and the audience erupted into laughter before she continued. “I held onto his hand too long,” she said, “It was like a shook his hand and I was just like – (she mimicked pausing in the shake and staring at him in awe) then he looked and he realized and he passed it off to the next person. I was like, ‘That went really bad.’ He passed my hand off like this piece of paper and then my arm flopped … and I was like, ‘That was awkward.’”
Henson is not alone in finding herself, as a celebrity, in an awkward situation with the Grammy-winning music legend. He roller skated with Questlove, was arrogant and competitive during ping pong with Michael Jackson and left Dave Grohl hanging waiting inviting him to jam with him a second time, but Prince never called.
Unfortunately, Prince is just one of several iconic music artists who passed away in 2016. David Bowie, Glenn Frey, and most recently, George Michael, are some of the other artists who died and left a huge hole in the creative musical landscape this year.
Taraji P. Henson and the rest of her “Empire” cast have stirred up a lot of stardust themselves as part of Fox’s No. 1 scripted musical television series. Fans who are chomping at the bit for the series return after the cliff-hanging winter finale will be pleased to know Henson and Kimmel confirmed the show (and all its hip-hop musical splendor) will return in March.