Timbaland is exiting Empire. The producer, who led the songwriting team for the hit Fox show, will be replaced by Rodney Jerkins as supervising music producer and songwriter Ester Dean, according to a new report. Shawn Holiday, senior VP of A&R for Columbia Records, which releases Empire’s music confirms the news stating,
We were happy to work with Timbaland during the first two seasons. 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.
Songwriter Johntá Austin, Makeba Riddick and Jesse St. John have been added. Songwriters Ne-Yo and J.R. Rotem will also return.
Songs and albums which Jerkins has produced have sold over 160 million records worldwide. Jerkins has also won four Grammy Awards. Among his most successful productions are “The Boy Is Mine” for Brandy and Monica, “You Rock My World” for Michael Jackson, “Holler” for the Spice Girls, “It’s Not Right but It’s Okay” for Whitney Houston, “Say My Name” for Destiny’s Child, “If You Had My Love” for Jennifer Lopez, “Déjà Vu” for Beyoncé, “He Wasn’t Man Enough” for Toni Braxton and “Telephone” for Lady Gaga.
Dean is a singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress. Her 2009 single “Drop It Low” featured singer Chris Brown. Dean has also co-written songs for many artists including Christina Aguilera, Katy Perry, Beyoncé, Priyanka Chopra, Mary J. Blige, Nicki Minaj, Kelly Clarkson, Ciara, The Pussycat Dolls, Usher, Kelly Rowland, Girlicious, Keri Hilson, Rihanna, R. Kelly, Britney Spears, Melody Thornton, Vanessa White, Kevin McHale, Selena Gomez, G.R.L., Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em, Little Mix, Pia Toscano, Tinie Tempah, Lil Wayne, Machine Gun Kelly and Eurovision Song Contest 2012 winner Loreen.