Bryshere Gray Now Enjoys Fame as an Actor & Rapper but He Was Once Homeless & Had a Tough Childhood

Bryshere Y. Gray's real-life experience as a homeless person before he became a successful actor.

26-year-old actor Bryshere Y. Gray plays the spoiled son of a music mogul on the hit show "Empire," but his real-life is a far cry from the fiction he portrays.

What most fans don't realize is that Gray lived as a homeless young man on the streets before breaking into acting.

“I was homeless, and I’m on the biggest show in the world now. I’m living proof that you all can do whatever you all want to do.”

THE ROAD TO "EMPIRE"

Gray was born in Germantown and raised in West Philadelphia, and started writing songs at age nine, and rapping at 16.

After graduating from high school, Gray started dedicating himself to his music to the exclusion of all else.

THE BREAK THAT TOOK GRAY OFF THE STREETS

Gray met a friend of Will Smith's Charlie Mack, who would become his manager, and wrangled a video audition with director Lee Daniels, who had him flown to LA to audition with Taraji and Terrence Howard.

Gray credits his manager, Charlie Mack, his friends, and family with helping him remain focused through the incredible turnabout that transformed his life

FROM "EMPIRE" TO "NEW EDITION"

After that, Gray had the opportunity to audition for a role in "New Edition Story," a biographical three-part miniseries about the R&B group New Edition.

CRITICAL ACCLAIM AS MICHAEL BIVINS

Gray was cast as Michael Bivins, the charismatic founding member of New Edition, and his portrayal was acclaimed by critics.

Modestly, Gray reveals that he believes he still has a long way to go with his acting:

“My acting abilities are not that developed yet…TV and film will make you grow fast. Things I’m learning now I was taught in high school but wasn’t interested in it then but it’s catching my interest now…like learning scripts."

 Bryshere Y. Gray attends the 2018 BET Awards at Microsoft Theater on June 24, 2018  | Getty Images

Bryshere Y. Gray attends the 2018 BET Awards at Microsoft Theater on June 24, 2018 | Getty Images

Gray credits his manager, Charlie Mack, his friends, and family with helping him remain focused through the incredible turnabout that transformed his life and opened the doors to stardom for a homeless young man.

PLAYING DAD ON "EMPIRE"

Another facet of his fictional character that is very different from Bryshere Y. Gray is the fact that Hakeem Lyon is the father of a baby girl.

But Gray has forged a bond with tiny Bella, who plays his on-screen daughter, and the two have become fast friends.

Gray posted a photo of the two of them on Instagram, and over 134,000 fans reacted to the snap, and some even thought Bella was his real-life daughter.

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