Trai Byers

Trai Byers (born July 19, 1983)[1] is an American actor. He is best known for playing Andre Lyon in the Fox television series Empire (2015–present).

Trai Byers
Trai Byers.jpg
Born (1983-07-19) July 19, 1983 (age 36)
EducationUniversity of Kansas, Lawrence (BA)
Yale University (MFA)
Years active2009–present
Grace Gealey (m. 2016)

Early lifeEdit

Trai Byers was born in Kansas City, Kansas.[2] After a year of high school in Kansas City, he completed his high-school education in Georgia. Byers then graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor's degree in communications.[2] He also attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Los Angeles, and the Yale School of Drama.[2]


In 2011, Byers made his television debut with the recurring role on the ABC daytime soap opera, All My Children, and the following year had role in The CW teen soap, 90210.[3][4] He played civil rights activist James Forman in the 2014 historical epic film, Selma directed by Ava DuVernay.[5] He plays Andre Lyon in Fox's 2015 music-industry primetime soap opera, Empire.[6][7]

Personal lifeEdit

During the October 7, 2015 episode of the daytime talk show, FABLife, Byers's costar Grace Gealey confirmed that they were engaged.[8] He and Gealey married on Grand Cayman Island on April 14, 2016.[9][10]



Year Title Role Notes
2009 Caesar and Otto's Summer Camp Massacre Chip
2013 Destination Planet Negro B-12
2014 Jayhawkers Nathan Davis
Selma James Forman
2017 Americons Theo Jones
2018 Bent Chuck
2020 The 24th Boston Also co-writer and producer


Year Title Role Notes
2011 All My Children Mookie 11 episodes
2012 90210 Alec Martin 6 episodes
2015–present Empire Andre Lyon 66 episodes

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2015 17th Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Scene Stealer
Choice TV: Chemistry (shared with the others) Nominated
2017 48th NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
1st Black Reel Awards for Television Outstanding Supporting Actor, Drama Series Nominated
2018 49th NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Nominated


  1. ^ Mathew, Ilin (July 18, 2015). "Trai Byers Turns 32: Interesting Facts and Photos of Andre Lyon from 'Empire'". International Business Times. IBT Media. Archived from the original on March 5, 2015. Retrieved July 28, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c Niccum, Jon (February 16, 2015). "KCK actor Trai Byers is building an 'Empire' of success". The Kansas City Star. The McClatchy Company. Archived from the original on February 17, 2015. Retrieved February 23, 2015. Byers was born in 1983 in Kansas City, Kan.
  3. ^ "Ex-All My Children's Trai Byers On 90210. - All My Children News -". Retrieved January 9, 2015.
  4. ^ "'90210' casting scoop: 'True Blood' veteran to play Adrianna's new..." Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 9, 2015.
  5. ^ "Trai Byers Joins the Cast of 'Selma'". Variety. Retrieved January 9, 2015.
  6. ^ The Deadline Team. "Gabourey Sidibe Joins Fox Drama Pilot 'Empire' - Deadline". Deadline. Retrieved January 9, 2015.
  7. ^ "'Empire': Inside Fox's ambitious, groundbreaking musical soap". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 9, 2015.
  8. ^ Corinthios, Aurelie (October 7, 2015). "It's Official! Grace Gealey Shows Off Engagement Ring from Empire Costar Trai Byers". People. Time Inc. Retrieved October 7, 2015.
  9. ^ "Empire Stars Trai Byers and Grace Gealey Have Secret Island Wedding". April 16, 2016. Retrieved April 16, 2016.
  10. ^ "Empire Stars Trai Byers and Grace Gealey Get Married in Caribbean Beach Wedding". Us Weekly. April 16, 2016. Retrieved April 16, 2016.

External linksEdit