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Album: Empire: Original Soundtrack from Season 1Released: 2015Charted:
Charles Hamilton raps and Rita Ora sings on this soaring piano ballad, which featured in the two-hour final episode of the first season of Empire. The duo perform the tune during a party for the character Lucious Lyon, played by Terrence Howard.
Hamilton and Ora filmed their scene on a freezing Chicago day. "It was two degrees out!" Hamilton exclaimed to Billboard magazine. "We filmed it in this theatre. It's supposed to be a rehearsal and they're all watching us perform. I'm actually playing piano live along with the track and I'm rapping, too, but the microphone wasn't on."
The song marks Charles Hamilton's first major-label single since 2008's "Brooklyn Girls." He signed with Republic Records in February 2015 after a lengthy struggle with depression and addiction caused by bipolar disorder.
The black-and-white video takes us back to the Civil Rights movement of the early '60s, as we see Hamilton facing unjust treatment from police officers. "With the recent increase in reports of police brutality," Hamilton told Billboard magazine, "I feel strongly about vividly depicting the struggle we as African Americans historically had to go through to reach equality, an equality that is eroding in modern times."