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(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The talented Taraji P. Henson turns 50 today (Sept. 11)!

Did you know the “Empire” star wasn’t always looking to be an actress? She originally attended the University of the District Columbia, as well as North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, to be an electrical engineer!

She also has an interesting ancestor– Matthew A. Henson, a famous explorer who helped discovered the North Pole!

Watch clips from some of our favorite Henson shows and films and view some great photos below!

EMPIRE COOKIE Clapbacks Season 5 | Taraji P. Henson FOX Series

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Anne Erickson's love for music drew her into radio, and she started shortly after graduating from MSU. She has a passion for rock and metal, plus local music. She also fronts the band Upon Wings. Email Anne at erickson@WRIF.com, follow her on Instagram at @EricksonAnne and tweet at her @AnneErickson!