We couldn’t escape the incredibly talented and graceful angel Taraji P. Henson this year, and we wouldn’t have had it any other way. She served Emmy-worthy performances as Cookie Lyon on Empire week after week, graced the cover of major magazines like W and Essence and made entertainment history with a Critics’ Choice award win. On top of running the world and our DVRs, in every one of her interviews, she kept it real as hell. How she slays so effortlessly on and off screen, we may never know. For now, we’ll just sit back and enjoy all this powerhouse has to offer because she gives us life for days, weeks and months.
Because she dominated the pop culture conversation this year, Taraji will be roasted and toasted for her accomplishments at VH1 Big In 15 With Entertainment Weekly on Monday, December 7th at 9 ET/PM. Before the big event, let’s refresh our memory (not that it needed refreshing) on Taraji’s slayage this year. Check out some of the highlights and vote on the most noteworthy below. Good luck, Cookie Monsters, and may the odds be ever in your favor.
February: Named the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s (NAACP) Entertainer of the YearGetty
The slay begins with a bang.
March/September: Over 21 million viewers tune in to Empire season 1 finale and 16 million to season 2 premiereFox/Getty
March: Named as American Black Film Festival’s (ABFF) Celebrity AmbassadorGetty
Another honor for the queen.
March: Co-hosting Live With Kelly and MichaelABC
She gave Kelly and run for her money and allowed the above to happen.
April: Hosting SNL for the first timeGetty
She spoofed Empire, Nicki Minaj and gave us a timeless string of epic promos.
June: Became the first black woman to win the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Lead Actress in a DramaGetty
That time she made history, no big deal.
July: Her Emmy nominationFox/Getty
To no surprise, playing Empire’s scene-stealing Cookie earned TPH a nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.
August: Changing the game in Lip Sync Battle
Her performance of “Material Girl,” “Just Fine” and of course, “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” proved her to possibly be the most committed contestant on the show to date.
September: Her epic Apple commercial with Kerry Washington and Mary J. BligeApple
You know, the one everyone was “obsessed” with.
October: Michelle Obama is Cookie’s biggest fan
On Jimmy Kimmel Live, Taraji explained how Barack and Michelle totally fangirled over Empire to executive producer Lee Daniels at a White House State Dinner, and how Michelle loves her some Cookie. Taraji reacted to the news appropriately.