The Empire star is heading to the Aloha State to sing live with the "Without You" singer during three of her upcoming performance dates, and Smollett had nothing but love for working with the best-selling star, who also makes an appearance on the Fox drama this fall.
"Mariah is just amazing," the 33-year-old actor told ET backstage at the iHeartRadio Music Festival at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday. "The support that she's shown me so far, she absolutely did not have to be as supportive as she is but she has been."
"That honestly is just so much fun," he marveled. "Kelly's become a good friend since I first went on the show like a year and a half ago so it's just fun to play with her."
However, Smollett said he doesn't think there's a permanent future as a long-term co-host on Live! in the cards for him, given the time constraints and pressures of filming his hit Fox drama, in which he stars as singer Jamal Lyon, son of Terrence Howard's Lucious Lyon.
"For me, there's no chance that I would ever be able to do something like that," Smollett said when asked if he would consider signing on as a full-time Live! co-host. "Jamal kind of takes up my time."