Why Taraji P. Henson Needs to Win the Emmy for 'Empire'

There are few TV characters more fun than Cookie Lyon.

The Emmy Awards are this Sunday and perhaps no one deserves a golden statuette more than Empire’s Taraji P. Henson, who is nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.

The actress was the breakout star of Lee Daniels’ hip-hop soap, which premiered last fall, and her character, Cookie Lyon, has become a quotable fan favorite. 

WATCH: Why Empire's Cookie Lyon Is the Queen of Primetime

Here are just a few reasons why Henson deserves to go home with an Emmy this weekend.

1. You Can’t Ignore Cookie

Between the in-your-face fashion and cutting one-liners, you can’t miss Cookie in one single scene of Empire.


"It’s like fashion on crack!" Henson told ETonline of her character’s wardrobe in February. "It’s high drama, I get to dress up and wear things I can’t afford or that I just wouldn’t buy because I’m cheap."

2. Fierceness is Part of the Appeal

Henson knows that one of the reasons her character is so beloved is because she’s both fiercely loyal and ferociously real.


"I think that's why the audience is really taking a liking to her because she's a fair girl!" she said. "You know what you're dealing with when you're talking to Cookie."

WATCH: Empire Star Taraji P. Henson On Cookie’s Fierce Fashion and Sassiest Catchphrases

3. Dreams Do Come True

A win would be a Cinderella moment for the 45-year-old actress, who’s been working in Hollywood since 1997 but says, "I remember when no one wanted to talk to me."


"I’m not new to the scene," Henson told ET’s Kevin Frazier in February, referencing her new-found notoriety for Empire. "I’ve been around for a long time, you know, I was Oscar-nominated."

4. Amazing Acceptance Speech

If her win at the Critics’ Choice Awards is any indication, Taraji’s Emmy acceptance speech would be all kinds of epic.

WATCH: Empire's' Taraji P. Henson on Battling Madonna for No. 1 Album -- 'I Need a GRAMMY'

5. When You’re Good to Mama

If the actress were to win, she would share the victory with her onscreen family, including the actors who play her sons: Trae Byers, Jussie Smollett and Bryshere Gray, as well as Terrence Howard, who portrays Cookie’s estranged ex-husband Lucious Lyon.


"Cookie can't do this show by herself you know," Henson said of her nomination. "I guess I will be the champion if that were to happen. but I would totally be taking it for the team."

6. One for the History Books

If Henson does take home the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series on Sunday, it would be a historic victory, as no black actress has ever won the award. Henson’s character would certainly be more than happy to help make some history.


Will Taraji take home the prize on Sunday? Stick with ET for all your Emmy coverage.

WATCH: How Taraji P. Henson Convinced Lee Daniels to Cast Her and Terrence Howard on Empire

The Emmys air Sunday, Sept. 20, at 8 ET/PT on Fox.