Calvin Klein chose to dress only one person at last night's Billboard Music Awards, and it was Jussie Smollett. As Empire's talented middle child, Jamal Lyon, he usually keeps it causal in henleys and crewnecks, but last night we saw a dressed-up, even more eye-candy version of the star—not once, but twice. On the red carpet, Smollett chatted with press and took pictures in an ivory suit from the spring 2015 collection by menswear creative director Italo Zucchelli, complete with leather sneakers and a hint of a tangerine tank. Later, when he performed Empire's hit "Conquerer" with Estelle (in Amanda Wakeley), we were impressed by his custom violet bonded wool two-button notch lapel suit and dress shirt.
A few weeks ago, we caught up with the star at a celebration dinner for his castmate Taraji P. Henson, where he told us he's enjoying the juggernaut that has become the Empire experience. "When the soundtrack went to number one on Billboard, I started getting outpours of artists that I love calling to congratulate me or calling me to collaborate," he said. "[The best call was] Mariah Carey. From that day forth, we're just texting buddies now. She’s so dope. She’s so sweet. She gives really good advice on the business and how to avoid letting it get the best of you. And how to take those moments and really breathe because you get so tired, but really taking those blessings and fully enjoying them." No doubt last night was one of his high notes.
Watch Smollett's performance of "Conquerer" at the Billboard Music Awards here.