Empire’s Anika (Grace Byers) ends her role in TV series with lengthy inspiring message

Grace Byers

Lady Grace Byers just ended her role as  Calhoun in the music/drama TV series ‘Empire’.

The beautiful Theatre Arts graduate penned this on her instagram page:

From a pounding-the-pavement artist with no demo reel, no SAG card and no camera-credit resume to this very moment where I say goodbye to the iconic role that changed my life almost overnight. Thank you Lord for all of Your blessings🙏🏽. With God, all things are possible!

A tremendous thank you to my first incredible agent @mansamana for believing in me and submitting me for this role! The world needs more agents like you. I say this often, but you truly are beyond.❤
To FOX, Lee, Danny, Sanaa, Ilene, Brett, Imagine, our execs, our directors, our writers’ room, the crew, casting, wardrobe, design and production – and especially our phenomenal cast – Terrence, Taraji, Jussie, Yazz, Ta’Rhonda, Gabby, Andre, Serayah and my beloved husband, Trai: thank you for a life-changing time. The last four years have made such an imprint on my heart. Forever grateful.

Grace Byers
To Anika Calhoun; how you have molded and shaped deep parts of my artistry. How you have taught me. How you’ve helped me to push past boundaries. Thank you for allowing me to craft and execute your story. Thank you for allowing me to humanize and celebrate you, mourn with you, fight for you, love with you, change with you. What a gift and privilege it has been to bring you to life and create you from the pages before me. What a challenge it has been to not always agree with your actions but to find the humanity, intention, necessity and desperation behind them. It has been an indescribable honor and the deepest, sincerest pleasure to have been your vehicle. I lay you to rest today. Thank you for the last four years. What a ride.

Last but not least, to you; the remarkable fans. The only reason why we’ve come this far is because of you; your encouragement, love and viewership. Thank you always for watching, advocating and supporting! So full. So grateful. Blessings.❤🙏🏽

Brief biography of Grace Byers;

Grace Byers was born in Butler, Pennsylvania , and raised in the Cayman Islands from infancy. After moving to the United States, she received her bachelor’s degree in Theater Arts at the University of South Florida in Tampa.  Grace later attended the University of California, Irvine , where she received her Master’s of Fine Arts in acting.

Grace then moved to New York City, where she performed Off-Broadway , including in
Venus Flytrap: A Femme Noir Mystery, and
Rent.  In 2013, she performed in the Chicago productions of The Misanthrope andTartuffe.

In 2014, Grace Byers was cast as Anika Calhoun in the Fox musical prime time drama, Empire opposite Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson . The series debuted on January 7, 2015.

Grace became engaged to her Empire costar Trai Byers in 2015. She and Byers married on Grand Cayman Island on April 14, 2016.

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