Timbaland has left his role as music supervisor on Fox TV’s hip-hop soap opera Empire.
Timbaland had been in charge of creating songs on plot points he developed for the show for its first two seasons. But Columbia Records say they wanted to take the music in a different direction for its upcoming third season.
Beyonce producer Rodney ‘Darkchild’ Jerkins’ will now replace Timbaland, working with songwriter Ester Dean, who has written songs for Katy Perry, Little Mix and Lil Wayne.
Columbia’s A&R Vice President Shawn Holiday told Billboard: “We were happy to work with Timbaland for the first two seasons, but we wanted to take a different approach for season three.”
Columbia releases the music on ‘Empire’, and has retained the songwriting services of previous season writers Ne-Yo and JR Rotem. Other new songwriters for season three will include Johnta Austin (Usher), Makeba Riddick (Rihanna) and Jesse St John (Britney Spears).
Season three starts on September 21 and is shown on E4 in the UK. Regular new cast members include Xzibit, while Romeo Miller – the rapper formerly known as Lil Romeo – will play a rival to rapper Hakeem (Bryshere Gray). Miller replaces Kid Cudi, who was cast in July but soon left due to creative differences.
Guest stars in season three include Biz Markie and French Montana.