Empire Season 3
Jussie Smollett, who plays Jamal on Fox’s “Empire,” posted a sweet message about Season 3 guest star Sierra McClain. Pictured: Smollett in a promo shot for Season 2. Fox

Singer and actress Sierra McClain is sharing a peek at her “Empire” Season 3 character, Nessa, in a behind-the-scenes photo. The 22-year-old, who landed a recurring role on the Fox hip-hop drama, took to Instagram to share a picture of her holding hands with her co-star Jussie Smollett.

“Mr. @jussiesmollett will never know what his words & actions meant to me in the moment, but they were everything. And so is he,” she wrote. “Who’s excited for the premiere?! Less than a week away!!” Smollett, who plays Jamal Lyon, shared McClain’s photo on his Twitter page Friday, posting a sweet message about her. “I meant it. u r so special my love. Your poise, talent & class is fresh air. Yall prepare 4 @SierraMcClain #empire,” he responded.

It was announced in July that McClain would star as a singer named Nessa. The character is said to be Shine’s (Xzibit) protégé, but Lucious (Terrence Howard) is trying to sign her to his roster at Empire records. Last month, McClain shared a photo of her and Xzibit on the set of “Empire” as their characters. “Nessa and Shine hard at work,” she wrote. “#Empire #Season3 @empirefox @xzibit.”

Other guest stars for Season 3 include Mariah Carey as Cookie’s (Taraji P. Henson) close friend Kitty. Carey’s character will help Jamal overcome some difficulties before teaming up with him for a duet. Last month it was announced that former “The Cosby Show” star Phylicia Rashad had been tapped to play Diana Dubois, the matriarch of a wealthy African-American family. She’s also the mother of Taye Digg’s “Empire” character Angelo Dubois, a city councilman who’s said to be trying to get close to Cookie.

French Montana, Birdman and Romeo Miller are also joining the show. French Montana will play a music mogul named Vaughn, while Birdman will star as himself. Miller is replacing Kid Cudi, as Gram, a rapper who becomes Tiana’s (Serayah) new boyfriend and is a rival of Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray).

A synopsis for the premiere episode teases that Lucious is trying to profit off his streaming service but his half-brother Tariq (Morocco Omari) keeps getting in the way of things. Episode 1 will also pick up immediately after Anika (Grace Gealey) and Rhonda’s (Kaitlin Doubleday) fight on the balcony, which results in one of them dying.

“Empire” Season 3 premieres Sept. 21 at 9 p.m. EDT on Fox.