By Tim Stack
September 11, 2015 at 03:55 PM EDT
Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage
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This season of Empire, premiering Sept. 23 at 9 p.m. ET on Fox, is full of incredible guest stars, including Chris Rock, Ludacris, Marisa Tomei, and Vivica A. Fox. But the star that’s gotten the most press without even shooting a scene of the Fox hit? Mariah Carey.

Co-creator Lee Daniels, a pal of Carey’s, has said that she will appear on the show, and he echoed the same statement when EW spoke to him about Empire’s latest season. “Mariah is coming on,” he says. “We are trying to crack a story for her now. As with Mariah, she wants it her way. But as with Lee Daniels, I want it my way. So it’s the usual back-and-forth with mamacita until we figure out exactly what it’s going to be. We’re very close to cracking story for her. But we’re very excited.”

And will Carey play herself? “I think it would be great to play her but she doesn’t want to play her so that’s what we’re doing,” says Daniels. “She’s giving us the hard assignment of trying to create a character which we’re doing right now. I think she’s going to be in our finale, which I’ll be directing.”

To continue reading more about EW’s Fall TV Preview, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on newsstands now, or buy it here.

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Lee Daniels and Danny Strong created this Fox drama about a kingpin of hip-hop (played by Terrence Howard) and his family, who fight him for control of the empire.
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