Who is Trai Byers?
Trai was born in Kansas City, USA, on 19 July 1983 – his zodiac sign’s Cancer, and he holds American nationality. He’s an actor, film writer and producer, with 12 acting credits to his name, while he’s probably known best for his portrayal of the supporting character Andre Lyon in the popular musical series “Empire”, created by Danny Strong and Lee Daniels, and which starred Terrence Howard, Jussie Smollett and Taraji P. Henson. It follows a hip hop mogul who has to choose who amongst his three sons will inherit his company; the series aired from 2015 to 2020 and won 30 of the 143 awards for which it was nominated, including eight Primetime Emmy nominations.
Early life and education
Trai was raised in Kansas City alongside his sister Brandy Byers, by their father who was in the US Air Force, and their mother who was a housewife; some of Trai’s fans believe that American producer and actor DeVon Franklin’s his brother, as the two met look-alike, but both have stated that they’re not related.
He grew up playing various sports with his peers, dreaming of becoming a professional Football Player. Trai studied at a local high school in Kansas City, prior to moving to Atlanta, Georgia and transferring to a school there. He matriculated in 2001 and then enrolled at the University of Kansas, from which he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in communications in 2005.
Trai then practiced acting at the Yale School of Drama in New Haven, Connecticut, and at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Los Angeles, California.
Roles in movies
Trai made his debut film appearance in the 2009 horror comedy “Caesar and Otto’s Summer Camp Massacre”, written and directed by Dave Campfield, who also starred in it alongside Paul Chomicki and Felissa Rose. It follows Caesar and his half-brother Otto who’ve signed up to work as summer camp counselors; the movie won two awards.
Trai portrayed B-12 in the 2013 science fiction comedy “Destination Planet Negro”, and played Nathan Davis in the 2014 biographical drama “Jayhawkers”.
Also in 2014, he was cast to play James Forman in the critically acclaimed biographical historical drama “Selma”, directed by Ava DuVernay, and which starred David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo and Oprah Winfrey. It follows the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his campaign to bring equal voting rights to the US; the movie won 50 awards, including an Oscar for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song, while it was nominated for 91 other awards.
— DeVon Franklin (@DeVonFranklin) August 21, 2020
In 2015, Trai played Theo Jones in the 2015 biographical action crime “Americons”, and has had three other movie roles, having appeared in the 2016 musical “Empire Cast & Mariah Carey & Jussie Smollett: Infamous”, the 2018 crime thriller “Bent”, and the 2020 historical drama “The 24th”. Trai’s currently shooting for the upcoming movie “The Piano Lesson”.
Roles in TV series
Trai made his debut TV series appearance in 2011, when cast to play Mookie in 11 episodes of the soap opera “All My Children”, created by Agnes Nixon, and which starred Michael E. Knight, David Canary and Susan Lucci. It tells the story of Erica Kane and her several husbands, the romantic mystery drama aired from 1970 to 2011, counting close to 4,500 episodes, and it won 192 awards, including a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Achievement by Individuals in Daytime Drama, while it was nominated for 575 other awards.
Trai’s appeared in only one other TV series, portraying Alec Martin in six episodes of the popular romantic comedy drama “90210”, created by Jeff Judah and Darren Star, and which starred AnnaLynne McCord, Tristan Mack Wilds and Shenae Grimes-Beech. The series tells the story of a family who’ve moved to Beverly Hills from Kansas, while their children are finding it hard to adapt to West Beverly Hills High; it aired from 2008 to 2013, and won two of the 19 awards for which it was nominated.
Trai sang the song “Lean On Me” in the 2015 episode “Unto the Breach” and the song “Superstar” in the 2017 episode “Slave to Memory” both of the series “Empire”.
He received special thanks for the 2016 short movie “Gander’s Redemption”, and the 2020 pilot of the comedy series “Mixed Up”.
Trai wrote and produced the 2020 historical movie “The 24th”, which was nominated for an Image Award for Outstanding Independent Motion Picture.
He’s made a guest appearance in an episode of the talk-shows “Extra”, “2019 FOX Fall Preview”, and “Celebrity Page”, amongst others.
Awards and nominations
Trai’s been nominated for six awards, including two Teen Awards for Choice TV: Scene Stealer and Choice TV: Chemistry in 2015, a 2017 Black Reel Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor, Drama Series and two Image Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series in 2017 and 2018, all for his performance in “Empire”.
Love life and wife
Trai’s quite secretive when it comes to sharing the details of his love life with the public, but his fans are happy to know that his other half’s less secretive. Caymanian actress Grace Byers revealed on 7 October 2015, while making a guest appearance in the talk-show “FABLife”, that she had become engaged to Trai; she’s appeared in 10 movies and TV series, and is probably known best for her portrayal of Anika Calhoun in the series “Empire”, which was also how the two met.
They exchanged vows in a private ceremony on 14 April 2016, on Grand Cayman Island; Trai and Grace don’t have children together, and this is believed to be because they’re both focused on their careers.
Trai hasn’t spoken of other women whom he’s perhaps dated, and as of September 2022, he’s married to Grace Byers, and doesn’t have children.
Hobbies and interesting facts
Even though Trai’s uploaded only nine pictures onto his Instagram account, most of which serve to promote his movies and TV series, he’s still followed by over a million people on the network; he doesn’t have his own TikTok account, but numerous videos featuring him have been uploaded onto the network by other users, and these’ve been watched close to a billion times.
Trai has a muscular body, thanks to his five to six training sessions at the gym every week, while he also goes on a strict diet whenever it’s necessary for a movie/TV series that he’s shooting for.
He’s passionate about travelling, making it one of his main hobbies; Trai’s been to close on 30 US states, and has visited a couple of European, African and Asian countries. His favorite city to travel to is Cairo, Egypt.
He enjoys attending movie premieres, and has his own favorite actor and actress – Brad Pitt and Kate Winslet – while some of Trai’s favorite films include “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, “The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”, and “Titanic”.
Age, height and net worth
Trai’s age is 39. His hair and eyes are brown, his height’s 6ft 1in (1.87m), and he weighs around 180lbs (82kgs).
Trai’s net worth’s been estimated at over $1.5 million as of September 2022.