Grace Byers (née Gealey; born July 26, 1984) is an American actress, known for her role as Anika Calhoun in the Fox music-industry drama, Empire. Gealey 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 and Tartuffe. In 2014, Gealey 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.