New Madrid native will appear on winter finale of hit FOX show

Wednesday, December 2, 2015
New Madrid native Shayla Day-Davenport, who currently resides in Chicago, will appear in the winter finale episode of "Empire," airing at 8 p.m. Wednesday on FOX. (Submitted Photo)

SIKESTON -- A New Madrid native will appear in the mid-season finale of a FOX television show.

Shayla Day-Davenport, who currently resides in Chicago, has a small speaking role in Wednesday's episode of "Empire."

"It was such an amazing experience to work with such a phenomenal cast and crew on this episode," Day-Davenport said in a phone interview with the Standard Democrat. "This was my first major speaking role, and I am very excited to see how it turned out."

In the second season's 10th episode, "Et Tu, Brute," which airs at 8 p.m. Wednesday on FOX, Day-Davenport plays an inmate in the prison where main character Cookie, portrayed by Taraji P. Henson, was previously incarcerated.

"I play one of the inmates she (Cookie) remembered from when she was there, and we have a brief exchange," Day-Davenport said.

Her scene also includes another series regular, Ta'Rhonda Jones, who plays Porsha.

The series created by Lee Daniels follows the family of a music CEO Lucious Lyon played by Terrence Howard. After Lucious learns he is seriously ill, his sons and ex-wife begin battling for his throne.

"Sixteen million-plus watch the show every week," Day-Davenport said about "Empire." "I'm really excited about getting an opportunity to be on such a huge show. Hopefully, everyone will be watching."

A former New Madrid County Central standout scholar athlete, Day-Davenport went on to play basketball at the University of Mississippi and graduated with a bachelor's degree in broadcast television. She later attended Aurora University in Aurora, Ill., where she obtained a master's degree in business administration.

Day-Davenport has also appeared on other television shows such as NBC's "Chicago Fire," Starz's "Boss," FOX's "The Mob Doctor," MTV's "Underemployed" and films such as "The Dark Knight," "The Express" and "Divergent."

The episode in which Day-Davenport appears will air again at 7 p.m. Dec. 9 on FOX.

Day-Davenport said she hopes to make everyone proud with her cameo.

"I would just like to thank everyone who's been on Facebook and shared my story -- and big thank you to those who tell me congratulations and show me support," she said. "I'm very appreciative."

For more information about Day-Davenport, visit her website: or follow her on social media: Twitter: shayladavenport; Instagram: shayladaydavenport; or Facebook:

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