'Empire' Creator Lee Daniels The Kennedy's Inspired My Show

2/7/2015 8:41 AM PST

"Empire" creator Lee Daniels says the inspiration for the show's main character didn't come from a famous hip-hop mogul ... it came in part from the Kennedy matriarch. 

Lee was heading out of Equinox when he shot down rumors P. Diddy or Jay Z may have been the germ of the idea for the show.  There were multiple inspirations ... a little here, a little there, but it seems the Kennedy influence loomed large.

Hint: it's not JFK.

BTW ... Daniels was a big "Dynasty" fan.