Jussie Smollett took to the stage on Saturday night for the first time since he was savagely assaulted just days before.
And he had something to say before launching into his set.
"I am not fully healed yet, but I'm going to, and I'm gonna stand strong with ya'll," the actor/singer said during a concert at the Troubadour club on the Sunset Strip.
Referencing the heinous attack, Smollett added:
"I had to be here tonight, y'all. I couldn't let those motherf-ckers win. So I will always stand for love.
"I will never stand for anything other than that. Regardless of what anyone else says, I will only stand for love and I hope that you all stand with me."
Smollett was taken by surprise by two assailants around 2 a.m. last Tuesday on his way back from Subway.
These attackers tied a rope around his neck and poured bleach all over him, committing an obvious hate crime against someone who is African-American and openly gay.
Speaking to the audience last night, Smollett actually clarified a few details around the incident.
He said that he was driven to see a doctor but was not hospitalized... suffered bruises but did not break any ribs...and was cleared by his physicians to perform this weekend.
"And above all, I fought the f-ck back," he said, drawing loud cheers. "I'm the gay Tupac."
Folks all over Hollywood have sent Smollett their best wishes, while President Donald Trump did not address the alleged fact that the suspects screamed to Smollett that he's in "MAGA country."
But the Commander-in-Chief did say the following about the attack on the Empire star:
“That I can tell you is horrible. I’ve seen it. Last night. It’s horrible. Doesn’t get worse.”
Before Smollett began his set yesterday, his siblings Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Jazz Smollett, Jake Smollett, Jocqui Smollett and the eldest, Joel Smollett Jr., took the stage.
Said Joel to the crowd:
"Jussie is a true artist, that's how he breathes.
"But above all else, above all else, he is the epitome of love.
"So on behalf of the Smollett family, we are so proud of our brother and we are here tonight with all of you to give him confidence, the highest praise and unyielding support as he shares his music, his soul and his love to make this world a better place and not to concede to hate."
Jussie then came out and hugged his relatives.
The day before Smollett broke his silence about the hate crime.
He said via statement:
My body is strong but my soul is stronger. More importantly I want to say thank you. The outpouring of love and support from my village has meant more than I will ever be able to truly put into words.
Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served.
I am not and should not be looked upon as an isolated incident. We will talk soon and I will address all details of this horrific incident, but I need a moment to process.
Most importantly, during times of trauma, grief and pain, there is still a responsibility to lead with love. It’s all I know. And that can’t be kicked out of me.