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Jussie Smollett Tells Crowd at Troubadour, 'I Fought the F--k Back'

jussie smollett

The actor and singer spoke out about the racist and homophobic attack he endured to a packed house at Los Angeles's famed Troubadour as seen in the video below. 

Just four days after Empire actor and singer Jussie Smollett was attacked in Chicago while the assailants hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him, according to the report, he made a triumphant return to the stage at Los Angeles's famed Troubadour on Saturday.

"I'm not fully healed yet but I'm going to and I'm going to stand strong with y'all. I had to be here tonight," Smollett said to a packed house following an introduction by his siblings. "I couldn't let those motherfuckers win!

"I will always stand for love. Regardless of what anyone else says, I will only stand for love," Smollett said.

There were those (including his family) who wondered if Smollett should keep his performance date at the Troubadour following the heinous crime he endured on Monday during which the assailants allegedly doused him with a chemical, tied a noose around his neck, and shouted racist and homophobic epithets. But, not only did he show up, he turned out a powerful performance to an enthusiastic crowd, many of whom stood in hours in the rain to see him.

The evening began with an a capella number from the group June's Diary before members of the performing Smollett family took to the stage with a statement about the attack on their brother. His eldest brother Joel Smollett Jr. read the following:

"As you know, my brother Jussie, not even a week ago, survived a traumatic experience, which no one should ever have to go through. Since then, there's been an outpouring of love and support that has truly humbled our family. There has also been a bevy of false, undercutting stories that have hurt him deeply. If I'm honest, as his big brother, I wanted Jussie to sit this one out. I sincerely wanted to stay out of the public until he heals. But then after much debating, some arguing, many tears, my family and I realized that tonight is an important part of Jussie's healing."

"Be as black, be as proud, be as gay... Now is the time," Smollett proclaimed later in the evening to a packed, cheering crowd that included California Congresswoman Maxine Waters. "Be blacker. Be gayer!"

During his set, Smollett shouted out to his boyfriend calling him his "man" and thanking him for standing strong during the emotional tribulations of the past week.

Toward the end of his lively set that included the songs "Heavy" and "Freedom," Smollett acknowledged actor Wilson Cruz in the crowd, explaining that Cruz, who played the gay character Ricky on the beloved '90s show My So-Called Life, was the first character Smollett had ever seen on TV that resembled him in some way.

Smollett went on to praise other trailblazing queer men of color including Lee Daniels, Langston Hughes, and James Baldwin.

Before his encore, Smollett stepped out onto the stage and said there were four points he wanted to make about the attack.

"I was bruised but my ribs were not cracked. They were not broken. I went to the director immediately. I was not hospitalized. Both my doctors in L.A. and Chicago cleared me to perform but said to take care, obviously," Smollett said. "And above all, I fought the fuck back."

Watch the Smollett family statement from Joel Smollett and remarks and a performance from Smollett below.

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Tracy E. Gilchrist