The 35-year-old actor and singer took the stage for his planned set at the Troubadour in West Hollywood, California, on Saturday night, just days after he was the subject of a homophobic and racist attack in Chicago.
Smollett, who was hospitalized following the attack on Tuesday, broke his silence on the incident on Friday morning, revealing that he believes "justice will be served" but needed some time to process. Fans packed into the Troubadour to show their support on Saturday.
Smollett's family introduced him before the performance. Smollett then took the stage to emotionally address the crowd.
"Thank you so much, and I'm glad you came," Smollett said. "I'm not fully healed yet, but I'm going to. And I'm gonna stand strong with y'all, and I had to be here tonight. It sounds powerful but I couldn't let those mother f**kers win."
"So, I will always stand for love," he continued. "I will never stand for anything other than love. Regardless of what anyone says, I will only stand for love. And I hope that you will all stand with me."
In his statement to fans on Friday, Smollett said, "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."
"I am working with authorities and have been 100 percent factual and consistent on every level," he continued. "Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served."
Jussie Smollett Attack: Chicago Police Reveal New Developments
"As my family stated, these types of cowardly attacks are happening to my sisters, brothers and non-gender conforming siblings daily. I am not and should not be looked upon as an isolated incident," the Empire star's statement continued. "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. With Love, respect & honor…Jussie."
As previously reported, a source told ET that Smollett was walking around Chicago early Tuesday morning when two men started yelling racial and homophobic slurs at him, before repeatedly hitting him. The men then poured a substance on him (believed to be bleach), according to the source, and one of the attackers put a rope around his neck. Smollett was then taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
A spokesperson for the Chicago Police Department told ET earlier this week that Smollett told detectives late Tuesday afternoon in a follow-up interview that his two attackers yelled, "MAGA country" to him during the attack, referring to President Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" campaign slogan.