During the performance, Smollett took the opportunity and the public platform to deliver a powerful and emotional speech addressing the recent landmark Supreme Court decision on marriage equality and the racially motivated shootings at a church in Charleston, S.C., earlier this month.
"We live in a nation where freedom is what we represent, yet we are still fighting for basic freedoms for all of our people," Smollett said to a captivated audience. "Let the Supreme Court ruling be proof of how far we've come, let the deaths of our sisters and brothers be proof of how far we have to go. No one is free until we are all free."
Smollett's powerful words hit home with the crowd, who cheered loudly as the group returned to performing the medley.