He’s resilient. Empire star Jussie Smollett returned to the stage to perform for the first time — just four days after he survived a homophobic and racist attack in Chicago. Smollett, 35, performed at the at the Troubadour in West Hollywood on February 2, and he explained to his fans why it was important for him to carry on with his performance.

“I’m not fully healed yet but I’m going to and um, I’m gonna stand strong with y’all,” he told the crowd. “I had to be here tonight, y’all. It sounds prideful, but I couldn’t let those mother f–kers win. So I will always stand for love. I will never stand for anything other than love. Regardless of what anyone else says. I will only stand for love. And I hope that you all stand with me. So, thank you. Let’s do it.”

empire jessie smollett performance
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WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 02: Singer Jussie Smollett performs onstage at Troubadour on February 02, 2019 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images for ABA)

At one point during his performance, the “Freedom” singer took the time to clarify some rumors about his attack. He said that he did sustain bruises from the attack, but his ribs were not broken or cracked. He also went to the doctor immediately, but he was not hospitalized. was bruised but my ribs were not cracked. They were not broken. “And above all, I fought the f–k back. I’m the gay Tupac!” he said.

Smollett was allegedly attacked by two offenders who “gained his attention by yelling out racial and homophobic slurs towards him.” They allegedly “battered” Smollett with their hands “about the face” before allegedly pouring “an unknown chemical substance on the victim.” According to the incident background reviewed by In Touch, “one of the offenders wrapped a rope around the victim’s neck” at one point during the attack.

“We are making gains in the investigation and hopefully we’ll bring it to a successful resolution soon,” Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told the Chicago Tribune in a statement.

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