Entertainment Weekly

Subscribe

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

Jussie Smollett gives moving speech during Empire performance at BET Awards

Posted on

Mark Davis/BET/Getty Images for BET

Empire stars Jussie Smollett, Yaz and Serayah performed three songs from the hit show at the BET Awards on Sunday night, playing a medley of “No Apologies,” “Drip Drop” and “You’re So Beautiful.”

But better than hearing the tracks live was listening to Smollett give a moving speech in the middle of the last song. In light of the Supreme Court ruling in favor of gay marriage and the recent shootings in Charleston, South Carolina, Smollett spoke about progress and freedom in America.

“We live in a nation where freedom is what we represent, yet we are still fighting every day for the basic freedoms of all of our people,” he said. “Let the Supreme Court ruling be proof of how far we have come. Let the deaths of sisters and brothers be proof of how far we have to go. No one is free until we are all free.” He ended the performance with three simple words: “Stand for love.”

Here’s a clip of the performance and Smollett’s speech:

Related Stories

Everything you missed at the BET Awards

There was a Bad Boy reunion during Sunday night’s BET Awards

The kids from Black-ish had the best time at the BET Awards

Nicki Minaj and Meek Mill were all sorts of relationship goals at the BET Awards

BET Awards celebrate Janet Jackson with spectacular tribute

Comments