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Man Crush Monday: Empire edition with Jussie Smollett

Sarah grew up in Monterey, CA and now lives in Los Angeles. When she's not writing, you can find her enjoying a good book, fine wine, sunflowers and long walks on the beach.

Jussie Smollett is amazing on Empire, but he's so much more than just his character on the show

If you're a fan of Fox's Empire — and who isn't? — you're very aware of how adorable Jussie Smollett is.

Smollett brings tears to our eyes and croons his way into our hearts as Jamal Lyon on the hit show, and in real life, the California native is obviously just as gorgeous and talented as his on-screen counterpart.

We love him for the obvious reasons  — duh, he's beautiful  — but there is much more to Smollett than meets the eye.

More: Empire spin-off will follow young Cookie: 8 Things we already know

And did we mention that we've actually been loving him since the early '90s and just didn't know it?

Jussie Smollett is amazing on Empire, but he's so much more than just his character on the show
Image: Giphy

Yes, folks, that's an itty-bitty Smollett as Terry Hall on the O.G. The Mighty Ducks.

Here are some more reasons to love him.

Talent

We know that he can sing from his work on Empire, but he's been at it for much longer than the show's run. Check out this 2011 music video.

And here's some raw footage circa 2010.

And of course, as evidenced in the reveal above from The Mighty Ducks, Smollett has been in the acting game for most of his life. Before Empire, he appeared on Revenge and The Mindy Project.

When he was younger, he also had parts on shows like Coach and On Our Own.

Stop it right now with that face.

Kindness

The man is an activist with a capital A. Smollett is all about using his celebrity and social media to bring awareness to worthy causes like supporting kids with special needs, March2Justice and the Black AIDS Institute. It's important to note that Smollett is much more than a social media activist. He's really getting out there and working to bring change.

A week from today, June 18, I will be following in the footsteps of such greats as #DannyGlover, #BlairUnderwood, @hydeiabroadbent and my baby sister @jurneebell as I'm honored as one of the 2015 Heroes in the Struggle by the Black AIDS Institute. This is my first award ever. The fact that it is for the work I've been doing since I was a child to combat HIV/AIDS makes it one of the great honors of my life. Every single member of my family will be there and I hope you, my Earth family, will too. If you're in Los Angeles at that time, please take a moment and purchase tickets. All proceeds go for this incredible organization that my family has worked with since I was 16 years old. Repost or tell a friend. All are welcome. It's going to be a special night. Love yall so much and I hope to see you there. The fight isn't over.

A photo posted by Jussie Smollett (@jussiesmollett) on

Smollett also changed lives when he addressed his own sexuality in a rare interview about his private life with Ellen DeGeneres in March 2015.

More: Jussie Smollett brings marriage equality to the forefront at BET Awards (VIDEO)

Family

The Smollett family is a tight-knit bunch. Smollett's siblings Jojo, Jazz, Jurnee (who you might recognize as Sam's love interest, Nicole, on the last season of True Blood), Jake and Jocqui all starred with him on On Our Own, and they still all remain very close to this day.

Smollett may not have any kids of his own yet, but he holds the title of Uncle very near to his heart.

Missing my boobala Nylah...and my full beard. #TBT to 2 months ago. #UncleJussie best title I've ever had.

A photo posted by Jussie Smollett (@jussiesmollett) on

Style

What can we say, he's got it in spades and he loves him some Calvin Klein.

Almost as much as we love him in it.

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