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.
And did we mention that we've actually been loving him since the early '90s and just didn't know it?
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.
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.
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.
Some people ask why March? What does it accomplish anymore? Yesterday I was blessed to take part in the #March2Justice. We marched, did a die-in on the steps of the Supreme Court and rallied at the capital. Today the real work starts as we are bringing the #JusticePackage to #congress: 1. Stop militarization of Law Enforcement Act. 2. Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention Act 3. End Racial Profiling Act(ERPA) thank you @sankofadotorg @nyjusticeleague @msladyjustice1 @tamikadmallory @lsarsour @peacegina and @raoulroach and all the beautiful soldiers who marched 250 miles from Staten Island to DC. #WhyWeMarch #EndToPoliceBrutality #blacklivesmatter #BrownLivesMatter #AllLivesMatter
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.
Smollett also changed lives when he addressed his own sexuality in a rare interview about his private life with Ellen DeGeneres in March 2015.
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.
Words can't describe how proud I am of this kid. Jocqui gave a killer commencement speech and is officially a college graduate with a BA in Global Economics and BA in Mathematics. He is the definition of hard work and commitment to a mission, cause and goal. I love you so much Joc. This is what we have to look forward to when looking for our future leaders. These young people are on their way and I'm proud to be the big brother of one the truest ones. #BananaSlugs #CollegeNine #UCSC
All of my bros came to visit Chicago this weekend for our brothers weekend/Jojo's birthday. Happy day-after-your-bday to you my old man big brother/best friend. You're the most real, non-judgemental, loving, gentle giant I've ever met and I love you forever. (This is the only non blurry pic from the whole damn weekend). #Brothers #WeRideTogetherWeDieTogether now off to Cali for me while these fools enjoy the #Chi. #VirgoSeason
Smollett may not have any kids of his own yet, but he holds the title of Uncle very near to his heart.
What can we say, he's got it in spades and he loves him some Calvin Klein.
To say last night's @empirefox Season 2 premiere was amazing would be one hell of an understatement. Thank you @calvinklein @mr_aphillips @still_Millz & @italozucchelli for my all black everything situation. Thank you @nilmuir & @johncotton3 for making a brother look clean. Check out #Empire s2 television premiere September 23 @ 9/8c on #FOX. Love yall.
It was pretty special last night performing with the fam @estelledarlings & @yazzthegreatest at the Billboard Awards @officialbbmas #BBMA.....thank you @italozucchelli and the @calvinklein team for the #calvinkleincollection looks on and off the red carpet. Special thanks to @mr_aphillips my bro @therealwourivice and @nilmuir.
Almost as much as we love him in it.
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