Coronavirus

'Empire' Star Jussie Smollett Debuts LGBTQ-Centric Music Video for 'Freedom'

Jussie Smollett
Maarten de Boer/Getty Images

Jussie Smollett of FOX's 'Empire' poses for a portrait during the 2017 Summer Television Critics Association Press Tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Aug. 8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Empire star Jussie Smollett has released “Freedom,” the first track from his debut album due later this spring. He also premiered a heartwarming music video for the song, which features actresses Tika Sumpter and Cynthia Erivo as a lesbian couple. Later in the clip, the pair arrive at a party with a mix of straight and same-sex couples.

"This video is about love. I wanted to show two people doing the everyday things that every single couple does,” Smollett explained in a statement. “I see nothing but beauty through the eyes of these characters we've created. I hope everyone else does as well. Love is freedom. Freedom is love.”

Smollet’s character on Empire, Jamal Lyon, came out as gay on the hit show, and not long after, Smollet sat down with Ellen DeGeneres to talk about his own sexuality.

"It was important to me to get across that this is no closet, there's never been a closet that I've been in," he told Ellen. "I don't own a closet, I own a dresser. But I have a home and that is my responsibility to protect my home. And that is why I choose not to talk about my personal life. But there is, without a doubt, no closet that I've ever been in, and I just wanted to make that clear. It was most important for me to make that clear to you on your show at this time."

THE BILLBOARD BIZ
SUBSCRIBER EXPERIENCE

The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.


To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.