Sam Smith (singer)

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Sam Smith
Sam Smith in Boston.jpg
Smith performing at Royale in Boston, Massachusetts on 5 August 2013.
Background information
Birth nameSamuel Frederick Smith[1]
Born(1992-05-19) 19 May 1992 (age 22)
London, England
Years active2007–present
Associated acts
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Sam Smith
Sam Smith in Boston.jpg
Smith performing at Royale in Boston, Massachusetts on 5 August 2013.
Background information
Birth nameSamuel Frederick Smith[1]
Born(1992-05-19) 19 May 1992 (age 22)
London, England
Years active2007–present
Associated acts

Samuel Frederick "Sam" Smith (born 19 May 1992)[2] is an English singer-songwriter. He rose to fame in October 2012 when he was featured on Disclosure's breakthrough single "Latch", which peaked at number 11 on the UK Singles Chart. His subsequent feature—on Naughty Boy's "La La La"—earned him his first number 1 single in May 2013.

In December 2013, he was nominated for the 2014 BRIT Critics' Choice Award and the BBC's Sound of 2014 poll,[3][4] both of which he won.[5][6] He released his debut studio album, In the Lonely Hour, in May 2014 on Capitol Records.[7] The lead single, "Lay Me Down", was released prior to "La La La". The second single was "Money on My Mind" which became his second number one single in the UK.[8] The album's third single, "Stay with Me", was an international success, reaching number one on the UK Singles Chart and number two on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, while the fourth single "I'm Not The Only One" reached the top five in both countries. The fifth single "Like I Can" reached number nine in the UK. In December 2014, Smith was nominated for six Grammy Awards, including Best New Artist, "Stay with Me" for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Pop Solo Performance, and In the Lonely Hour for Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album.[9]

Early life

Smith was born in London, England, the son of Kate Cassidy and Frederick Smith.[2][10] He is an alumnus of Youth Music Theatre UK and starred in their 2007 production of "Oh! Carol".[11] Before entering the musical theatre, Smith had been in jazz bands.[12] For a number of years he studied singing and songwriting under jazz vocalist/pianist Joanna Eden.[13] He attended St Mary's Catholic School in Bishop's Stortford.[14] He was a member of the Bishop's Stortford Junior Operatics (now Bishops Stortford Musical Theatre Society) and the successful Cantate Youth Choir.[15]

Music career

2012–13: Breakthrough

Smith was featured on the Disclosure song, "Latch", which was released on 8 October 2012 and peaked at No. 11 on the UK Singles Chart. In February 2013, he released the first single from his debut album, "Lay Me Down". He was also featured on Naughty Boy's single, "La La La". It was released on 19 May 2013 and peaked at No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart. The same year, He released an EP consisting of four tracks. The first, titled "Safe with Me", is produced by Two Inch Punch and premiered on MistaJam's BBC Radio 1Xtra show on 24 July 2013.[16] The second song on the EP is titled "Nirvana" and is produced by Craze & Hoax and Jonathan Creek. The EP also includes Smith's acoustic solo version of "Latch" and a live version of "I've Told You Now".[17] Smith released the Disclosure, Nile Rodgers, and Jimmy Napes collaboration "Together" on 25 November 2013 as the only single from Settle: The Remixes.

2013–present: In the Lonely Hour

The second single from his debut album, titled "Money on My Mind", was released on 16 February 2014. It was announced on 16 December that Smith's debut studio album titled In the Lonely Hour would be released on 26 May 2014 through Capitol Records.[7] He describes the album as "all about unrequited love" because he has never been loved back by any of his love interests.[18] The album reached number one in the UK Albums Chart and number two on the Billboard 200, and by 5 November it had become the second biggest selling album of 2014 in the U.S. behind only 1989 by Taylor Swift.[19][20] In January 2015, In the Lonely Hour was named the second best selling album of 2014 in the UK, behind X by Ed Sheeran.[21]

A live version of album track "I've Told You Now", performed at St Pancras Old Church, was made available for free download as part of an promotion on 27 December 2013.[22] The album track "Make It To Me", co-written by Howard of Disclosure and Jimmy Napes, was made available for free download as part of an iTunes Store promotion on 13 January 2014.[23] Smith went on his debut American headlining tour in the Spring of 2014, with a setlist of primarily new material.[18]

On 20 January 2014, Smith made his American television debut performing "Latch" with Disclosure on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. He also performed on Saturday Night Live on 29 March 2014, performing the gospel-tinged "Stay with Me" and an acoustic version of "Lay Me Down".[24][25][26] "Stay with Me" reached number one on the UK Singles Chart and number two on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.[27][28] The fourth single from the album, "I'm Not the Only One", reached number three in the UK and number five in the U.S.[28]

In June 2014, Sam Smith first appeared on the cover of The Fader in its 92nd issue.[29] In August 2014, Smith's single "Stay with Me" was named Variance Magazine's Song of Summer.[30] Smith performed "Stay With Me" live at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards on 24 August at The Forum in Inglewood, California.[31] On 15 November 2014, Smith joined the charity group Band Aid 30 along with other British and Irish pop acts, recording the latest version of the track "Do They Know It's Christmas?" at Sarm West Studios in Notting Hill, London.[32]


Smith cites Adele and Amy Winehouse as his main influences.[33][34] He further lists Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Whitney Houston, and Mariah Carey as influences. Sam said about a diva quality to his voice:

"It's all I listened to. I actually didn't listen to male vocalists until about two years ago. I just listened to Whitney Houston, Chaka Khan. Massive voices."[35]

Personal life

In May 2014, Smith revealed to the public that he is gay.[36] In an interview with 4Music, Smith opened up about his struggles with obsessive–compulsive disorder. "I actually have OCD really bad, and it's getting a bit worse at the moment," he said. "I have to check taps... before I leave the house, to make sure I've checked everything in case it floods."[37] He is a third-cousin of singer Lily Allen and actor Alfie Allen.[38]


Main article: Sam Smith discography

Awards and nominations

2013MOBO AwardsBest NewcomerHimselfNominated
Best Song"La La La"Won
Best Video
2014BRIT AwardsSingle of the YearNominated[39]
Critics' ChoiceHimselfWon[40]
BBCSound of 2014[4]
MOBO AwardsBest Male Artist
Best Song"Stay with Me"
Best AlbumIn the Lonely Hour
Best Soul/R&B ArtistHimself
MTVBrand New For 2014Nominated[41]
MTV Europe Music AwardsBest New ArtistNominated
Best Push ActNominated
Best UK and Ireland ActNominated
Best Song"Stay with Me"Nominated
MTV Video Music AwardsArtist to WatchHimselfNominated
Best Male Video"Stay with Me"
Q AwardsBest New ArtistHimselfWon[42]
Young Hollywood AwardsSong of the Summer/DJ Replay"Stay with Me"Nominated
Hottest Music ArtistHimself
Breakout Music ArtistWon
American Music AwardsNew Artist of the YearHimselfNominated
Favorite Male Artist - Pop/RockHimselfWon
2015People's Choice AwardsFavorite Male ArtistHimselfNominated
Favorite Breakout ArtistHimselfNominated
Favorite Song"Stay with MeNominated
Favorite AlbumIn the Lonely HourNominated
Grammy AwardsAlbum of the YearPending
Best Pop Vocal AlbumPending
Record of the Year"Stay with Me (Darkchild Version)"Pending
Song of the YearPending
Best Pop Solo PerformancePending
Best New ArtistHimselfPending


  1. ^ "Songwriter/Composer: Smith, Samuel Frederick". Broadcast Music, Inc. Retrieved 17 May 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Wilkinson, James. "Artist Biography". Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  3. ^ "Brits announce Critics' Choice 2014 shortlist". BBC. 5 December 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Sound of 2014 Profile: Sam Smith". BBC. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "Brits Critics' Choice Award 2014: Sam Smith announced as winner". The Telegraph. 12 December 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2013. 
  6. ^ "BBC Sound of 2014: Sam Smith". BBC. 10 January 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Sam Smith announces debut album In the Lonely Hour, shares tour dates". Fact. 16 December 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2013. 
  8. ^ "'Money on My Mind' – EP by Sam Smith". Itunes (UK). Retrieved 19 December 2013. 
  9. ^ "Sam Smith nabs Grammy nominations". BBC. Retrieved 5 December 2014
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Alumni Youth Music Theatre UK". 17 December 2013. 
  12. ^ "Sam Smith: “Every day I think about how insane this is”". The Line Of Best Fit. 14 February 2014. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  13. ^ "Sam Smith Opens up About Life and Love". The Fader. Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  14. ^ "Former Stortford schoolboy Sam Smith gears up for tonight's Brit awards". 19 February 2014. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ "New: Sam Smith – Safe With Me". Crack in the Road. 24 July 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2013. 
  17. ^ "iTunes – Music – Nirvana – EP by Sam Smith". iTunes. Retrieved 17 September 2013. 
  18. ^ a b Ollman, Jonah (28 March 2014). "The Angel of Cambridge: Sam Smith". Sound of Boston. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  19. ^ Caulfield, Keith (2014-11-04). "Official: Taylor Swift's '1989' Debuts With 1.287 Million Sold In First Week". Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2014-11-04. 
  20. ^ "Sam Smith's debut album on track to knock Coldplay off Number 1". Official Charts Company. 
  21. ^ "UK album chart for 2014 dominated by British artists". BBC. Retrieved 1 January 2014
  22. ^ "I've Told You Now (Live at St Pancras Old Church, London): Sam Smith". 27 December 2013. 
  23. ^ "iTunes – Music – Make It To Me – Single by Sam Smith". iTunes. 13 January 2014. 
  24. ^ Montgomery, James (27 March 2014). "Meet Sam Smith: The British Bartender Set To Take The 'Saturday Night Live' Stage -". MTV. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  25. ^ Exton, Emily (28 March 2014). "Get To Know Sam Smith Before He Plays Saturday Night Live – Music News + Gossip – VH1 Music". VH1. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  26. ^ Tharrett, Matthew (27 March 2014). "Is Sam Smith The World's Next Great Male Diva? / Queerty". Queerty. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  27. ^ "2014 Top 40 Official Singles Chart UK Archive (31 May 2014)". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 5 December 2014
  28. ^ a b "Sam Smith Album & Single Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 5 December 2014
  29. ^ "Cover Story: Sam Smith Opens Up About Life and Love". The FADER. The FADER. 28 May 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  30. ^ "Readers Select 2014 Songs of Summer". 12 August 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 
  31. ^ "Sam Smith Is Performing at the 2014 VMAs And Tears Are Unavoidable". Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  32. ^ "Band Aid 30: One Direction among celebrity line-up". Telegraph. 11 November 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  33. ^ ""I Look Up To Her" - Sam Smith On Being Inspired By Adele". Retrieved 12 Dec 2014. 
  34. ^ "This Week's Fresh Music". 17 May 2014. 4Music.
  35. ^ "BBC Sound of 2014: Sam Smith". BBC News. 
  36. ^ "Sam Smith Opens Up About Being Gay, Reveals Album Is About a Guy Who Didn't Love Him Back". Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  37. ^ "Sam Smith: 5 things you don't know about me". 4Music. Retrieved 29 May 2014. 
  38. ^ "Nick Grimshaw and BBC Sound of winner Sam Smith joke about Lily Allen's 'big mouth'". New Musical Express. 10 January 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2014. 
  39. ^ "Brit Awards nominations 2014: full list". The Telegraph. 9 January 2014. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  40. ^ "Sam Smith wins Brits Critics' Choice award". BBC. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  41. ^ "MTV's Brand New for 2014 Nominees announced". MTV. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  42. ^ Dex, Robert (23 October 2014). "Q Awards 2014: List of winners in full". The Independent. Retrieved 23 October 2014. 

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