Sam Smith
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Sam Smith

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Last updated on
October 29, 2023

Born on May 19, 1992, in London, England, Sam Smith grew up in Great Chishill, Cambridgeshire. Their parents, a truck driver and greengrocer father and a banker mother, recognized Smith's vocal talent at an early age. Smith attended Thomas More Primary School and later joined Youth Music Theatre UK, where they appeared in the troupe's 2007 production of "Oh! Carol," a musical featuring the music of Neil Sedaka.

Smith's first significant break in the music industry came in 2012 when they collaborated with the house duo Disclosure on the track "Latch." The song's effervescent electronic beat paired with Smith's liquid falsetto vocals led to its commercial success, peaking at number eleven on the UK Singles Chart. This success was followed by another feature, this time on Naughty Boy's "La La La," which became a number one single in the UK in May 2013.

In May 2014, Smith released their debut studio album, "In the Lonely Hour," through Capitol Records. The album was a commercial and critical success, with its lead single "Lay Me Down" and subsequent releases "Money on My Mind" and "Stay with Me" achieving chart-topping success. "Stay with Me" was particularly noteworthy, reaching number one in the UK and number two on the US Billboard Hot 100. The album's themes were deeply personal for Smith, who identified as gay at the time and later came out as non-binary. The songs were inspired by a romantic rejection Smith had experienced, adding a layer of emotional depth to the album.

Smith's accolades began to accumulate rapidly after the release of "In the Lonely Hour." At the 2015 Grammy Awards, the album was named Best Pop Vocal Album, and "Stay with Me" won Record of the Year and Song of the Year. Smith was also deemed Best New Artist. However, the year also brought controversy when musician Tom Petty noted melodic similarities between "Stay with Me" and his 1989 single "I Won't Back Down." The issue was quickly resolved out of court, with Petty expressing goodwill toward Smith.

In November 2017, Smith released their second studio album, "The Thrill of It All," which debuted atop the UK and US album charts. The lead single, "Too Good at Goodbyes," reached number one in the UK and Australia and number four in the US. The album continued to explore themes of love and loss, earning Smith comparisons to iconic crooners like Frank Sinatra and contemporary artists like Adele.

In 2019, Smith announced their non-binary identity and adopted the pronouns "they/them." This personal revelation did not slow down their musical output. In 2022, Smith released a single titled "Unholy" with Kim Petras, which became their first number one single in the US and won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. Their fourth studio album, "Gloria," was released in 2023.

Most recently, on October 19, 2023, Smith collaborated with Charli XCX on a new song titled "In the City." The song explores the theme of finding genuine connections through wild nights and parties in magical places. This latest work adds another layer to Smith's evolving musical and personal narrative, solidifying their place as one of the most compelling artists of their generation.

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