This month English popstar Sam Smith releases The Thrill Of It All; despite the fact it’s only his second album, Smith has sardine-packed his 25 years with more than a few impressive hallmarks. Here’re the details of his ascent into pop stardom.
Samuel Frederick Smith is born in London, England.
During his teen years, Smith studies singing and songwriting under the tutelage of jazz pianist Joanna Eden, performs in numerous jazz ensembles and graduates from Youth Music Theatre UK.
Smith’s vocals are featured on the track Latch by English electronic duo Disclosure; the song reaches #11 on the UK Singles chart.
English DJ/producer/songwriter/musician Naughty Boy releases his single La La La, which features Smith’s vocals. It peaks at #1 on the UK Singles chart.
Smith performs the gospel-influenced single Stay With Me on Saturday Night Live; it goes to #1 on the UK Singles chart and #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Smith’s debut album In The Lonely Hour is released. It moves to #1 on the UK Albums chart, and within five-and-a-half months is the second biggest-selling album of the year in the US (behind Taylor Swift’s 1989) and the UK (behind Ed Sheeran’s X). In the same month, Smith comes out to the public as gay.
Smith joins Bono, Ed Sheeran, Rita Ora, One Direction, Chris Martin and others in the charity supergroup Band Aid 30, and together they record Do They Know It’s Christmas? to raise money for the 2014 Ebola crisis in Western Africa.
It’s revealed that in October of the previous year, musician Tom Petty reached an out-of-court settlement with Smith regarding the royalties of Stay With Me, after Petty notices similarities between the track and his own 1989 hit I Won’t Back Down. At the time, Petty released a statement which read (in part): “All my years of songwriting have shown me these things can happen. Sam’s people were very understanding of our predicament and we easily came to an agreement. The word ‘lawsuit’ was never even said and was never my intention. I wish Sam all the best for his ongoing career. Peace and love to all.”
This month Smith begins his massive In The Lonely Hour tour, which covers North America, Europe, the UK, Australasia, Asia, and South America.
Smith performs Stay With Me at the 57th Grammy Awards, and wins Best New Artist, Song Of The Year, Record Of The Year, and Best Pop Vocal Album. During one acceptance speech he says: “I want to thank the man who this record is about, who I fell in love with last year. Thank you so much for breaking my heart, because you got me four Grammys.”
Smith is forced to cancel 17 scheduled shows between May and June – right in the middle of his album tour – due to a vocal chord haemorrhage. At the Billboard Music Awards, he wins Top Male Artist, Top New Artist, and Top Radio Songs Artist.
Smith and Jimmy Napes’ co-written track Writing’s On The Wall, composed as the theme to the 24th James Bond film Spectre, becomes the first James Bond theme to reach #1 on the UK charts.
Smith receives two Guinness World Records; one for his chart achievement with Writing’s On The Wall, and the other for clinching the the most consecutive weeks in the UK top 10 by a debut album (for In The Lonely Hour).
Sam completes his In The Lonely Hour tour, having been on the road for 12 months.
Smith receives both a Golden Globe and an Oscar in the Best Original Song categories at each of the awards ceremonies, for Writing’s On The Wall.
After a year-and-a-half hiatus, Smith releases single Too Good At Goodbyes, which debuts at #1 on the ARIA Singles chart and becomes his sixth #1 single in the UK.
Smith reveals that his second album, The Thrill Of It All, will be released on November 3.
He also announces that all profits from his one-off Sydney Opera House show – scheduled for January 16, 2018 – will be donated to the Australian charities ReachOut (Australia’s leading online mental health organisation for young people and their parents), Twenty10 (which supports LGBTIQA+ youth aged 12-25, their families and communities) and the Equality Campaign (a national campaign to win marriage equality for all Australians).
The Thrill Of It All will be released, via EMI.