%cSam Smith was born Samuel Frederick Smith in the rural country of Cambridgeshire, England on May 19, 1992. He is the third cousin of singer %cLily Allen% and actor %cAlfie Allen%. Smith was placed in formal vocal training with a local jazz singer at the age of 8 after his parents heard him sing along to %cWhitney Houston%'s "My Love Is Your love" one morning on the drive to his Catholic primary school. He spent his childhood and teenage life in theater rehearsals. His mother, then a prominent banker in London, often asked him to perform for friends and associates at dinner parties. At the age of 12, Smith's career was handled by six different managers, with guarantees of fame that never came to pass. When he was 16, his mother was fired from her job for "gross misconduct" after supposedly spending too much company time on his budding pop career.
Smith rose to fame after he was featured on %cDisclosure%'s 2012 hit single "Latch". The song peaked at No. 11 on the U.K. Singles Chart. He then released his debut single "Lay Me Down" in early 2013. The track was also confirmed as the lead single off his debut album. Later that year, Smith joined forces with %cNaughty Boy% for "La La La" that eventually landed at No. 1 on the U.K. Singles chart. In October, he released "Nirvana" EP, which included an acoustic reading of "Latch". By the end of February 2014, he was at the top of the U.K. Singles chart once again with "Money on My Mind", an infectious track that inventively combined his relaxed vocal and a frenetic beat. Smith's debut album, "In the Lonely Hour", was released in May 2014 in his home country, while fans in the U.S. had to wait until June 17.
During that time, Smith publicly came out as a gay. In an interview with The Fader, he said of a song called "Leave Your Lover" off his debut LP, "It's about a guy and that's what I wanted people to know-I want to be clear that that's what it's about."
"I want to make it a normality because this is a non-issue. People wouldn't ask a straight person these questions. I've tried to be clever with this album, because it's also important to me that my music reaches everybody. I've made my music so that it could be about anything and everybody-whether it's a guy, a female or a goat-and everybody can relate to that," he continued, before noting that he had never been in a love relationship before.
He revealed that there was a man he loved who didn't love him back. The man, allegedly model %cJonathan Zeizel%, was the one who inspired the album. "It was good as a form of closure, to get it off my chest and tell him," Smith explained. "I feel better for it. I feel almost like I signed off this part of my life where I keep giving myself to guys who are never going to love me back…It's all there now, and I can move on and hopefully find a guy who can love me the way I love him."
The heartbreak helped Smith achieve great achievements with his music. At the 2015 Grammy Awards, he brought home four trophies after winning Best New Artist, Best Pop Vocal Album, Record of the Year and Song of the Year Awards. In the same year, Smith confirmed that he composed "Writing's on the Wall". The anthemic track served as the theme song for "Spectre", the 24th James Bond movie. "Writing's on the Wall" was a massive success. It was named Best Original Song at 73rd Golden Globe Awards, Brit Awards and Academy Awards.
Following the success of "Writing's on the Wall", Smith went on hiatus. While not releasing any music, he teased fans with footage of his studio session throughout 2016. In the following year, it was reported that Smith had teamed up with frequent collaborators %cJimmy Napes% and Naughty Boy on his sophomore album, which is expected to arrive in late 2017. Smith was also said to be working with %cAdam Lambert% on his new material.
%cClean Bandit%, %cTimbaland% and %cFrances% would also reportedly be featured on the highly-anticipated effort. Smith finally released his first solo single in almost two years on September 8. Titled "Too Good at Goodbyes", the emotional song debuted at No.1 on the U.K.'s music charts. In support of the new track, the singer hit the road to perform in four cities, including New York, Berlin, Los Angeles and London.