Sam Smith (Smith prefers they pronouns) has been involved in the arts for most of their life, with encouragement from their parents. Smith began jazz vocal lessons at the age of 8, after their parents heard them signing along to Whitney Houston. However, they also had an interest in theatre. Smith’s beginnings in theatre were kindred to successful figures such as James Gant, Hannah Rae, and Ed Sheeran, as they were part of British Youth Music Theatre, a London-based performing arts organization formed in 2003. 

Not even finished with being a teenager, Smith officially began a solo singing career with the release of two singles, both of which remained relatively below-the-radar. It wasn’t until 2012 that they’d be thrown into the public spotlight with the success of their feature on the Disclosure single, “Latch.” The song was already a success in the UK, but rocketed Smith to a new tier of opportunity with its sleeper-hit status in the US in 2014.

Shortly after its popularity reached a fever pitch, Smith signed to Capitol Records, through whom they released their debut LP, In The Lonely Hour. It was at this time that Smith revealed to the public that they were gay. Smith’s album readily cracked the Top Ten Charts in the UK and US with hit singles such as “Stay With Me,” “I’m Not The Only One” and “Money on my Mind.” Entering the music scene with a bang, their streak didn’t end there. Smith sang the theme song, “Writing’s on the Wall” for the James Bond film, Spectre. This occurred just before Smith went back to the studio to craft what would become The Thrill of It All, Smith’s 2017 chart-topping sophomore album.

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