Sam Smith’s first album debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, and if not for Lana Del Ray, the U.K. crooner would have topped the chart.
“In the Lonely Hour” came across the pond after already hitting the shelves in the U.K. and made a big splash, selling 166,000 copies. It did not come easy for Smith, who spent the release week in New York performing and interviewing with radio and TV stations alike. The “Stay with Me” singer started his week on “Good Morning America” and wrapped it with appearances on “Late Show” and “The View.” His rendition of “Stay with Me” was so good at the Ed Sullivan Theater that it left host David Letterman speechless.
“I haven’t watched it back yet. I don’t like watching my performances back,” Smith told me when I asked about the comedian’s reaction, or lack thereof. “I’ve heard that. In the moment, I didn’t see it.”
With the speed at which his world is moving, it is not surprising that Smith might miss something. But he insists that the only difficult part about his success is making time for friends and family. Otherwise, the English performer is enjoying every success that is coming his way.
“I always really try and mark each moment, celebrate each moment,” Smith explained, “because it could all end tomorrow. And then you haven’t celebrated.”
With everything that the 22-year-old has accomplished in the past six months alone, it does not look like the end is coming anytime soon. In addition to “Stay with Me,” Smith’s vocals have been heard on American radio thanks to Naughty Boy’s “La La La” and Disclosure’s “Latch.” As far as his rise to fame in the States, it truly dates back to March of this year, when Smith showed off his talents on “Saturday Night Live.”
“When I did ‘SNL’ and performed,” the singer responded when I asked him what moment in the States really took him aback. “The relief afterwards – that was really an insane moment.”
So insane that it trumps another big event the week of his LP release: performing “Stay with Me” alongside Mary J. Blige in New York’s iconic Apollo Theater.
“I can’t explain it,” he said of singing with the R&B legend. “I actually deliberately didn’t invite her on stage. She just walked on and started singing.”
And it was special, so much so that the soft-spoken star admitted that amidst the chaos of a big record release, it made him a little nervous.
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