Sam Smith honored his music hero during his recent visit to the BBC Radio 1 live lounge. The global British superstar hit the stage for BBC Radio 1’s 50th anniversary and performed an Alicia Keys cover before launching into a mashup of two of George Michael’s biggest hits, “Father Figure” and “Faith.”
“For my final cover,” Smith said, “I wanted to pick my favorite artist of all time. And that is the incredible George Michael."
The “Stay with Me” singer began singing “Father Figure” in front of BBC's Live Lounge eager crowd of listeners and ultimately created a great mashup of the chart-topping fourth single from Michael’s critically-acclaimed, Grammy-winning debut solo album, Faith, and its chart-topping title track. Michael’s influence can easily be heard in Smith’s signature, soulful vocals. The “One More Try” singer grabbed everyone’s attention in the '80s as a British Caucasian singer who packed a tremendous amount of soul into his distinct sound.
The same could be said for Smith, who blasted onto the music scene in 2014 with his critically-acclaimed pop-soul-R & B debut album In the Lonely Hour. Both artists notably earned a coveted Album of the Year Grammy nomination for their debut albums. George Michael won the honor in 1989 while Smith snagged Best Pop Vocal Album and three other Grammys in 2015.
This Christmas will mark the one-year anniversary of George Michael’s tragic death and Smith was among scores of fellow music artists, celebrities, fans, and critics who mourned Michael’s sudden passing and the huge musical void it would leave. Smith had notably ended his social media silence to honor him on Twitter, asking his followers “Please play his music as loud as you can today.”
Smith has recently returned to the music scene after an extended absence while working on his In the Lonely Hour follow-up album. He released his wistful new single “Too Good at Goodbyes” last month and it debuted at No. 1 in Smith’s native UK. A release date for Smith’s second album has not yet been confirmed. You can watch Smith’s BBC Live Lounge George Michael tribute performance in the attached video. Stay tuned to AXS for Sam Smith updates.