Sam Smith took Los Angeles' collective breath away this week, playing two completely sold out shows at the famed 5,870-seat Greek Theater in Griffith Park. Only a year ago, he pointed out, he performed at the tiny Troubador club in West Hollywood and thanked the fans who came to that first show.
"I put out a pretty depressing album last year. So I sort of wallowed for a year, but I feel much better now," Smith, 22, said to undulating waves of applause on Tuesday night. The roar of the audience at the Greek Theater encouraged his heartfelt monologue.
"I went into the studio and thought I'd make a Beyonce album. I'm not Beyonce, if you haven't noticed," he joked. "I called up someone I was really in love with and told him everything and the next day I made this song. It sort of jumpstarted everything," he said, as he began to play "I Told You Now" from his debut album "In The Lonely Hour."
He only had the one album and his one EP to play off of at the Greek, but that didn't stop him from doing what only few male vocalists can do -- cover a Whitney Houston song.
"I love female divas. I grew up listening to people like Amy Winehouse, Etta James, Beyonce," Smith said. "About four months ago when we were pushing the record in New York, I was having a tough week. There was so much going on. And I decided to do something a little bit different and I did a cover of one of my favorites of all time, Ms. Whitney Houston."
Smith came out as gay in May 2014, right around the time he released his first album. In September, he told The Daily Mail that the inspiration for the soul-crushing songs was in fact the unrequited love of a straight man.
"I am a happy person, believe it or not. I want a love one day. I don't want to be miserable forever," Smith told his fans at the Greek. "I can't bring out 'In The Lonely Hour' part two, so I need to find someone to love me, quickly."
Based on the deafening applause, we have a feeling this will not be a problem for long.