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02/29/2016 12:03 am ET Updated Feb 29, 2016

Sam Smith Claims To Be First Openly Gay Man To Win An Oscar

"I actually can't breathe right now."
Christopher Polk via Getty Images

To the writing, to the wall, Sam Smith has now won both the balls. 

On the night of Feb. 28, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences bestowed the honor of Best Original Song upon the tune from "Spectre," "Writing's on the Wall." The win comes after Smith received a similar honor from the Golden Globes on Jan. 10.

"I actually can't breathe right now," Smith said as he took the stage. 

The 23-year-old singer then referenced an article he had read that quoted Ian McKellen as saying that, in Smith's words, "no openly gay man had ever won an Oscar." McKellen had specifically mentioned the Best Actor category, saying, "No openly gay man has ever won the Oscar; I wonder if that is prejudice or chance."

Openly gay men have won Oscars in other categories, though it is rare. In a tweet criticizing Smith, "Milk" screenwriter Dustin Lance Black pointed out his own 2009 win. Sir Elton John also won in 1995 for "Can You Feel The Love Tonight?"

Joel Grey is the only openly gay actor to have ever won. He won in 1973 for "Cabaret" in the Best Supporting Actor category. However, Grey did not come out in public until 2015

In any case, Smith hedged, saying he wasn't sure if that claim was true, and left it open that he may have misunderstood. Smith dedicated the award to the LGBT community.

Songwriter Jimmy Napes created the Oscar-winning hit with Smith. British electronic duo Disclosure was also involved with the track.

While the Academy deemed "Writing's on the Wall" worthy of an Oscar, critics widely considered the track to be bland. Smith himself has claimed it only took 20 minutes to write. The perception of the song wasn't helped by its inherent relation to the widely loved Bond theme before it -- Adele's "Skyfall."

Smith performed the track earlier in the night at the Oscars -- it did not go very well.

The Academy did not nominate "Spectre" for any other award, but James Bond is now the man with the golden statue.

Here is the winning song:

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