Sam Smith Is Having A Very Bad Month

This January is not the time to be a British Madonna enthusiast, Instagram addict and serial TMI Tweeter. And no, I’m not talking about myself, thanks.

Okay, we all know Sam Smith is suffering from a classic case of bad work/life balance. Think Liz Lemon, but without lettuce in his hair – his professional life couldn’t be on a better track whilst his personal life… The less said the better. Despite being nominated for five Brits and six Grammys, the “Stay With Me” songbird has had a couple of knocks to his cool this month, but it seems that today marks the first blow to his previously untouchable career.

Find out why Mr Smith’s been having such a crappy month below:

It all started when the newly-converted Madonna stan and his very short-term boyfriend, Jonathan Zeizel, split, as announced by Smith at a concert last week. The footage will make you cringe so hard that your face will be irreparably damaged so never fear, I’ve helpfully embedded it below.

The pair had been dating for less than two months (I know but he’s 22) and Sam processed the relationship’s demise the only way he knows how: through the medium of Instagram. The overly emotional snap features a pouting single-singer, red wine and what appears to be the interior of an ’80s trailer. It’s okay Sam, we’ve all known heartache, some of us have listened to ‘Britney Jean’ from start to finish more than once.

Sometimes you just need to lay in bed with a glass of red wine and a football T shirt and listen to Joni Mitchell. It's been a sad day. Beautiful show, but sad day x

A photo posted by Sam Smith (@samsmithworld) on

Things have somewhat gone from bad to worse for the London-born soul singer after shock-jock and actual, total asshat Howard Stern slammed Sam over the weekend, calling “ugly” and being entire incredulous about the fact that Sam’s “gay and fat and people still like him.” That Howard, he’s full of the big compliments, isn’t he?

Sam clearly wasn’t too impressed, taking to Twitter, to passive-aggressively subtweet (I mean, is there any other kind of subtweet?) at the radio show host (we assume):


Good to see Sam taking the high-road on this one, although real-life troll Stern is bound to have hit a nerve, especially considering that Sam’s very clearly shed the pounds since his debut back in 2012 on Disclosure’s “Latch.” And ugly? Admittedly he won’t be winning Mr Universe anytime soon, but he has a certain abused-puppy, neglected-kitten kind of cuteness. Plus let’s be real, Howard Stern coming after anyone’s appearance is Alanis Morissette level irony – clearly Stern didn’t hear what they say about those who reside in glass abodes not throwing heavy ****.

So that brings us to today, and if you were thinking it couldn’t get much worse for the Mary J Blige botherer, you’d be wrong. It’s transpired today that Sam has been forced to fork over 25% of writing credit (and thus 25% of the dough) from his 2014 single “Stay With Me” to Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne, authors of this little ditty called “Won’t Back Down” from the ’80s:

Sound familiar? Despite being nearly unlistenable, the track clearly inspired Sam’s biggest hit with an almost identical melodic structure in the chorus. Oh dear, Sam, it never rains, it pours, eh? Well, in actual fact it would appear that the two parties settled out of court sometime last October (at least by NME’s reckoning) with Sam paying 12.5% of the royalties from his Hot 100 number 2 track to each Petty and Lynne without contest. Guess they wouldn’t back down! (Collective groan.) It all appears to have come out today, with London’s The Sun breaking the story this morning. BAD JANUARY.

The point is, Sam Smith’s month has sucked. Even being nominated for a cumulative 11 awards at two of the biggest musical award ceremonies on either side of the pond doesn’t mend a broken heart. The enormous royalties that Smith must be raking in from his number 1 album and string of hit singles won’t make up for that 25% he’s lost on “Stay With Me”. Indeed, having an extraordinarily accomplished career set up at the age of 22 can’t make Howard Stern’s mean words go away.

But it probably helps, doesn’t it?