An artistic performance reminiscent of a New York interpretive dance show kicked off the much anticipated Sam Smith set at the 2019 iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour presented by Capital One. To open up, Sam brought out Normani and the two performed their latest hit Dancing with a Stranger giving us all the feels. The 4-minute performance, which peaked at the No. 7 stop on the Billboard Hot 100 earlier this year, recently had its first live performance from the duet at the Amalie Arena Jingle Ball.
Following the hit song, Sam continued the show in a powder pink ensemble, a huge jump from their usual dark suits. In actuality, a perfect compliment to their background dancers holiday maroon tones on stage tonight.
This performance comes as a much needed distraction for Sam who has dealt with drama lately as they have starting coming into themselves. The 27-year-old recently sat down with Out where they openly discussed the freedom they have experienced.
“In changing my pronouns, I felt incredible freedom. It’s like a brick was lifted off my chest, and with that freedom comes another kind of pain,” Smith said. “Feeling this free in our skin is answered with abuse. And that’s really hard.”
They then recalled a violent incident occurring nearly 8 years ago when they were 19. Sam had the unfortunate experience of being met with a senseless act of violence for wearing feminine clothes.
“I used to wear lots of makeup and female clothing, and I got punched by this man, and ever since that happened, I started to dress down,” Smith explained. “When I started to dress down, that’s when my music career started to lift off, but I made a decision in that moment that I felt more comfortable and safer pushing myself to that male side, and it helped.”
“I feel happier and more comfortable within myself when I’m wearing more feminine clothes, which I’m experimenting with more and more,” Smith said. “I thought living a life playing pretend would be less painful than being authentic. But I’d rather be myself, even if it means being abused for it. I’d rather get all this shit for being myself than lie to myself. That’s not a way to live.”