With Sam Smith hitting arena level worldwide with his second album campaign and tour, IQ chats to the promoters behind the shows to discover the secret to his success
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The UK singer-songwriter won for his Bond theme 'Writing's on the Wall', beating Lady Gaga, The Weeknd, Anohni and Sumi Jo
By IQ on 29 Feb 2016
British singer-songwriter Sam Smith pulled off one of the biggest upsets of last night’s 88th Academy Awards, beating clear favourite Lady Gaga to win the Oscar for best original song.
‘Writing’s on the Wall’, written by Smith and Jimmy Napes for James Bond film Spectre, was released in September to a decidedly mixed reception (according to Variety, one person backstage at the Oscars said the track “wasn’t even the best song released that week”).
Conversely, Lady Gaga’s critically lauded ‘Til It Happens to You’, written by Gaga and eight-time Oscar nominee Diane Warren for The Hunting Ground, a documentary on sexual assaults on university campuses, was widely expected to win – especially after Gaga left many stars, including Rachel McAdams, Kate Winslet and Eddie Redmayne, in tears after after sharing the stage with rape victims and US vice-president Joe Biden for an emotional performance of the song earlier in the evening.
Smith, who mistakenly referred to himself as the first openly gay Oscar-winner (he isn’t), dedicated his award to “the LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender] community all around the world”.
Smith also performed, as did The Weeknd (playing ‘Earned It’) and Dave Grohl (performing The Beatles’ ‘Blackbird’ for the ‘In Memoriam’ section of the show).
Other best original song nominees were ‘Earned It’ by The Weeknd, from Fifty Shades of Grey; J. Ralph and Anohni (formerly Antony Hegarty)’s ‘Manta Ray’, from Racing Extinction; and ‘Simple Song #3’, by Sumi Jo, from Youth.
Ennio Morricone took home the prize for best original score for The Hateful Eight, beating the incidental music from Bridge of Spies (composed by Thomas Newman), Carol (Carter Burwell), Sicario (Jóhann Jóhannsson) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (John Williams).
A full list of winners is available on the Academy Awards website.