7 Live Sam Smith Performances That Will Change You

by Jennifer Still

Sam Smith has become an international treasure over the past couple of years, and for good reason: he's incredible. While he began his ascent to fame back in 2012 in his native UK for his feature on Disclosure's hit song "Latch", it wasn't until the past year or so that Smith made a dent in the US with his own debut album — and boy, did he ever. He cleaned up at this year's Grammy awards and soon after launched a worldwide tour that sold out within seconds of going on sale. Unfortunately, many of those shows have had to be canceled recently, as Smith battles nodes on his vocal cords — a problem for which he underwent surgery just this week. Music fans were devastated, as was Smith himself, who clearly loves what he does for a living.

But while Smith recuperates (doctors estimate he'll be out of commission for up to 8 weeks, according to his Instagram account), the rest of us are stuck without his incredible voice. Luckily, there are plenty of brilliant performances he's given over the past year that we can relive as he gets back on his feet, and they should help us get excited for his return to the stage this summer.

"Stay With Me" at the 2014 MTV VMAs

There's no denying that "Stay With Me" is one of the most incredibly soulful songs on Smith's debut album, and easily one of the most beautiful tracks released in the past several years in general. This performance was everything it needed to be, and he totally brought down the house.

"Lay Me Down" at the 2015 BRIT Awards

I may be a little bit biased here, as "Lay Me Down" is my favorite Sam Smith song, but this one just gets me every single time. It's so heartbreaking and beautiful and his voice is just like BUTTER on this entire track. Ugh, I can't deal with how good it is.

"Fast Car" by Tracy Chapman in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge

I love the Radio 1 Live Lounge, as it features some of the best musicians not only performing their own songs, but covering some other hits that resonate with them. The result is often brilliant, as was the case with Smith's cover of Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car". How beautiful is this?

"How Will I Know" by Whitney Houston on Sirius XM

You've gotta have some serious chops to even go near a Whitney Houston song, but if anyone can do it, it's Sam Smith. His reimagining of "How Will I Know" was just so charming and haunting and you honestly can't do anything but swoon listening to this.

"I'm Not The Only One" on Australia's TODAY

This song is such a smooth jam on the record, but it's Smith's gift that he can manage to make his live version sound even better than one that's been produced and polished professionally. Try not closing your eyes and feeling this one — you won't be able to.

"When I Was Your Man" by Bruno Mars on Capital Live

Sam Smith has done some great covers of his day, and "When I Was Your Man" is definitely one of the best of them. His voice just conveys that perfect sense of longing and passion that the lyrics require and he really takes it to the next level. Love this one.

"Nirvana" on VEVO LIFT Live

I'll just leave you with this performance of "Nirvana" to groove out to, because it totally makes any day better.

Image: Getty Images