It’s a good thing Academy Awards aren’t based on live performances; The pop musician, who sang a pitchy version of his James Bond theme, Writing’s On The Wall, at last night’s ceremony eventually took home the Oscar for Best Original Song.
Smith chalked up his poor performance to pre-show jitters.
“That was honestly the worst moment of my life. Singing was horrible – I hated every moment of it. I was so nervous,” he said in an interview with the BBC following the ceremony, “That’s the truth. I want to say to everyone at home, we love you.”
But an awkward solo performance wasn’t Smith’s only snafu of the night. During his acceptance speech, the musician said he had read an interview with Sir Ian McKellen that said no openly gay actor had ever won an Oscar, thinking he was the first. McKellen’s quote was actually referring to the award for best actor, not the awards in general; screenwriter Dustin Lance Black won in 2009 for Milk, and Bill Condon, Alan Ball, Stephen Sondheim, and Elton John have all also won Academy Awards.
That said, Smith’s acceptance speech did bring about cheers from the audience for it’s positive message about LGBTQ actors, especially when he said, “I stand here tonight as a proud gay man, and I hope we can all stand together as equals one day.”
Smith beat out Lady Gaga and The Weeknd for his win in the category, in what was considered by many Oscar predictors to be an upset. He seemed equally shocked to win the award.
“I genuinely didn’t think we were going to win at all,” said. “We’re in complete shock. The whole thing’s just amazing.”
Smith then went on to describe the award as a highlight of his career.
“It’s only downhill from here… I’m going to retire, I’m done with music!”
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