"It all started with a hip flask of tequila," Sam Smith told Ellen DeGeneres, when asked why he wrongly claimed to be the "first openly gay man" to win an Oscar during his 2016 acceptance speech. As you may recall, when Smith won Best Original Song for his James Bond theme, "Writing's On The Wall," he undermined a lineage of gay winners, including Dustin Lance Black and Pedro Almodóvar.
"We thought we had no chance of winning at all," he continued, "So I was just like, lets get the party started... and then we won. I went up and I mucked up my speech. I basically said I was the first gay person to ever win an Oscar. And I obviously know I'm not, but my brain and my mouth didn't work together."
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At the Oscars afterparty, Smith remembers seeing Elton John, who won an Oscar in 1995 for Best Original Song for “Can You Feel The Love Tonight“ from Disney’s The Lion King with lyricist Tim Rice. "[Elton] was like, 'I've won an Oscar.' I was like, 'I'm sorry—I was young when you won your Oscar.'"
In the aftermath of the Oscars controversy, Smith says he spent time with his family and focused on rebuilding his love life. "How many [boys] did you kiss?" DeGeneres asked. "Hundreds!" Smith joked. "Not that many, but I did kiss a few men. [I] ran around the streets of London; had a good time. I kind of got back to normal life."
Now in a happy relationship, Smith will release The Thrill of It All on November 3rd, featuring lead single "Too Good At Goodbyes." Watch the album trailer, below.