Sam Smith Sitting in a sky blue outfit Sam Smith Sitting in a sky blue outfit

Sam Smith: How A Brit Ruled Soul Music (Again) (Pg. 2)

VIBE: You pursued your career when everyone else was just going through puberty. What was that like?

SAM SMITH: I had six managers from age 12 to 18 and there were a lot of false promises letdowns as a kid, which wasn’t great. It made me very strong but I’m also wary—things can disappear quickly.

Was there ever any point where you thought about giving up?

Of course! I moved to London when I was 18. I had let go of my sixth manager and I said: One more year. You’ve got one more year to do this and do well. And with Facebook, I was witnessing all my friends from school having the best time and I felt like I wasn’t living my life.

In The Lonely Hour is filled with love and grief but there’s an air of romance to it. Are you a romantic?

I’m a huge romantic. I’m old school. I don’t like putting everything on the plate immediately and I don’t like when things are easy. I like being wooed and I like wooing people.

Were you ever nervous that coming out would impact your record sales?

Of course! I thought about doing it after the album was released. But that’s not true to me and I wanted people to know where I’m coming from on the record. But my fear was that some stupid people in the world weren’t going to pick up a piece of work that I was very proud of just because of their views. I listen to Beyonce albums, Stevie Wonder albums, John Legend albums. They’re straight people talking about love yet I can still relate to their music and they can still relate to mine.

"I listen to Beyonce albums, Stevie Wonder albums, John Legend albums. They’re straight people talking about love yet I can still relate to their music and they can still relate to mine."

From what you’ve seen while touring here in America, is it easier to be a gay man in the UK?

Truthfully, it’s completely the same, which is surprising to me actually. It doesn’t seem to be an issue. I make music for everyone. Music is limitless, that’s what I like to think. Whether I’m in America or Japan, it’s all love and I hope it continues.

Aside from love being the major focus on the album, there’s also a lot of vulnerability. How comfortable are you with being vulnerable professionally and personally?

There is a power to weakness. At my shows I always say I made a pretty depressing record. But my album isn’t sad. It’s me talking about my issues and getting them out in my music so I don’t have to deal with them in my real life. It’s therapy.

How do you plan on growing and maturing and making mistakes as a man, in the public eye, without becoming Justin Bieber?

All I can do is have a good team around me. But at the same time, I want to make mistakes. I’m 22 years old. If I make mistakes, it just means I’m human.

What’s the best advice you’ve received so far in regards to your career?

It was from Lady Gaga. I was having a bad day and I was thinking, what is my place? Who am I as an artist? What do I stand for? Lady Gaga was on the Ryan Seacrest show and she said ‘I just hope that Sam stays himself and carries on being himself.’ And she’s someone I’ve looked up to my whole life and for her to say that about me was such an incredible moment. That’s all I need to do. Stop worrying and stop trying to look like a supermodel or try and sound like a certain type of artist and just be myself and enjoy it.

CLICK HERE TO READ SAM SMITH'S OPINION ON ADELE AND THE GRAMMYS.

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Justice For Junior: Five Convicted In Brutal Murder Of Bronx Teen

Five men were convicted in the brutal murder of Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz. A Bronx jury handed down the verdict on Friday (June 14), nearly a year to the day since the 15-year-old victim was chased down by a group of gang members, dragged out of a local bodega and viciously stabbed to death.

Martinez Estrella, Antonio Rodriguez Hernandez Santiago, Elvin Garcia, Jose Muniz and Manuel Rivera, were found guilty on all four charges, according to CBS News. The group faced first-degree murder, second-degree murder, second-degree conspiracy and second-degree gang assault.

Jurors reviewed video of Guzman-Feliz’s murder and reportedly began crying while looking at autopsy photos of the teen, described by his father as a “really good kid” who was doing well in school, and aspired to be an NYPD detective.

The five convicted murderers belonged to the Trinitarios gang, prosecutors said. Guzman-Feliz was killed after he was mistaken for a member of a rival gang. Surveillance footage from the night of the heinous murder showed Guzman-Feliz attempting to run to safety inside a Bronx bodega before being caught by the men.

Guzman-Feliz was stabbed multiple times with knives and machetes, and collapsed on his way to a nearby hospital. His death caused outrage around the globe, and launched the viral #JusticeForJunior campaign. A Go Fund Me account opened to raise money for the high schooler’s family brought in more than $340,000 in donations.

“I want to say thank you, Jesus,” the slain teen’s mother, Leandra Feliz, said after the verdict.

“I’m not going to have my son back. But those killers, those murderers, they won’t be outside killing another kid.”

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Nick Cannon To Host Morning Show On L.A. Hip-Hop Station Power 106

Nick Cannon has signed on to host and produce his own morning show on Los Angeles radio station, Power 106, Billboard reports. Nick Cannon Mornings is set to debut on Monday (June 17), during the coveted 6 to 10 a.m. slot.

“Power 106 is one of the most substantial fixtures in our hip-hop culture that has proven time and time again that they are No. 1 and not going anywhere,” Cannon said in a statement. “Los Angeles is used to star players joining star franchises. I’m just honored for the opportunity to make our community and culture proud.”

 

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A man of the community! ✊🏾 @power_106

A post shared by NICK CANNON (@nickcannon) on Jun 14, 2019 at 3:03pm PDT

Cannon’s morning show will replace J Cruz’s The Cruz Show. The radio host left the station in April for Power 106 competitor, 92.3 The Beat. The move reunited Cruz with longtime L.A. radio personality, Big Boy, who left Power 106 for 92.3 in 2015.

In addition to radio, Cannon is the creator and host of MTV’s Wild ’N Out, which has been on the air for more than a decade. He also helmed Fox’s The Masked Singer, a singing competition show that crowned T-Pain as its season one winner, and was recently picked up for season two. Last year, it was reported that Cannon signed a development deal to host a late-night talk show on Fox.

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Judge Finds Probable Cause To Charge Lil Durk With Attempted Murder In Atlanta Shooting

Lil Durk is set to face attempted murder and multiple other felonies after a judge found probable cause to charge him over a shooting in Atlanta earlier this year. Durk appeared at a hearing Friday (June 14) where a police detective testified to viewing surveillance footage that allegedly shows the Chicago native firing a weapon from a car in the early morning hours of Feb. 5, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution reports.

Atlanta Police Department detective Jeffrey Churchill testified to speaking with a “witness”  who was at the scene of the shooting. According to Churchill, the witness was standing outside of The Varsity restaurant where the shooting took place at 5:49 a.m. on Feb. 5.

“Mr. Banks pulled out a weapon. They heard gunfire,” Churchill said.

The 26-year-old rapper, whose birth name is Durk Banks, faces criminal attempt to commit murder, aggravated assault, participation in criminal street gang activity, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Alexander Weatherspoon, the 23-year-old victim, was shot in the thigh. Authorities claim that Durk and his codefendant, DeaVonte Bennett, are gang members who knew Weatherspoon and planned to rob him of the $30,000 in cash that he had on him at the time. Weatherspoon reportedly told police that he was carjacked and his jewelry was stolen in the aftermath of the shooting.

Durk turned himself in to authorities last month after learning that a warrant was issued for his arrest. He maintains innocence and also denies being gang affiliated. In an interview prior to surrendering, Durk proclaimed that he had “nothing to hide,” but admitted to having a “bad background” as a child. “I had a rough path but moving to Atlanta I thought it would change my thinking,” he said.

Durk and Bennett remain in Fulton County Jail. They are due back in court next month for a bond hearing.

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