British pop star Sam Smith has opened up about "coming out" as gay prior to releasing his hit debut album, insisting his decision was to deter critics from thinking he was lying about his sexuality in order to sell records.
The soul singer addressed rumours of his homosexuality just weeks before releasing his In The Lonely Hour album in the U.S. in June (14), by subtly playing out a love triangle with another male in the music video for his song Leave Your Lover.
Soon after, he confirmed the new record was inspired by a man he fell in love with who didn't love him back. Now that the album has become a chart topper, Smith says even though his "coming out" wasn't an elaborate announcement, he felt it was necessary to be truthful to anyone interested in purchasing his music.
He told comedienne Ellen DeGeneres on her U.S. talk show on Monday (01Dec14), "I came out when I was like, four years old. My mom said she knew when I was like three. So I didn't have to actually properly come out.
"But I kind of just felt like I needed to mention it before I released the record so people knew what it was about. And it felt like a brave thing to do as well I wanted to do it before because if I did it afterwards people probably would have thought I was lying just to sell records, which wasn't the case."
Smith also addressed those who have criticised him for not becoming a staunch advocate for the gay community, and added, "I'm a singer and a songwriter. I get upset sometimes because I don't talk about it too much.
"People say, 'He doesn't want to be a spokesperson for the gay community.' I do, of course I do, but I want to be a spokesperson for everyone. Ya know straight people, gay people, bisexual. I don't want it to be limited... I'm 22 as well. I'm still trying to figure everything out."