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Sam Smith Claims To Be First Openly Gay Man To Win An Oscar

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 29/02/2016 Todd Van Luling

To the writing, to the wall, Sam Smith has now won both the balls.

On the night of Feb. 28, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences bestowed the honor of Best Original Song upon the tune from "Spectre," "Writing's on the Wall." The win comes after Smith received a similar honor from the Golden Globes on Jan. 10.

"I actually can't breathe right now," Smith said as he took the stage. 

The 23-year-old singer then referenced an article he had read that quoted Ian McKellan as saying that, in Smith's words, "no openly gay man had ever won an Oscar." McKellan had specifically mentioned the Best Actor category, saying, "No openly gay man has ever won the Oscar; I wonder if that is prejudice or chance." Openly gay men have won Oscars in other categories, though it is rare.

Singer Sam Smith attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. © Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images Singer Sam Smith attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. In any case, Smith hedged, saying he wasn't sure if that claim was true, and left it open that he may have misunderstood. Smith dedicated the award to the LGBT community.

Songwriter Jimmy Napes created the Oscar-winning hit with Smith. British electronic duo Disclosure was also involved with the track.

While the Academy deemed "Writing's on the Wall" worthy of an Oscar, critics widely considered the track to be bland. Smith himself has claimed it only took 20 minutes to write. The perception of the song wasn't helped by its inherent relation to the widely loved Bond theme before it -- Adele's "Skyfall."

Smith performed the track earlier in the night at the Oscars -- it did not go very well.

The Academy did not nominate "Spectre" for any other award, but James Bond is now the man with the golden statue.


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