See Sam Win, for being himself


Count me as a new fan of Sam Smith.

I’m sorry I’ve called him Sam Shepard for the past six months. I don’t know why I couldn’t remember his name at first, but believe me when I say it was nothing personal. If it makes him feel any better, my kids scolded me for it numerous times. And they enjoyed laughing at me.

“Oh mom.”

I liked their laughter so I kept calling him Sam Shepard even after I knew his real name. My daughters don’t know who Prince is, so it’s my job to give them a hard time about some of their favorite new singers.

I have a generation gap to uphold.

Truthfully, when my daughters can’t keep their hands from turning the radio dial from my beloved NPR to their pop music stations, it’s really OK — sometimes.

I’ve liked a lot of the music I’ve heard this year by the up and coming 20-somethings — Ed Sheeran and Hozier are quite good. I can even tolerate Taylor Swift and her cadre of “Starbucks lovers.” (Yes, I know her lyric is really “got a long list of ex-lovers,” but I can’t hear it. It sounds like Starbucks is playing matchmaker and I like it better that way. Double tall latte love anyone?)

The media has focused on Sam Smith’s line about thanking the man who broke his heart for his Grammy success. The pain and grief of his breakup led him to pour himself into his music. From his darkness came a whole lot of golden-trophy light.

The line I personally liked best from Sam Smith — and the one that cemented me as a fan — was this one:

“It was only after I started to be myself that the music started to flow and people started to listen.” — Sam Smith, 2015 Grammy winner

This is the message I hope my daughters heard from this young 22-year-old British newcomer.

Congratulations on your big year and stay real, Sam Smith! You’ve reminded us all that great things happen to people who stay true to themselves.



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