Smith: I wanted to be a diva
Sam Smith's musical influences have always been women, and the British star used to have dreams of being a diva.
The British singer has set the charts alight with debut album In the Lonely Hour, which has spawned number-one hits Stay With Me and Money On My Mind.
Instead of looking to fellow male singers for inspiration, Sam has always favoured women in music as his main motivation.
"I've always preferred female singers to men. My dad bought Amy Winehouse's Frank when I was 11 - hearing F**k Me Pumps at 11, can you imagine?" Sam laughed to British magazine Q. "That had a huge effect on me. But mainly people like Chaka Khan. And Whitney Houston. As a kid, that's who I wanted to be.
"I just wanted to bring The Diva."
Sam's meteoric rise to the top of the charts has seen his star shine all over the globe. He counts Florence Welch, Mary J. Blige and Kim Kardashian as friends, and has posed for selfies with Katy Perry and Lorde.
Far from believing his own hype, the 22-year-old London-born star doesn't want to stray too far from his roots.
"I feel like a balloon. And I'm trying to stay tied to the bar, but I still want to go upwards. I want to go upwards. I want to float off to the stratosphere... but at the same time I don't want to forget my way back.
"The important thing is I've learned to stay grounded," he added.
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