Sam Smith's performance at the Mad Cool Festival 2023 in Madrid has generated a range of opinions among fans. Known for their chart-topping hits like "I'm Not the Only One," "Stay with Me," "How Do You Sleep?," and "Dancing with a Stranger," the English singer-songwriter took the stage on Friday to a mixed reception.
In 2019, Smith publicly announced their non-binary identity and expressed a preference for the pronouns They/Them. While continuing to create music, a noticeable shift was observed after their collaboration with German singer Kim Petras on the popular track "Unholy," released on August 25, 2022.
"Unholy" quickly became a viral sensation on platforms like TikTok and Instagram, propelling Smith's music into the global spotlight. However, this newfound success also triggered comparisons between their music before and after their identity announcement.
Following Friday's concert, where Smith performed "Unholy," fans expressed concerns about the singer's artistic choices. Some objected to the performance, finding it inappropriate, particularly considering that the concert did not enforce an age limit.
Critics argued that Smith's undeniable talent was overshadowed and underutilized, given the nature of the performance. They believed that the content was unsuitable for a wide-ranging audience.
In defense of Smith, many fans emphasized the responsibility of parents to consider the content of the concert before purchasing tickets for their children.
You think Sam Smith shouldn’t perform in front of small children? I agree.— The Hillbilly Analyst (@HillbllyAnalyst) July 10, 2023
But your problem should primarily be with the parents who bought their kids tickets.
They also highlighted the inconsistency of singling out Smith when other renowned artists, such as Rihanna, have incorporated sexually suggestive elements into their performances without facing similar backlash over the years.
Amidst this mixed reception, fans have also expressed contrasting opinions about Sam Smith's involvement as the mystery artist on the Barbie Album.
Some fans expressed disappointment and questioned the selection process, suggesting that other available artists could have been chosen instead.
On the other hand, supporters reminded everyone of Smith's remarkable contributions to the music industry, urging others to reserve judgment until they have the opportunity to hear the song for themselves.