Sam Smith is in the midst of their “Gloria the Tour” and, while their performances have included their greatest hits and flamboyant tour outfits, Smith chose to make a touching tribute to a life lost from the LGBTQ+ community on 18 April. During their performance at the O2 Arena in London, the 30-year-old wore a bright green Valentino dress complete with a halo headband adorned with stars and the name, Brianna Ghey; the trans teenager who was tragically murdered on 11 Feb. in Warrington. The singer honoured the late 16-year-old during a cover of Des’ree’s song “Kissing You” whilst wearing a crown to memoralise Ghey’s name.
Audience-captured footage posted online showed the performer standing on top of a large structure on the stage with a single spotlight lighting up the touching crown atop their head as they covered the R&B ballad. “Cause I’m kissing you,” Smith — who identifies as nonbinary — sang to the crowd, as the arena screens zeroed in on their heartfelt accessory. “Touch me deep/Pure and true,” Smith, who has recently opened up about overcoming body dysmorphia, continued.
Earlier this year, Ghey was found dead with multiple stab wounds in a park in Warrington. The Guardian reported that two 15-year-old teenagers, who could not be named due to their ages, were arrested and charged with murder in connection with her death. Their trials are set to begin on 10 July in Liverpool Crown Court, while an inquest has been opened into Ghey’s death and trans rights in the UK.
Smith’s choice to honour the beloved teenager in their outfit garnered praise for being a “beautiful tribute” by fans, but other tour outfits have caused controversy online. The “Unholy” star has worn red horns, nipple pasties, and fishnets, which encountered backlash online for being “satanic” and caused debate as to whether concerts should come with age limits. From their iconic inflatable jumpsuit at the 2023 BRIT Awards to sequin jumpsuits, fortunately many more fans recognsise the beauty in their self-expression, and have compared their show to that of a “cabaret”.
Smith has previously spoken openly about being subjected to abuse in the street since changing their pronouns, and been body-shamed by trolls online, which makes Smith’s costume tour tribute all the more poignant in order to honour those who were unable to live freely in their own skin.’