Sam Smith: 'I feel quite lonely as a gay man in music sometimes'

British singer Sam Smith will return for a show in Auckland later this year a little wiser when it comes to his craft and a lot wiser when it comes to some of the more personal challenges he's faced.

Smith has just been Down Under promoting his upcoming tour, and told TVNZ1's Seven Sharp: "It's been really scary actually. I feel quite lonely as a gay man in music sometimes."

Smith has been open about his sexuality from the get go, but that's been accompanied by some tough lessons, most notably after his speech while accepting his 2016 Oscar for best original song.

"I read an article a few months ago by Sir Ian McKellan and he said that no openly gay man had ever won an Oscar," Smith said at the Oscars ceremony.

The statement wasn't accurate and inevitably the backlash was swift.

"If I say the wrong thing like I did in the Oscars it can really damage the community and what they've worked for. So I learnt the hard way I think," he told Australia Correspondent Kimberlee Downs.

Smith is more comfortable with the mantle of gay icon now, drawing inspiration from one of his personal heroes, the late singer-songwriter George Michael.

"George Michael has been part of my life since I was born. My parents and all my family were obsessed with him. I went to see him open Wembley Stadium when i was 15. I remember that was when i decided that I wanted to do what I do."

He said: "I'm back and hopefully imprinting myself on people's minds and hearts. That's my dream."

Smith's second album has drawn widespread acclaim since its release late last year and hit top spot in the New Zealand charts, a solid follow-up to his debut album In The Lonely Hour. 

That one stayed in the  New Zealand Top 40 chart for nearly three years, and the love affair is mutual.

"The happiest memories of my life I think have been in New Zealand. Going to Hobbiton was a gamechanger. It changed my life," the singer said.

TVNZ's Australia Correspondent Kimberlee Downs spoke with Smith. Source: Seven Sharp


Watch: The Bushwackers wrestler gives Seven Sharp reporter Tim Wilson a pounding

Seven Sharp reporter Tim Wilson has been stirring the pot with one half of the iconic WWE wrestling duo The Bushwackers.

The Bushwackers have marched out of retirement for performances around the country.

Lower Hutt born Luke Williams and Wellington-raised Butch Miller are the only two Kiwis ever to be inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame.

TVNZ1's Wilson took on Williams in a wrestling match of sorts today.

Watch the video to see how they both went.

Luke Williams’ come out of retirement for a NZ tour and got some practice in on Wilson. Source: Seven Sharp



US comedian and film star Kevin Hart confirms one-off Auckland show

US comedian and film-star Kevin Hart will be bringing his unique brand of humour to Auckland this December as part of his world tour.

Hart, the star of films such as Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Central Intelligence, will be playing Spark Arena on December 11 as part of his Irresponsible Tour.

The 38-year-old is set to bring a fresh stage setup to the Auckland venue, playing in the middle of the arena surrounded by the crowd on all sides.

Kevin Hart playing in Auckland, Australia
Kevin Hart playing in Auckland, Australia

The Auckland show had earlier been announced in late January, but stated it was to be held in Auckland, Australia. The confusion has been cleared up with the new announcement of ticket sale dates today.

Tickets are likely to be at a premium for the on-off show when they go on sale on February 23 at midday.

Those wanting to get in early can take part in the Live Nation pre-sale which starts at midday on February 20.

Kevin Hart is coming to Auckland.
Kevin Hart is coming to Auckland. Source: Associated Press