Editor’s Note: The Albumism staff has selected what we believe to be 50 Essential Albums by LGBTQ Artists, representing a varied cross-section of genres, styles and time periods. Considering that the qualifier “LGBTQ” can often be open to various interpretations, for the purposes of this particular list, we have defined an artist as LGBTQ if he, she or they have ever publicly identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer. Moreover, albums by groups have been included in the list if any of their members fit the aforementioned criteria, even if some members do not.
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SAM SMITH | In the Lonely Hour
Selected by Justin Chadwick
Most of us first discovered Sam Smith’s precocious vocal prowess upon first hearing the skin-tingling, instant-classic single “Latch” by Disclosure back in 2013. After those initial goosebumps subsided, I recall wondering “who is this guy singing and where in the world can I find more of his songs?” The immediate answer was the acoustic version of “Latch” that, more so than the original version, allows Smith’s remarkable voice to rise to the forefront. That was it. I was hooked.
Thankfully, Smith rewarded my (and all of our) patience and intrigue by releasing his first proper long player in the spring of 2014. Full of sweeping ballads (“Stay With Me,” “Lay Me Down,” ) and a stellar uptempo stomper (“Money On My Mind”) sprinkled in for good measure, In the Lonely Hour netted Smith six —count ‘em, six—GRAMMY nominations, of which he won four, including Best Pop Vocal Album.
Since then, Smith has released one follow-up LP (2017’s The Thrill of It All) to go along with a handful of sterling dancefloor-friendly collaborations, including “Omen” (with Disclosure), “Promises” (with Calvin Harris) and most recently, “Dancing With A Stranger” (with Nomani).