Sam Smith delivers ‘beautiful’ tribute to murdered trans teen Brianna Ghey on Gloria Tour

Sam Smith wears a headpiece with Brianna Ghey written on it at the Gloria Tour.

Pop superstar Sam Smith has used their Gloria Tour to pay a special, poignant tribute to murdered trans schoolgirl Brianna Ghey.

As Smith took to the stage to perform an aching cover of Des’ree’s 1997 single “I’m Kissing You” during their show at London’s O2 Arena last night (19 April), they sported a billowing emerald Valentino gown and a diamanté halo headpiece bearing the teen’s name in sparkling letters.

Fans have picked up on Smith’s tribute, with some calling it “beautiful” and “gorgeous”. 

Brianna, 16, was found dead in a park in Warrington in February.

Two 15 year-olds have been charged with her murder, with police investigating the death as a potential hate crime. Neither suspect can be named for legal reasons and their trial is set to begin on 10 July.

In a statement, Brianna’s family remembered her as a “much-loved daughter, granddaughter and baby sister”.

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They said: “She was a larger-than-life character who would leave a lasting impression on all [who] met her. Brianna was beautiful, witty and hilarious. Brianna was strong, fearless and one of a kind.

Sam Smith’s Gloria Tour is not as risqué as bigots would have you believe

While Smith’s emotional tribute to Brianna is one of the show’s most memorable moments, it’s been lost among an uproar surrounding the singer-songwriter’s tour outfits. 

Split into three sections – love, beauty and sex – the show sees Smith strip down to thigh-high boots, underwear and nipple tassels. As expected, and continuing on from the tidal wave of vitriol directed at Smith recently, some people have expressed outrage, branding the performances “satanic” and “vulgar”.

However, at some points, the most risqué thing about Smith’s performance on in London on Wednesday was an undone top button.

Sam Smith performs at the Gloria Tour.
Sam Smith’s Gloria Tour is not the sex fest bigots would have you believe. (Getty/David M. Benett)

With diamond-encrusted corsets, some light twerking, and a quick flash of their arse during the final few songs, Smith is merely taking pages out of a pop star handbook that has existed for decades.

Madonna did it, Miley did it, Christina did it – why can’t a bigger, queer person do it? It’s a point Smith makes best with a part-sultry, part-heavy-metal cover of Madonna’s 90s classic, “Human Nature”.

Alongside the likes of solid pop bangers “How Do You Sleep?” and the history-making “Unholy”, Smith managed to please all factions of the incredibly varied audience, with flawless vocals on soulful songs such as “Stay With Me”, “Like I Can” and “I’m Not The Only One”.

Successfully dramatising and camping up some of the UK’s most heterosexual hits of the past decade is no mean feat, but Smith delivered it expertly.

The staging was set around a golden replica of a nude Greek statue, and all back-up dancers and singers were suitably adorned with sparkles of varying colours. It had the vibe of a high-budget queer jazz club, or a “gay cabaret”, as Smith described it.

It was the most comfortable Smith has ever looked on stage.

Tickets for the Gloria Tour are on sale now.

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