Sam Smith explains abrupt ending of Manchester concert: ‘Something was really wrong’

A closeup of Sam Smith with cropped bleached hair, wearing all black
Sam Smith poses for photographers upon arrival at the Brit Awards 2023 in London on Feb. 11, 2023.
(Vianney Le Caer / Invision/Associated Press)

Sam Smith offered their profuse apologies Wednesday for walking out on a Manchester, England, concert after noticing “something was really wrong” with their voice. And what turned out to be a vocal cord injury has since resulted in the cancellation of shows that had already been rescheduled in Birmingham, England, and Glasgow, Scotland.

After their fourth song during Manchester’s Gloria the Tour stop, the “Unholy” and “Stay With Me” singer abruptly canceled the show mid-performance, much to the disappointment of fans — whom Smith affectionately calls “sailors” — who took to Twitter and the musician’s Instagram comments section to air their grievances.

“I don’t know what to say honestly. I fought off a virus a few weeks ago and since then we have travelled across Europe and had such incredible shows,” the Grammy winner wrote Wednesday about the AO Arena show in an Instagram story. “Today in soundcheck I felt fine and was excited to give Manchester an amazing show tonight, with a special surprise at the end.”


But the planned surprise never manifested.

“I came off stage and have tried everything to get my voice back in gear but it won’t. I am honestly heartbroken I couldn’t finish the show for you all tonight. I love you all. I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry,” the 31-year-old performer wrote.

Sam Smith and Kim Petras’ racy performance of “Unholy” at the 2023 Brit Awards drew the majority of the complaints about the show to the UK’s Office of Communications.

Feb. 15, 2023

In a follow-up note Thursday, the “Dancing With a Stranger” singer’s team shared that refunds would be made available at point of purchase for the Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow shows.

“Doctors have advised due to a vocal cord injury, Sam must have complete vocal rest,” a spokesperson said in the Instagram story Smith posted.

“Sam is heartbroken to have had to cancel these shows but they have been told by doctors that if they keep singing, they will do permanent damage to their voice. If they take some rest they will be able to perform again.”

The singer-songwriter’s tour is scheduled to make stops at the Kia Forum in Inglewood on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1. Smith also is soon scheduled to debut a mystery collaboration with Madonna — who praised the fellow firebrand ahead of their controversial Grammy Awards performance with Kim Petras in February — that both artists teased on Instagram.