Sam Smith has opened up about his battle with crippling anxiety, which has left him terrified of going on stage.
The singer is currently travelling across the UK with his The Thrill Of It All Tour, but has given up alcohol in a bid to improve his mental health.
“I get massive anxiety. I really struggle. I was so nervous at the Grammys this year,” Sam told The Sun in a new interview.
“I thought I would be more in control of my body and emotions but I get so nervous, to the point I’m almost having panic attacks.
“Sometimes I need people who I love around me to tell me, ‘Pull yourself together, you’re being a drama queen – it’s too much now, Sam, so rein it in.'”
He added: “My anxiety levels and mental health went through a shaky period at Christmas,” he explained. “But I’ve started meditating now, I am not drinking, I am trying to look after my mental health.
“Mental health issues are coming to the fore because people are starting to talk about it. So many people go through stuff. For me, my music has been my therapy.”
Speaking about his relationship with alcohol, Sam revealed that he feels more focussed when he’s not drinking.
“I was going out drinking way too much. Of course, you want to celebrate that these amazing things have happened but you can’t celebrate all the time,” he said.
“I’ve been completely off the booze for three weeks now. I never want to make promises but being sober is something I’m interested in. When I don’t drink and I’m not smoking cigarettes, when I’m completely clean, I feel so focused and happy.”
Meanwhile, Sam Smith unveiled a brand new version of his track Pray, featuring American rapper Logic.
“I am so excited for you to hear this new version of one of my favourite tracks on the album,” said Sam. “It was an absolute pleasure to collaborate with Logic to create this.”
Pray is the third single from the Grammy-winning artist’s sophomore studio album, The Thrill of It All, after the massive number one single, Too Good At Goodbyes and One Last Song.