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Sam Smith took home their very first GLAAD Award during this year’s award ceremony.
The 28-year-old singer snagged the award for the Outstanding Music Artist category. Due to the ongoing pandemic, Smith accepted their award virtually.
“I watch these awards show every year, and it really means a lot to me to be getting this so thank you very much,” they said.
“Music has remained this constant force of unity throughout the world for people. And looking at this category tonight, of all these albums, these are the albums that got me and got all of us through this year.
“So I just wanted to raise a cup of tea – having a tea party- for everyone in this category. I really hope that we can all be together and I can go to a GLAAD Awards someday and meet everyone.”
Before introducing Smith as the winner, popstar and presenter, Katy Perry, thanked the nominees for bringing “hope, happiness, resilience and even just plain old escapism” to music fans around the world.
“Music helped us get through so this very difficult time when not much else did,” she said.
The Too Good at Goodbyes singer was up against Halsey, Kehlani, Miley Cyrus, Pabllo Vittar, Adam Lambert, Brandy Clark, and Ricky Martin for the prestigious award.
The 32nd annual award show, which was hosted by Niecy Nash, featured huge wins for Schitt’s Creek, Happiest Season, The Boys in the Band and the critically acclaimed documentary Disclosure.
Actress and LGBTQ+ activist, Laverne Cox, gave a heartfelt speech to trans youth while accepting the award for Disclosure, stating: “To the trans youth watching right now, we want you to know that you’re anointed, that despite all of the attacks that might be happening against you, you are divine.”
She continued: “You deserve to be. You are here for a reason. You must survive to fulfil that divine purpose.”
The ceremony also featured an emotional tribute to the late Naya Rivera and her character Santana Lopez.
The tribute honoured the 10-year anniversary of Santana’s groundbreaking coming out storyline. It also highlighted the positive impact that her iconic character had on LGBTQ+ teens and the Latinx community.
Demi Lovato, who played Santana’s love interest in season five, introduced the cast and their tribute with an emotional speech.
“I don’t have to tell you, this year was a tough, tough year. A particular moment of heartbreak stands out to me, losing my friend Naya Rivera,” she said.
“I will always cherish the chance I got to play Naya’s girlfriend Danni on Glee. The character Naya played was groundbreaking for closeted queer girls like I was at the time.
“And her ambition and accomplishments inspired Latino women all over the world.”
Chris Colfer, Amber Riley, Heather Morris, Kevin McHale, Jenna Ushkowitz, Becca Tobin, Harry Shum Jr. Alex Newell, Matthew Morrison, Jane Lynch, Darren Criss, Vanessa Lengies, and Jacob Artist made virtual appearances to honour their beloved friend and castmate.
Check out the GLAAD award speeches and Glee tribute below.