Sam Smith delivered a jolt of energy during his performance at the 2020 MTV Europe Music Awards on Sunday (Nov. 8).
The British pop singer shined with his new single, “Diamonds,” off their third studio album Love Goes. The performance kicked off with Smith grooving along on the stage, the red curtains still down, as the music begins. As the curtains open, the camera reveals that the crooner is in an empty theater — something viewers are used to seeing during awards shows as the global coronavirus pandemic continues.
As the musician sings, they walk to the back of the stage, where a screen lifts to reveal another that flashes with lightning on a blood-red background. “My diamonds leave with you/ You’re never gonna hear my heart break/ Never gonna move in dark ways/ Baby, you’re so cruel,” they croon.
At the end of the set, the screen behind the performer goes white and features the message, “Don’t f–k with the queer kids.” (Smith announced in 2019 that they identify as non-binary and genderqueer, and publicly changed their pronouns to non-gender conforming ones in March that year. “After a lifetime of being at war with my gender I’ve decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out,” they wrote on Instagram at the time.)
Smith was nominated alongside Demi Lovato for best collaboration for their song “I’m Ready,” but lost to Karol G. and Nicki Minaj’s “Tusa.”
The 2020 MTV EMAs air globally at 7 p.m. ET.
Watch Sam Smith’s performance of “Diamonds” at the EMAs below: