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Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful” has received an orchestral update from Sam Smith, who opted to cover the classic “acceptance anthem” for Amazon Music’ 2023 pride package. The singer’s take on the timeless record, written by Linda Perry and released by Aguilera in 2002, begins with their voice and a singular guitar before building into a masterful mesh of strings and soaring vocals.
“I’ve been such a massive fan of Christina’s for as long as I can remember and will never forget the first time I heard ‘Beautiful’ and how personally it spoke to me,” Smith shared in a statement. “The song is a true acceptance anthem and continues to inspire me with its important message to never stop celebrating who you are. I’m honored to have the opportunity to offer my rendition.”
Aguilera’s longstanding allegiance to the queer community has garnered her a headlining slot at the 2023 Stonewall Day Celebration on June 23. “I’m ready to celebrate,” she shared when the lineup for the New York-based event was announced. “This community has supported me so much throughout my career, and I look forward to representing such a historic cause as we all continue to fight for LGBTQ+ rights.”
Smith’s fandom with Aguilera dates back years. In 2018, when the singer announced her album Liberation, Smith shared their love for her on Instagram, writing: “Stripped came out when I was 10 years old. That album changed my life. From that day on, I have loved your music and always will love your music.”
Next week, on June 9, Smith will team up with another pop icon as they join Madonna on the forthcoming single “Vulgar.”