Pop singer Charli XCX, whose hits include “Boom Clap” and “I Love It”, has taken to her social media to defend her new collaboration with Sam Smith. The “In The City” track, which features Grammy winner Sam Smith, will be released this Thursday as Charli XCX’s new single for her upcoming album.
However, fans of the “Speed Drive” star were left displeased with the decision to include Smith on the record. In a TikTok that was posted a few days ago by XCX, which confirmed the duo’s collaboration, many expressed that the “Unholy” singer should not be featured in the song. One user wrote: “Charli I want the version just yours”, whilst another person commented: “In The City ft Charli XCX and Charli XCX only please.”
@charlixcx this one is really cute and fun and i’m so lucky to have @Sam Smith ♬ In The City – Charli XCX & Sam Smith
Despite the negativity, XCX has hit back against those who were unimpressed with the choice to include Smith. The 35-year-old musician has now defended Smith in a new TikTok post. She said: “I’m about to release a song with Sam Smith and the experience so far has been really interesting because never in my life have, I seen somebody receive so many hateful comments. It’s been really disheartening, but at the same time I’m so proud of Sam’s ability to withstand that – because I know I certainly couldn’t.”
The star continued: “So I just want to say Sam, I love you. I love our song together and I’m in awe of your strength.”
The sweet message to Smith, who featured in XCX’s “Speed Drive” video in the summer, led to an array of fans to also leave kind words. One person wrote: “I love Sam Smith more than I can express. Their existence and persistence in this world is a guiding light for my own”. Meanwhile another person said: “The hate is so unnecessary, so excited for this new track from you guys!”
Listen to “Speed Drive.”
“In The City” will mark the first collaboration between the two artists. Smith, who released his fourth studio album Gloria earlier this year, has been at the centere of public scrutiny over the past year. This has come because of a change in Smith’s evolution as an artist and performer. At the 2023 Brit Awards, the star received backlash over his performance of his smash hit “Unholy”, which featured singer Kim Petras. The performance, which received over 100 Ofcom complaints, faced a similar reception when the duo performed at the Grammys a week prior. The Grammy performance has led to many conservative US politicians branding the two as “satanic” and “evil”.
Watch the “Unholy” performance at the Grammys.
However, this outrage did not affect the song’s commercial success. The track has gone on to receive multiple Platinum certifications across the world and was certified Diamond in France.