Sam Smith Duets With Mary J. Blige on the Lovely “Stay With Me”

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
June 2 2014 2:06 PM

Sam Smith Duets With Mary J. Blige on the Lovely “Stay With Me”

sam smith and mary j. blige
Mary J. Blige and Sam Smith sound perfect together.

Image via ABC

Back in January, R&B queen Mary J. Blige unexpectedly joined forces with British electronic duo Disclosure for a great remix of their deep house track, “F For You.” Now, Blige has paired up with Disclosure’s “Latch” collaborator Sam Smith for a flawless new rendition of “Stay With Me,” a song off his debut album, In the Lonely Hour, out June 17. One of the album’s best tracks and biggest ballads, the original version showcases the soulful quality in Smith’s voice that we’ve raved about before, and adds a full gospel choir singing backup on the chorus.

Given that Blige has one of modern soul’s most refined voices, she’s a natural fit on this reworked version. It’s not a tremendous departure from the original—Smith’s performance sounds essentially the same—but her interpretation of its second verse and her expressive vocal runs throughout add a nice touch. And it doesn’t get much better than those elegant final notes that marry Smith and Blige’s voices for the the song’s closing line: “But darling, stay with me.”

Dee Lockett is Slate's editorial assistant for culture.

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