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

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.


Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.


Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.