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.

TODAY IN SLATE

Culturebox

The Ebola Story

How our minds build narratives out of disaster.

The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics

A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers

Education

Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.

Culturebox

The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Would You Trust Walmart to Provide Your Health Care? (You Should.)

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
  Business
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
  Life
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 22 2014 5:54 PM May I Offer to Sharpen My Friends’ Knives? Or would that be rude?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
  Arts
Culturebox
Oct. 22 2014 11:54 PM The Actual World “Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.