UPDATED: Minutes before Sam Smith was due to take the stage at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena for his set at the iHeartRadio Music Festival, an announcement was heard from the stage. “Due to unforeseen circumstances which transpired after his rehearsal, it became clear that Sam Smith would unfortunately not be able to perform tonight,” said Ryan Seacrest. “We love Sam. Sam has been part of our iHeart family for many, many years and we look forward to seeing him really soon.”
Smith was scheduled to perform a 25-minute set starting at 8:05 p.m.
Later, a rep for Smith echoed Seacrest’s remarks in a statement to Variety and added, “Sam is extremely sorry he is unable to perform at tonight’s show and wants to apologize to his fans.” The rep for the Oscar- and Grammy-winner would not elaborate on the cause of the cancelation. Smith himself tweeted shortly after 9 p.m. local time.
But according to multiple sources, the nature of the emergency was that Smith inexplicably lost his voice. The British singer had been complaining that his throat was hurting, and given that the performance was airing live across the iHeartRadio network, the decision was made to cancel. In Smith’s place, Childish Gambino went on earlier than his 8:35 p.m. scheduled start, though the show itself seems to be running about 45 minutes behind.
At approximately 10 p.m., Smith left the venue for a chartered flight to Boston. Worth noting: Boston is where Massachusetts General Hospital’s Dr. Steven Zeiltels, an expert in the field of vocal cord and node damage, is based out of. He has performed surgery on the likes of Adele, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Julie Andrews.
On Saturday afternoon, Smith tweeted a photo of himself sitting in doctor’s office, looking relieved, with a message apologizing for missing the performance but “everything is luckily ok but I need to rest [his voice] in preparation for the start of Asia tour,” which launches in Singapore on Oct. 2.