On Thursday (June 1), Smith unveiled their cover of Christina Aguilera‘s 2002 anthem “Beautiful” exclusively on Amazon Music. Stripped down to focus on Smith’s sonorous vocal and a single guitar, the cover slowly grows, adding in strings and eventually a chorus of backing vocals to accentuate the powerful message at the song’s core: “We are beautiful no matter what they say/ Words won’t bring us down,” Smith belts on the final chorus.
In a statement released with the track, Smith praised Aguilera’s original performance and commented on the song’s heartfelt meaning. “I’ve been such a massive fan of Christina’s for as long as I can remember and will never forget the first time I heard ‘Beautiful’ and how personally it spoke to me,” they said. “The song is a true acceptance anthem and continues to inspire me with its important message to never stop celebrating who you are. I’m honored to have the opportunity to offer my rendition.”
It’s a fitting song for Smith to cover at the outset of Pride Month — Aguilera’s track, written by pop auteur Linda Perry, has long been considered a queer anthem. The music video for the song featured queer and trans people, which led to Aguilera winning a GLAAD Media Award in 2003 for promoting visibility for the LGBTQ community through her music.
The new cover is just one piece of Amazon Music’s latest Pride Month campaign. The streaming service also announced “Pride Hits Radio in DJ Mode,” hosted by Drag Race alum Mo Heart, which is set to feature “the most iconic Pride anthems interspersed with commentary from Mo Heart and interviews with LGBTQ+ artists including Sam Smith, Tove Lo and Big Freedia,” according to a press release.
Smith, meanwhile, has plenty to celebrate. Along with continuing their expansive world tour in support of their latest album, Gloria, the pop singer just announced their new single with Madonna titled “Vulgar,” which is due out on Friday, June 9.
Check out Smith’s new cover of “Beautiful” on Amazon Music below: