Harlem’s Apollo Theater is maybe the most famously intimidating venue on the face of the earth, and even if a visiting foreign next-big-thing doesn’t have to worry about the Sandman’s hook coming to get him, it sure helps if he’s got some New York royalty on his side. Last night, Sam Smith played the Apollo. And during the show, he brought out New York native and straight-up soul music legend Mary J. Blige, who joined him for the duet version of his single “Stay With Me.” Blige absolutely sang Smith off the stage, but she did it with kindness, and the hug that the two shared at the end of the song is the sort of thing that might make you feel all emotional on a Wednesday morning. Watch a fan-made video of the performance below; the scream that greeted Blige’s entrance is a heartening thing.
Smith’s new album In The Lonely Hour is out now on Capitol.