Chelsea Lauren/WireImage
January 29, 2015 05:00 PM

British artist Sam Smith is sitting on six Grammy nominations and receiving praise from the likes of pop star fans including Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga.

But despite all the success so soon, Smith, 22, says his journey “wasn’t the easiest.”

The “Stay With Me” singer spoke to Rolling Stone for its latest cover story, and shared stories about high school heartbreak, his willingness to lose a Grammy to a certain female superstar and the strict diet regimen he’s on to slim down before the Grammys:

During his childhood, Smith was happy “80 percent of the time”
As a teenager, he was bullied in front of his dad: He detailed an incident where someone drove by and yelled a gay slur at him while he was with his father.

“I was just embarrassed that my dad had to see that, because I could only imagine how you feel as a parent. You just want to kill them,” he said.

But he also remembers moments of kindness, like when a crush of his – who ended up being straight – looked out for him.

“He looked out for me for the rest of school,” he told the magazine. “He just made sure that if anyone took the piss out of me, he would stick up for me. He could have made it hell for me, you know?”

Sam Smith on the cover of Rolling Stone
Theo Wenner/Rolling Stone

He will gladly give up a Grammy to Beyoncé
Smith is happy to watch the Drunk in Love artist take the podium on Feb. 8 for album of the year.

“She deserves it way more than I do,” he told Rolling Stone. “I’d be embarrassed if I got it over her. If I got it, I’d give it to her.”

He’s also a big fan another Grammy Award-winning artist – fellow British singer Adele. And while he know comparisons between them abound, he insists, “we’re very different.”.

He continued, “I feel like the constant comparisons might piss her off.”

He still has insecure moments about his body
Smith told the magazine he’s on a strict cayenne-pepper juice regimen as the Grammys approach.

“Sometimes I’m really proud that I don’t look like other pop stars,” he said. “But there’s also moments where I’m like, ‘Ugh, I wish I had abs like Bieber.’ “

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