Grammys Nominate 'Darkchild Version' of Sam Smith's 'Stay With Me': Here's the Difference

Sam Smith
Austin Hargrave

If you woke up early on Friday to catch Pharrell and Ed Sheeran announce the first four categories of the 57th annual Grammys, you might've furrowed your brows when they announced the Record of the Year nominations. Sam Smith's "Stay With Me" got a deserving nod, but not in its debut format. The Grammys specficially nominated the "Darkchild Version" of "Stay With Me." Not sure what that means? We're here to explain.

See All Grammys Coverage Here!

Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins -- who has produced absolutely everyone, from Beyonce to Michael Jackson to Britney Spears -- released a different mix of Smith's "Stay With Me" on the digital EP for Smith's biggest hit to date.

On first listen, it doesn't sound too different. But after a while you notice that the strings on the album version have been replaced with a soft, minimal church organ, emphasizing the gospel elements of the track. The mix also spotlights Smith's soulful in-studio backing band, making the song sound more like a single performance than the result of studio engineering. The result is a track that's slightly more mellow and organic -- and arguably, better. We're thinking the Grammys did well to single out this version. 

You can download the Darkchild Version here and check out the full 2015 Grammy nominees here. 

Here are the full nominees for Record of the Year:

"Fancy," Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX

"Chandelier," Sia

"Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)," Sam Smith

"Shake It Off," Taylor Swift

"All About That Bass," Meghan Trainor