Appearing on Ellen, British crooner Sam Smith discussed why he felt that it was important to come out gay before the release of his debut album, In The Lonely Hour.

The 22-year-old Smith told host Ellen DeGeneres that he's been out since he was 4.

“It didn't feel like a coming out,” Smith said. “I came out like when I was 4 years old. My mum said she knew when I was like 3, so I didn't actually have to properly come out.”

“So you waited a year to tell her?” DeGeneres asked.

“Yeah, I waited a year,” Smith said with a laugh.

“I kind of felt like I just had to mention it before I released my record,” Smith added. “I wanted to do it before, because … if I did it afterwards, people would have probably thought I was lying just to sell records, which wasn't the case.”