Albert R. Broccoli’s EON Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, and Sony Pictures Entertainment made the announcement early on Tuesday morning, one day after Smith himself teased the possibility by posting a black-and-white photograph of a ring emblazoned with the Spectre logo to his social media accounts.
“This is one of the highlights of my career. I am honored to finally announce that I will be singing the next Bond theme song,” Smith, who co-wrote the song with Jimmy Napes, said in a statement. “I am so excited to be a part of this iconic British legacy and join an incredible line up of some of my biggest musical inspirations. I hope you all enjoy the song as much as I enjoyed making it.”
Smith played coy about his involvement with the 007 franchise for most of 2015. Back in July, Smith said he heard Ellie Goulding was going to sing the song. (Both Goulding and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke were among the favorites, along with Smith himself, to snag the job.) As recently as last week, Smith told a British radio station that he was “definitely not” the artist behind the Spectre theme.
As noted in the press release announcing Smith’s official involvement, the 23-year-old is the first British male solo artist to sing the Bond theme since 1965, when Tom Jones performed the task for Thunderball. (Chris Cornell sang the title track to 2006’s Casino Royale, making him the most recent male solo artist to tackle the gig.)
“Sam and Jimmy have written the most inspirational song for Spectre and with Sam’s extraordinary vocal performance, 'Writing’s On The Wall’ will surely be considered one of the greatest Bond songs of all time,” Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said in a statement.
The last Bond theme, of course, was performed by Adele. Her Skyfall, from the film of the same name, is considered one of the high-water marks for the series, and scored multiple awards, including trophies from the Oscars, Grammys, and Golden Globes.
Smith’s “Writing’s on the Wall” will debut for purchase and streaming on Sept. 25 via Capitol Records. Spectre is out in U.S. theaters on Nov. 6.