The "Señorita" singer was introducing Sam at the 2020 iHeartRadio Jingle Ball show on Thursday when he used the wrong pronouns, referring to Sam as "he" instead of "they."
During a March 2019 interview with body activist Jameela Jamil, Sam told the host, "I am not male or female. I think I float somewhere in between."
The Grammy winner talked about identifying as "non-binary/genderqueer" at the time and later shared their pronouns. Sam tweeted in September 2019, "I've decided I am changing my pronouns to THEY/THEM," adding, "after a lifetime of being at war with my gender I've decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out."
After Shawn misgendered Sam, he apologized on his Instagram Story on Friday, Dec. 11. The 22-year-old artist wrote, "Oh @samsmith I'm so sorry for refferring [sic] to you as a ‘he' for your jingle ball introduction."
He continued, "It absolutely slipped my mind. Wont happen again..Sending you so much love ! Also you absolutely are one of the funniest people I've ever met."
Sam graciously accepted the apology, writing on their Instagram Story, "We're all learning together" along with two hearts. The 28-year-old star added, "Happy holidays, all my love xx."
Fans had called out Shawn's mistake, pointing out that Sam's pronouns are in their social media bios. Others wondered if the pronoun error was scripted and questioned why the footage wasn't "edited" to correct it.
Their third album, Love Goes, debuted on Oct. 30. It was originally called To Die For, but during the "upsetting and unprecedented" pandemic, the musician decided to change the name, saying, "[I] feel that the title of my album and imminent release doesn't feel right."
When revealing the animated video for "The Lighthouse Keeper," Sam explained why it was so creatively fulfilling. "Me and @labrinth poured our hearts into this song and so I hope you all enjoy it as much as I enjoyed creating it," they wrote on Instagram.
As for Shawn, he recently released "The Christmas Song" with his girlfriend (and puppy co-parent) Camila Cabello for the holidays. Last month, he opened up about the first time he met the Fifth Harmony alum when he dropped his documentary In Wonder on Netflix.