Sam Smith is shutting down his Twitter account "for a while", a day after he was forced to defend his Academy Awards speech.

The British singer, who struck gold for his Spectre theme tune, Writing's on the Wall, took to the social media site on Tuesday to tell fans he was going offline but insisted his absence wouldn't be permanent.

His announcement comes a day after he responded to critics who had blasted him for falsely assuming he was the first openly gay man to win an Oscar at Monday's (AEDT) ceremony.

During his acceptance speech for Best Original Song, Smith dedicated his win to the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community and paraphrased an article written by British actor Ian McKellen, who noted that no openly gay man has ever won an Oscar.


The veteran was only referring to the main acting categories, a distinction which appeared to have been lost on Sam.

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His comments evoked anger from openly gay writer-director Dustin Lance Black, who won an Oscar for Milk in 2009, and tweeted Smith to correct him.

"THE POINT: knowing our LGBTQ history is important," he wrote. "We stand on the shoulders of countless brave men and women who paved the way for us."

Following the backlash, Smith tweeted to explain his comments."So hungover. genuinely feels like a dream," he began, before adding: "Second openly gay man to win an oscar or third or fourth or 100th, It wasn't my point ... My point was to shine some light on the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community who i love so dearly."