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Kim Petras Makes Transgender History With Grammy Win

Kim Petras Makes Transgender History With Grammy Win

Kim Petras at the microphone accepting her Grammy with Sam Smith behind her supporting her.
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

She won the award with Sam Smith for their song "Unholy."


Pop star Kim Petras made trans history Sunday night with her Grammy win with Sam Smith for their song "Unholy."

The two won the award for best pop duo or group performance. Petras is the first trans woman to win the award.

Smith, who is nonbinary, won their first Grammy in 2015. They've won four Grammys so far.

In October, Sam Smith and Kim Petras' hit song reached the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. As reported by Billboard, Smith and Petras are "the first publicly nonbinary and transgender soloists, respectively, to top the Hot 100."

After the two were announced as winners at Sunday's ceremony, Petras gave a speech thanking trans women in music who paved the way for her win as well as for Smith's support.

“I just wanted to thank all the incredible transgender legends before me who kicked these doors open for me so I could be here tonight,” Petras said.

The singer also honored the late Grammy-nominated producer SOPHIE who died in 2021.

“SOPHIE, especially. My friend who passed away two years ago, who told me this would happen and always believed in me. Thank you so much for your inspiration, SOPHIE. I adore you and your inspiration will forever be in my music.”

She gave a shout out to LGBTQ+ icon Madonna. “I don’t think I could be here without Madonna,” Petras said, referring to the pop legend's outspoken activism for queer rights and art.

Petras took the win to thank her mother for supporting her through her career.

“I grew up next to a highway in nowhere Germany, and my mother believed me that I was a girl and I wouldn’t be here without her and her support and everyone who believed in me to this point.”

SAM SMITH & KIM PETRAS Win Best Pop Duo / Group Performance For 'Unholy' | 2023

Producer and creative DJ Honey Dijon, who is also a trans woman, is nominated this year for a Grammy for Beyoncé’s celebrated album Renaissance.

Watch the music video for the award-winning "Unholy" below.

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