Metro Weekly

6 LGBTQ Musicians Who Just Won Grammys

Many of the nominees identify as part of the LGBTQ community and several went on to win awards, including at least one of the major four.

Sam Smith & Kim Petras -- Photo via
Sam Smith & Kim Petras — Photo via

From historic moments to inclusive performances, and even the hours-long worship of Beyoncé, the 2023 Grammys had an especially strong LGBTQ presence, and it was a show that celebrated diversity.

Many of the nominees identify as part of the LGBTQ community and several went on to win awards, including at least one of the major four.

Some were first-time champions, while others added to their already impressive collections.

Here’s a look at six of the LGBTQ winners at the 2023 Grammys.

Kim Petras

Kim Petras made history as she won her first Grammy with her first nomination as she and Sam Smith were awarded Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for their hit song “Unholy.”

Petras became the first openly transgender musician to win in this particular category, and one of only a few to win any Grammy. During her acceptance speech, she recognized this fact, saying, “Sam generously allowed me to accept this award as I am the first transgender woman to win in this category.” The audience rose to their feet in applause and Petras was clearly emotional.

Sam Smith

Sam Smith walked up to the stage with Petras to accept the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance Grammy, but let Petras do the talking. Smith, who is now a five-time Grammy winner, is the first openly nonbinary musician to win in this category and one of a very small number who identify as such to be champions.

Smith has previously had the opportunity to accept awards – they’ve collected Best New Artist as well as Song and Record of the Year – and they wanted to give Petras the chance to shine.

Emerson Mancini

The highly competitive Grammy for Record of the Year was awarded to Lizzo for her chart-topping hit “About Damn Time.”

Lizzo was joined in the win by her producers, engineers, and mixers, including Emerson Mancini, a trans man. He won Album of the Year at the previous ceremony for his work on Jon Batiste’s We Are, though he did so before he publicly acknowledged that he’s trans.

He has now won two of the four biggest awards in music in consecutive ceremonies, and he may very well be the first openly transgender Record of the Year champion.

Steve Lacy

At the 2023 Grammys, Steve Lacy received his first major category nominations and finally emerged as a winner.

The bisexual R&B artist won Best Progressive R&B Album for his highly praised release Gemini Rights. This came after the great success of his single “Bad Habit,” for which he was also nominated for Song and Record of the Year, though those prizes went to Bonnie Raitt and Lizzo, respectively.

Brandi Carlile

Brandi Carlile entered the 2023 Grammys with numerous prior awards and left as one of the big winners of the night. The singer-songwriter took home three of the seven awards she was nominated for, upping her career total to nine wins. Carlile was introduced on stage by her wife and children, making the night even more special for the star.

Wet Leg

Rocking newcomers Wet Leg were nominated for three Grammys on their first trip to the show and ended up winning two of them. The band dominated the alternative categories, taking home the awards for Best Alternative Music Album and the inaugural Best Alternative Music Performance.

Although they were also nominated for Best New Artist, that award went to jazz artist Samara Joy in a surprising outcome. The band includes at least one queer member.

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