Kim Petras and Sam Smith made history at the Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 5, winning the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance trophy for their hit single “Unholy.” Petras became the first transgender woman to win the award, while Smith became the first openly nonbinary musician to do so.
“Sam graciously wanted me to accept this award because I am the first transgender woman to win this award,” Petras began her speech, already emotional.
The comment resulted in a standing ovation from the audience, with many of the biggest superstars in the music industry rising to their feet, which clearly meant a lot to the singer herself.
“I just want to thank all the incredible transgender legends before me who kicked these doors open for me so I could be here tonight,” Petras continued after the applause died down.
She then went on to single out electronic producer Sophie, who passed away suddenly a few years ago. Sophie was one of the first transgender artists to be nominated for a Grammy.
Petras also thanked Madonna for her advocacy for the LGBTQ community throughout the decades, saying, “I don’t think I could be here without Madonna.”
She wrapped up her historic speech by paying tribute to her mother.
“My mother believed that I was a girl, and I wouldn’t be here without her and her support.” She ended on a thankful note, adding, “Everyone who believed in me to this point, I love you so much. The Recording Academy, thank you, this is a huge moment for me. Sam, you are a true angel and hero in my life and I love you. Everyone who made this song, too, I love you.”
While Petras became a first-time Grammy winner, Smith added to their trophy shelf, though this one might mean something more than the rest.
In 2015, the then-new singer collected four of the half-dozen trophies they were nominated for, including Best New Artist and both Record and Song of the Year for “Stay With Me.”
Despite their ongoing popularity, Smith has now been nominated since, so “Unholy” not only brought them back to the show, but marks their first win since announcing they identify as nonbinary.
Petras’ Madonna callout came full circle a short while later when the pop superstar showed up to introduce Smith and Petras.
She connected herself to the pair, insinuating that they had all been called names like “controversial” and “dangerous,” but insisting that only means they’re on to something.
The newly-minted winners performed a Satanic rendition of “Unholy,” complete with matching red outfits, demonic-looking dancers, and plenty of flames.
To win the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance Grammy, Smith and Petras beat out a number of other worthy contenders.
They were up against ABBA’s “Don’t Shut Me Down,” Camila Cabello and Ed Sheeran’s “Bam Bam,” Coldplay and BTS’ “My Universe,” and Post Malone and Doja Cat’s “I Like You (A Happier Song).”
These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!