Kim Petras and Sam Smith ’s chart-topping collaboration “Unholy” won the Grammy for best pop duo/group performance. Smith sat back while Petras accepted the award, giving her the spotlight as the first transgender woman to win in the category.
Petras announced, “Sam graciously wanted me to accept this award because I’m the first transgender woman to win this award.” Her proclamation was met with an uproar of applause and a standing ovation from stars including Anitta and Taylor Swift.
The “Unholy” singer continued, “I just want to thank all the incredible transgender legends before me who kicked these doors open before me so I could be here tonight.”
As Smith applauded his collaborator for her historic win, Petras thanked trailblazers who paved the way for her in the music industry. “Sophie, 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. Madonna for fighting for LGBT rights. So much. I don’t think I could be here without Madonna.”
In addition to thanking musicians, Petras thanked her mother for her support throughout her journey as a transgender woman and an aspiring musician, “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, I love you so much. The recording academy, thank you. This is a huge moment for me. Sam, thank you, you’re a true angel and hero in my life. And I love you. And everyone who made the song, I love you guys so much,” graciously concluded Petras.
Petras follows Wendy Carlos as the second-ever transgender woman to win a Grammy, following Carlos’ three wins in 1969. Petras and Smith also made queer history after becoming the first queer collaborators to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for their hit, “Unholy.”
Ahead of their Grammy performance, Smith and Petras surprised audiences during Smith’s appearance on “ Saturday Night Live ,” when Petras revealed herself underneath Smith’s dress.
Also nominated in the category: ABBA for “Don’t Shut Me Down,” Camila Cabello and Ed Sheeran for “Bam Bam,” Coldplay and BTS for “My Universe” and Post Malone and Doja Cat for “I Like You (A Happier Song).” More from Variety Best of Variety
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