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Kim Petras Says She’s the First Trans Woman to Win Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: “This is a Huge Moment”

By Carly Thomas,


Kim Petras, who won the Grammy for best pop duo/group performance for “Unholy” with Sam Smith , said she is the first transgender woman to win the award.

Accepting the honor, she said, “Sam graciously wanted me to accept this award because I’m the first transgender woman to win this award.” As the audience cheered and applauded, with Smith standing by her side, Petras continued, “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.”

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The singer went on to thank seven-time Grammy winner Madonna, for “fighting for LGBTQ rights. … I don’t think I could be here without Madonna.”

In her acceptance speech for her first Grammy nom and win, Petras also thanked her late friend, who “told me this would happen and always believed in me,” as well as her mother, who “believed me that I was a girl, and I wouldn’t be here without her and her support.”

“Everyone who believed in me to this point, I love you so much,” Petras concluded. “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.”

Backstage, when asked about what’s going through her head following the Grammy win, Petras said, “All these years are going through my head of people saying I would be a niche artist because I’m transgender and my music would only ever play in gay clubs. What’s wrong with that? I love gay clubs. They raised me.”

She continued, “I got a Grammy for making gay club music with my friend, and that’s the best feeling in the world. Honestly, I just think that people need to judge less and I hope that there’s a future where gender and identity and all these labels don’t matter that much. Where people can just be themselves and not get judged so hard.”

Later in the show, Smith and Petras gave a captivating performance of the award-winning single. The “Stay With Me” singer came out in a red latex outfit, followed by Petras, also in red, singing in an enclosure.

Other contenders in the best pop duo/group performance category were ABBA for “Don’t Shut Me Down,” Camila Cabello Featuring Ed Sheeran for “Bam Bam,” Coldplay & BTS for “My Universe” and Post Malone & Doja Cat for “I Like You (A Happier Song).”

The 65th annual Grammy Awards , hosted by Trevor Noah, were held at the Arena in Los Angeles on Sunday. Find a full list of winners here .

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