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Kim Petras Makes History As First Trans Women to Win a Grammy for Best Pop Duo — And Her Speech Is Incredibly Powerful

LGBTQ history was made at the 2023 Grammy Awards. On Sunday, Kim Petras and Sam Smith accepted the award for Best Pop Duo/Group Collaboration for their song “Unholy,” making Petras the first-ever transgender woman to win a Grammy.

The artists walked onstage together, but Smith stood behind Petras and gave her the mic.”Sam graciously wanted me to accept this award because I’m the first transgender woman to win this award,” Petras said.

“I just want to thank all the incredible transgender legends before me who take these doors open for me so I couldn’t be here tonight,” she said, before referencing the late Grammy-nominated producer Sophie, who died in 2020.

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

Petras also thanked Madonna for “fighting for LGBTQ rights” before turning the speech to her mother, who she says supported her throughout her entire journey.

“I grew up next to a highway in Germany,” she said. “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.”

She ended the speech by turning back to Smith. “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 too. I love you guys so much. Sorry, I didn’t write down the names!”


Petras and Smith’s “Unholy” was nominated in the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance category, which included Camila Cabello and Ed Sheeran’s “Bam Bam,” Coldplay and BTS’ “My Universe,” Post Malone and Doja Cat’s “I Like You (A Happier Song).”

The win for “Unholy” marks Smith’s fifth Grammy after winning Record and Song of the Year for “Stay With Me” in 2015. That year, In the Lonely Hour won Best Pop Vocal Album and they were also named Best New Artist.

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