Kim Petras made history during Sunday evening’s (Feb. 5) Grammy Awards, when Petras and Sam Smith‘s “Unholy” won the golden gramophone for best pop duo/group performance.
In winning the award, Petras became the first transgender woman to win the best pop duo/group performance honor at the Grammys. Both artists wore bold, commanding red outfits as they took the stage to accept the award, with Petras stepping forward to give the acceptance speech.
“Oh my gosh, thank you so much,” Petras began her emotional acceptance speech. “This has been such an incredible, incredible journey for me … Sam graciously wanted me to accept this award because I am the first transgender woman to win this award. 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 paid special honor to the late electronic and experimental artist Sophie, who died in January 2021 at age 34.
“Sophie, especially, a friend who passed away two years ago, who told me this would happen and always believed in me. I adore you and your inspiration will forever be in my music,” Petras said before also paying tribute to music legend Madonna for her longstanding advocacy for LGBTQ+ rights.
“I don’t think I could be here without Madonna,” Petras added.
The singer also thanked her mom. “I grew up next to a highway … and my mother believed that I was a girl, and I wouldn’t be here without her and her support,” she said, drawing applause and cheers from the crowd. “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.”
“Unholy” topped the Billboard Hot 100 in October 2022, spent four weeks atop the Global 200 chart and six weeks atop the Pop Airplay chart.