The sacred ground was broken with Kim Petras’s monumental Grammy win on Sunday.
The German-born pop singer made a name for herself as a featured artist on Sam Smith’s electropop smash “Unholy.” At the 65th annual Grammy Awards, she won the award for best pop duo/group performance, making history as the first transgender woman to do so.
During her acceptance speech, Petras said, “Sam graciously wanted me to accept this award because I’m the first transgender woman to win.” Sam, you have been a saviour and a hero to me. I adore you.
Backstage at the awards show, Petras continued her gushing about her friendship with Smith.
Petras remarked, “Sam is a special friend of mine and has always been there for me.” It means a lot to me to share this with someone who has given me invaluable guidance on how to handle the judgements of others. I feel like I’ve expanded my knowledge. Sam will never be able to get rid of me, and forever and ever, we will sing.
In addition to Smith, Petras took time during her performance to honour some of her other musical influences. These included Madonna (“I don’t think I could be here without Madonna”) and Sophie, a trans electronic producer and DJ who passed away in 2021.
Petras thanked Sophie for the motivation she had provided. “You will always be a part of my music because of how much I love you,” I sang.
Petras acknowledged her mother’s influence throughout her life and expressed gratitude for it.
I was raised by a highway in the middle of Germany by a mother who thought I was a girl, as Petras put it. I couldn’t be where I am today without her encouragement and help.
In the dressing room after her victory, the “brrr” singer pondered its meaning.
As Petras put it, “all these years of people saying I would be a niche artist and my music would only be played in gay clubs” kept running through his head. I want young people to see this and realise they can be themselves without fear of discrimination based on their gender or sexual orientation.
Smith, who identifies as nonbinary and collaborated with Petras on “Unholy,” has recently made waves with their song “I’m Not Here to Make Friends.”
The song’s accompanying music video features clad dancers twerking on beds and in waterfalls. Users on Twitter have both criticised the singer and defended her after seeing the video.