Kim Petras’ historic win at Sunday’s Grammy Awards is truly something sacred.
The German-born pop singer, who made a splash on Sam Smith’s electropop hit “Unholy,” made Grammy history when she won Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 65th Grammy Awards, becoming the one who is believed to be the first transgender woman to win music’s top honor.
“Sam graciously wanted me to accept this award because I’m the first transgender woman to win,” Petras said during her acceptance speech. “Sam, you are a true angel and hero in my life. I love you.”
Petras further opened up about her friendship with Smith backstage at the awards ceremony.
“Sam has been a special friend and supporter of mine,” Petras said. “It’s special to share this with someone who has given me such important advice in my life, confronting people’s opinions. I feel like I’ve learned so much. Sam will never get rid of me and we will sing the song for eternity.”
In addition to Smith, Petras also took a moment on stage to thank some of her musical heroes, including Madonna (“I don’t think I could be here without Madonna”) and the late Sophie, a transelectronica producer and DJ who died in 2021.
“Thank you so much for your inspiration, Sophie,” Petras said. “I adore you and your inspiration will forever be in my music.”
Grammys 2023 live: Sam Smith and Kim Petras win “Unholy” as Beyoncé equals the record
‘It was such a trip’: Viola Davis joins EGOT club with first Grammy win
Petras also thanked her mother for the pivotal role she has played in her personal journey.
“I grew up next to a highway in nowhere in Germany and my mother believed I was a girl,” Petras said. “And I wouldn’t be here without her and her support.”
The “brrr” singer reflected on the meaning of her win backstage.
“All these years went through my mind saying I was going to be a niche artist and my music was only going to be played in gay clubs,” Petras said. “I hope the kids who saw it, who feel like they don’t belong and have no place in society, feel inspired that you can be yourself and be rewarded for your talent rather than your gender or your sexuality”.
Petras’ “Unholy” collaborator Smith, who identifies as non-binary, recently caused a stir with their other song “I’m Not Here to Make Friends.” A music video for the song features scantily clad dancers twirling on beds and under streams. The video sparked strong reactions on Twitter, where users attacked and defended the singer.
Divisive or double standard? Sam Smith’s Raunchy Music Video Controversy Explained
This article originally appeared in USA TODAY: Kim Petras Makes History at 2023 Grammys with Sam Smith Collaboration Win