Kim Petras makes history as 1st transgender woman to win Grammy for pop duo/group performance

Kim Petras says she just became the first openly transgender woman to win a Grammy for best pop duo/group performance at the 2023 awards on Feb. 5.

Petras won alongside Sam Smith for their song "Unholy." While the two collaborated on the song, Smith let Petras accept the award solo to honor the importance of the moment.

Petras explained the history-making moment to the crowd and received a standing ovation. Behind her, Smith motioned for the audience to get on their feet.

Kim Petras and Sam Smith accept the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance award for “Unholy” at CA. (Johnny Nunez / Getty Images)
Kim Petras and Sam Smith accept the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance award for “Unholy” at CA. (Johnny Nunez / Getty Images)

"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 said in her speech.


Petras cited the work of her friend Sophie, a hyperpop transgender musician who died in 2021. She also thanked Madonna for her role in fighting for LGBTQ+ rights.

"I don't think I could be here without Madonna," she added.

Petras then went on to thank her mother.

“I grew up next to a highway in nowhere, Germany," she said. "And my mother believed me that I was a girl. I wouldn’t be here without her and her support."

Petras will perform at the 2023 Grammys with Smith later in the evening. The pair arrived at the red carpet in bright red ensembles.

Hosted by comedian and former “Daily Show” host Trevor Noah, the 2023 Grammys are broadcast live from the Arena in Los Angeles at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. They are available to watch on CBS and various streaming platforms. Beyoncé leads the list of nominees with nine nominations, with stars like Harry Styles, Adele, Bad Bunny and more also up for awards. Performers include Styles, Lizzo, Bad Bunny and more. Follow for complete Grammys coverage, including this year’s winners, unexpected moments, and can’t-miss performances from the biggest names in music. 

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