Making 2023 Grammys history as a trans woman, Kim Petras celebrates her big win

Christi Carras, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

LOS ANGELES — Kim Petras made history on Sunday as the first transgender woman to win the Grammy Award for pop duo/group performance.

The singer shared the prize with Sam Smith for their smash-hit collaboration, “Unholy.” During her speech, Petras spoke about the importance of the groundbreaking moment and paid tribute to her late friend, Sophie, a Scottish-born music producer who was a trailblazer for the trans community.

Sophie, whose full name was Sophie Xeon, fell from the balcony of an Athens apartment in Greece before she died in January 2021.

“I just want to thank all the incredible transgender legends before me who’ve kicked these doors open for me so I could be here tonight — Sophie, especially,” Petras said.

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

Petras also gave shout-outs to Madonna “for fighting for LGBTQ rights” and to her mother, “who believed me that I was a girl” when she was growing up “in nowhere, Germany.” The vocalist received a standing ovation from the crowd.

“This is a huge moment for me,” she continued. “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. I love you.”

After Petras delivered her moving speech, Twitter was abuzz with commentary praising the boundary-pushing artist.


“goosebumps and tears after that kim petras speech,” tweeted Rolling Stone and former Los Angeles Times reporter Tomás Mier. “that’s historic.”

“That beautiful speech from Kim Petras is going to save lives,” tweeted Variety reporter Elizabeth Wagmeister. “And the look on Sam Smith’s face of genuine happiness and support is what it’s all about.”

“I love that kim petras made her speech not only about herself and shouted the dolls that have inspired her that came before her,” tweeted @NATERERUN.

“kim petras thanking sophie in her speech and getting a standing ovation was so necessary & well deserved,” tweeted @gagasyuyi.

“So f— proud of you @kimpetras and everything you do for pop music and the community!” tweeted @itstetrisbish. “What a beautiful speech. Been here from the start and your journey is so inspiring. We ain’t going no where, I t’s only up from here!! WOO-AHH!!!”


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