2023 Grammys: You’ll Be Lucky, Lucky to See Sam Smith and Kim Petras’ "Unholy" Performance

Kim Petras and Sam Smith did not disappoint with their epic performance of “Unholy” at the 2023 Grammys. Learn what Kim had to say to "all the incredible transgender legends" during the ceremony.

By Kelly Gilmore Feb 06, 2023 3:14 AMTags
Watch: Grammys 2023 Top Nominees: Beyonce, Adele & Harry Styles

We are latching on to this onstage moment.

Sam Smith and Kim Petras made a lasting mark on the 2023 Grammys with their Feb. 5 performance of "Unholy." During the show, Sam donned a red, patent-leather-textured ensemble, while Kim rocked a red, mini dress paired with matching boots and gloves.

The performance had no shortage of iconic elements from flames, to dramatic red lighting and incredible vocals.

While the pair took the stage to perform their hit track, they also graced the stage earlier in the evening to accept the Grammy award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance—a historic win, as Kim is the first openly transgender woman to take home the Grammy in that category.

"Sam graciously wanted me to accept this award because I'm the first transgender woman to win this award," she began her acceptance speech. "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."

Flashback: 2003 Grammys

Others nominated in the category included ABBA for "Don't Shut Me Down;" Camilla Cabello and Ed Sheeran for "Bam Bam;" Coldplay and BTS for "My Universe;" and Post Malone and Doja Cat for "I Like You (A Happier Song)."

The Grammy nomination marked a first for Kim—a milestone that brought her to tears when she learned she was up for the honor.

"My team yelled at me from downstairs and came into my room and I was getting ready and I was like, ‘What!'" The 30-year-old shared during a Jan. 24 appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers. "And they were just like, ‘You're nominated for a Grammy,' and we all started crying and jumping. It's crazy. I can't believe it."

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

While "Unholy" quickly sky-rocketed to success, reaching the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Global 200, Billboard Global Excl. U.S. and Billboard Hot 100 charts after its Sept. 22 debut, it took a few years of back and forth between Sam and Kim to land on a tune for their collaboration.

"Sam DM'd me the song and I listened to it and was immediately like, ‘OK this is incredible and so new and fresh for you as well.' I really felt like I could add my own thing to it," Kim recalled during a November interview for The iHeartRadio Countdown. "We talked about collaborating for years before that so I've been sending Sam songs, Sam's been sending me songs and it's just been like about time."

Francis Specker/CBS

As for why it took so long to pick a track? Kim explained that she didn't want to rush into something without it being a perfect match.

"For a good collaboration it needs to make sense, especially with someone who I respect as much Sam," she explained. "I don't want to just throw something together that isn't what sound I'm good at or where I can really take it somewhere. I think this is really a song where we both hold our in it. I just respect Sam so much that I was like, ‘I want this to be right.'"

When it comes to thinking this song is more than right, we know we're not the only one.

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