Kim Petras thanks ‘incredible transgender legends’ in Grammys speech

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German pop star Kim Petras, who is transgender, gave an emotional speech Sunday night accepting her first Grammy Award, dedicating her win to the trans artists who came before her.

“I want to thank all the incredible transgender legends who kicked the doors open for me so I could be here tonight,” Petras said.

She then gave an emotional greeting to her friend Sophie, a Scottish singer who died in 2021 after an accidental fall.

«Thank you so much for your inspiration, Sophie,» he said. «I adore you, and your inspiration will always be in my music.»

Along with Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Sam Smith, Petras won Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for the song «Unholy.»

“Sam kindly wanted me to accept this award because I am the first transgender woman to win this award,” Petras said during her acceptance speech.

Smith also made history with the win, becoming the first non-binary artist to take home the award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.

“Unholy” topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart in October and spent four weeks atop the Billboard Global 200 chart last year, according to the entertainment magazine. Billboard.

In his speech, Petras also thanked pop icon Madonna for being an outspoken and early supporter of LGBTQ equality.

«I don’t think I could be here without Madonna,» Petras said.

He also dedicated his victory to his mother, thanking her for supporting Petras’ transition.

“I grew up on the side of a road in nowhere in Germany, and my mother believed me to be a girl. I would not be here without her and her support from her,” he said.

Petras, 30, first rose to international stardom in the early 2000s when she appeared on German radio airwaves to ask permission to have gender-affirming surgery. After grueling rounds of psychiatric evaluation, she received government approval and underwent the surgery at age 16. At the time, she was thought to be the world’s youngest trans person to undergo the procedure, which is rarely performed on minors.

Amid international media attention, Petras began posting videos of herself singing to YouTube in the years after her transition.

Petras released his first international single, «I Don’t Want It at All,» in 2017, and has since released two studio albums. The pop star made history last year as the first trans artist to headline NYC Pride Island music festival.

The Associated Press contributed.

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