Sam Smith and Kim Petras Make Music History


Ian Johnson, Editor

After a long awaited release of “Unholy” by Sam Smith and Kim Petras, the dynamic duo makes music and LGBTQ+ history as their hit reaches the Billboard’s hot 100.  

In October of 2022,Unholyreached the top of the Billboards hot 100 chart, making them the first transgender and nonbinary solo musicians to reach this achievement. During its first two weeks on the billboard, their song placed third before moving up to second. To much surprise, the two artists surpassed “Bad Habit” by Steve Lacy. 

Because of this achievement, Kim Petras is the first openly transgender woman to make it to the top, and lead singer Sam Smith is the first openly non-binary person to make it to the top. Ashley Ahn, intern at NPR reports, “the song earned both artists their first No. 1 spot on the Hot 100.” Sam Smith has been close to reaching the number one artist on the top 100’s before, but they were only able to make it to the number 2 artist back in 2014. 

So where did this surge of popularity begin? According to journalists at Seventeen, “the track initially gained popularity on TikTok, where Sam and Kim respectively teased snippets with several videos ahead of its official release in September.” The people of TikTok helped boost “Unholy” which ultimately boost the song all the way to the top of the charts. “When we were shooting Unholy there was the warmest and kindest energy in the room. Everyone felt really free. I think all the queer people in that room felt incredibly empowered,” reports Sam Smith on their Instagram page, and Kim Petras enthusiastically captions an Instagram post with, “NUMBER ONEEEE HOT 100! I’m so grateful. Sam I can’t thank you enough for riding with me for years at this point. I’m so honored to be a part of your first number one in the US.” Thunderbird senior Ashley Swaw shares her thoughts, “I love the song,and I’m glad that this song is finally giving transgender artists the recognition they deserve.” “Unholy” is now being nominated for a Grammy. If this were to go through the two would only be pushing the boundaries of history even more in the music industry. Through oppression and adverse experiences, Sam Smith and Kim Petras set the stage for transgender success.