Smith and Petras ― who took home the Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for their song “Unholy” ― made LGBTQ history at the ceremony.
Smith, who has won Grammys in years past, became the first out nonbinary artist to win the award while Petras, a first-time Grammy nominee, became the first out trans woman to win the award.
Petras, who received a standing ovation during her speech, thanked the “incredible transgender legends” before her who kicked open doors for her, including Madonna and the late Grammy-nominated artist Sophie.
She also gave a shout-out to her mother during the emotional speech.
“I grew up next to a highway in nowhere Germany, and my mother believed me that I was a girl, and I wouldn’t be here without her and her support,” Petras said.
Smith and Petras are among several trans and nonbinary artists LGBTQ icons that the Grammys have recognized over the years, Out magazine noted.
Wendy Carlos, a trans electronic music composer, won three Grammys for her album “Switched-On Bach” prior to her announcement that she was trans in the late 1970s.
Producer and electronic artist Honey Dijon, who is trans, is also nominated for Album of the Year due to her work on Beyoncé’s “Renaissance” this year.