Sam Smith is now the first openly non-binary artist to achieve No. 1 thanks to Petras’ collaboration with him, breaking a milestone for trans and non-binary representation in music.
Trans women now have a new path to follow in the music industry thanks to Kim Petras.
With her Sam Smith duet “Unholy,” which dethroned Steve Lacy’s “Bad Habit” to take the top place on the Billboard Hot 100 Monday, the German singer has became the first openly trans act in history to do so.
The first song Petras ever released, “Unholy,” debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. It comes after a string of hits spanning five years, starting with 2017’s “I Don’t Want It at All,” whose music video included a cameo by Paris Hilton.
Before Petras, Honey Dijon and Ts Madison were the first transgender musicians to ever make it into the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100. When Renaissance was released earlier this year, Beyoncé’s “Cozy,” which peaked at No. 30, received credit for both of their contributions.
Petras expressed her desire to not be “the last” trans musician to top the list to the media outlet.
“Amazing and amazing trans artists have always existed, but they haven’t gotten paid much, you know? I mean, I was friends with SOPHIE, and you can hear her influence in just about every current hit song. But she didn’t receive what she deserved throughout her lifetime. When compared to disco queens like Amanda Lear in the 1970s and 1980s, she was paid dirt. People don’t discuss her as they ought to. Ayesha Erotica has had a huge impact on my life, but she never received justice “explained Petras. For trans ladies who have been creating outstanding music but have been disregarded while others claim credit, the same narrative keeps coming up again and time again.
Petras has been under fire for frequently collaborating with controversial producer Dr. Luke, even though Smith (who is now the first openly non-binary artist to reach No. 1 in the United States) and Petras’ accomplishment is a tremendous step forward for the LGBTQ+ community. Since “I Don’t Want It at All,” she has worked with the renowned songwriter on practically every significant song she has released (he did not contribute to “Unholy”).
Pop diva Kesha famously sued Dr. Luke for claimed sexual assault and abuse, but the case was subsequently dismissed.