Kim Petras

Kim Petras becomes first trans singer to have a No.1 song on the Billboard Hot 100

The German’s smash hit with Britain’s Sam Smith, Unholy, has taken the charts by storm
October 25, 2022
1 min read

If you’ve opened TikTok in the last two months, you will almost definitely have heard the bold and raunchy chorus of Unholy, the smash hit from Sam Smith and Kim Petras.

The song’s addictive chorus was buzzing around social media for weeks and fans were anticipating the song’s official release.

The bold track about cheating in a relationship has now spent four weeks at number one in the UK. It is also the first BillboardHot 100 No. 1 hit by a non-binary artist, as well as the first by an openly trans artist.

It is also Petras’s first stint inside the UK top 40.

While Smith has had eight UK number ones, this is his first on the Billboard Hot 100.

Though her first single I Don’t Want It At All was released in 2017 and her debut album Clarity in 2019, the 30-year-old Petras has been recording music since she was a teenager.

Despite being from Germany, Petras told the BBC that she “looked at the UK singles charts every week” as a child.

“I’ve just always found the UK has a more interesting take on music than America does most of the time,” she said.

Petras said she was “so grateful” for the song’s success. “Sam, I can’t thank you enough for riding with me for years at this point,” she wrote on her Instagram account.

“I’m so honored to be a part of your first number one in the US, which you should have 500 of at this point.”

The only other non-binary artist to have topped the Billboard chart previously was US singer Halsey, who uses both they/them and she/her pronouns. However, both of their No.1 singles – Closer with The Chainsmokers in 2016, and Without Me in 2018 – came before they publicly came out in 2021.

Unholy is the second single from Sam Smith’s fourth studio album Gloria, which is set to be released in January 2023.

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