Sam Smith and Kim Petras Slay Fiery 'Unholy' Performance at 2023 GRAMMY Awards

Sam Smith
Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

The performance followed their win for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 65th GRAMMY Awards.

Sam Smith and Kim Petras did not disappoint when they took the stage together at the 2023 GRAMMY Awards. Following a rousing introduction by Madonna, the pair performed their hit single, "Unholy," which earned them both a win in the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance category. 

Smith began the performance at center stage under a glaring red light, with dancers circling them. On the main stage, flames erupted in the background, while Petras belted out her powerful vocals from inside a cage. Smith then donned a hat with devil horns, commanding the center stage with a bit of devilish charm and a red cane as the camera panned back and forth between the pair throughout the sultry duet.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Prior to Sunday night's performance, Petras teased to ET that the duet was "definitely gonna be very explosive and fun." And they certainly made good on that promise. 

In addition to hitting the stage, the pair also took home a trophy for the track. Following a boisterous ovation, Smith gave Petras the stage to accept the GRAMMY, and to give a powerful speech.

"Sam graciously wanted me to accept this award because I'm the first transgender woman to win this award," she said, prompting the crowd to roar. "I just want to thank all the incredible transgender legends before me who kicked these doors for me so I can be here tonight. Sophie, especially, my friend who passed away two years ago, who told me this would happen and always believed in me."

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Petras continued, "Madonna, for fighting for LGBTQ rights. I don't think I could be here without Madonna. My mother. I grew up next to a highway in Germany, and my mother believed me that I was a girl, and I wouldn't be here without her and her support."

"Unholy" marks Smith's fifth career nomination. They were previously nominated for their debut album, In the Lonely Hour, at the 57th GRAMMY Awards, where they took home wins for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best New Artist and Best Pop Vocal Album. 

Pertras, meanwhile, made her GRAMMY debut with her duet with Smith, with the song also marking her first-ever nomination. "It feels insane, and to share it with Sam, just someone who's so special, feels really incredible. I just feel honored and grateful for everyone who's, like, been with me for all these years," she said while defending Smith against the backlash over their follow-up music video for "I'm Not Here to Make Friends."   

The 65th Annual GRAMMY Awards are taking place at Arena and are being broadcast and streamed live on CBS and Paramount+. Follow along at for full coverage from music's biggest night, including performancesGRAMMY winners and more.