Kim Petras has blazed a new trail for trans women in the music industry.
The German singer has become the first publicly trans performer in history to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with her Sam Smith collaboration "Unholy," which reached the top spot Monday after dethroning dethroning Steve Lacy's "Bad Habit."
"Unholy" was Petras' first-ever entry on the Billboard Hot 100, debuting at No. 3. It follows five years' worth of singles, beginning with 2017's "I Don't Want It at All" — the music video for which featured a cameo from Paris Hilton.
Prior to Petras, Honey Dijon and Ts Madison became the first trans artists to reach the top 40 in Billboard Hot 100 history. They were both credited for their work on Beyoncé's "Cozy," which peaked at No. 30 upon the release of Renaissance earlier this year.
Petras told the publication that she hopes she's not "the last" trans artist to reach the summit on the chart.
"There's always been incredible and talented trans artists, and they have been paid dust, you know? I mean, I was friends with SOPHIE — her influence can be heard on practically every popular song these days. But in her lifetime, she didn't get what she deserved to get. Looking at artists like Amanda Lear in the '70s and '80s, who was an absolute disco queen, she got paid dust. People don't talk about her the way they should. Ayesha Erotica has been so influential for me, and did not get what she deserved at all," Petras said. "That same story just keeps repeating over and over for trans girls who have been making exceptional music and have been pushed under the rug while someone else takes credit from them."
Though Smith (who is now the first publicly non-binary artist to reach No. 1 in the United States) and Petras' achievement is a huge step forward for the LGBTQ+ community, Petras has received criticism for regularly working with controversial producer Dr. Luke. She's collaborated with the famed songsmith on nearly every major song she's released since "I Don't Want It at All" (he did not contribute to "Unholy").
Dr. Luke was notably sued by pop star Kesha for alleged sexual assault and abuse, but the lawsuit was later dropped.
Watch the "Unholy" music video above.
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