This past weekend, Kim Petras became the first out transgender artist to win a Grammy award. While the win shows how far the Grammys have come, it serves as a reminder of those who have been historically left out, and Grimes for one is making sure no one forgets that. Recalling her time on the Producer of the Year board, Grimes revealed that she “wasn’t allowed” to nominate the late electronic music producer SOPHIE.
It began with an Instagram post in which Charli XCX shared her thoughts on her own Grammy snub. “Me not being nominated for a Grammy for Crash is like Mia Goth not being nominated for an Oscar for Pearl and only further proves that people don’t wanna see hot evil girls thrive,” Charli XCX wrote in the caption.
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Grimes commiserated in the comments, dismissing the Grammys as “irrelevant.”
“I wouldn’t even sweat it,” she said. “I stopped even clocking them in any capacity when I was on the producer of the year board and they quite literally would not allow me to nominate anyone who wasn’t on a pre-fabricated list that was exceptionally boring. I was one of 3 women and the only person under 40 for sure. It’s literally not a relevant thing.”
But there was one name on the “pre-fabricated list” she was specifically barred from including. “I tried to nominate SOPHIE and was told that wasn’t allowed,” Grimes explained.
Although it’s unclear when Grimes attempted to nominate her, SOPHIE was eventually nominated in 2019 for Best Dance/Electronic Album. After getting misgendered on the red carpet, she lost out to French duo Justice.
Four years later, Kim Petras has now won Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for the song “Unholy” with her collaborator Sam Smith. In her acceptance speech, Petras paid homage to the trans artists like SOPHIE who paved the way.
Kim Petras thanking Sophie during her winning the first ever Grammy won by an openly transgender woman (Wendy Carlos was closeted at the time she won) in the year that trans rights are under attack more than ever in history…
Yeah, I cried.
You deserve it. pic.twitter.com/ncsa2CWUTa
— Erin Reed (@ErinInTheMorn) February 6, 2023
“I’d just like to thank all the incredible transgender legends before me who kicked these doors open for me so I could be here tonight,” she said.
“SOPHIE especially—my friend who passed away two years ago, who told me this would happen and always believed in me. Thank you so much for your inspiration, SOPHIE. I adore you and your inspiration will forever be in my music.”
When Petras pointed out that she was the first transgender artist to win a Grammy, the crowd roared in applause. Here’s hoping the Recording Academy was listening.
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