Madonna introduced Kim Petras and Sam Smith for their performance at the 2023 Grammys last night (February 5) with a speech about controversy.
The two artists reunited on stage to deliver a fiery performance of their hit single ‘Unholy’ at the annual awards show.
Before they took to the stage, Madonna made an appearance, asking the crowd: “Are you ready for a little controversy? Here’s what I’ve learned after four decades in music. If they call you shocking, scandalous, troublesome, problematic, provocative or dangerous, you are definitely onto something.
“I’m here to give thanks to all the rebels out there, forging a new path and taking the heat for all of it. All you troublemakers out there need to know that your fearlessness does not go unnoticed. You are seen, you are heard and, most of all, you are appreciated.”
MADONNA #GRAMMYs pic.twitter.com/asxXyGaOHp
— alex (@alexsimpsxn) February 6, 2023
She concluded: “So now, speaking of controversy, it gives me great pleasure to introduce two incredibly talented artists who have risen above the noise, the doubt, the critics into something beautifully unholy. Here are two Grammy award winners, Sam Smith and Kim Petras.”
Petras and Smith then took over, with Smith donning red leather and performing with gyrating dancers, while Petras performed from a cage paraded around by dancers with whips as fire sizzled behind them. Watch footage of the moment below.
unholy in all its glory ❤️🔥 @kimpetras and @samsmith ATE pic.twitter.com/RrzN1FgwW3
— Republic Records (@RepublicRecords) February 6, 2023
Earlier in the night, the pair won the award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, making Petras the first transgender woman to win the accolade. In her acceptance speech, she paid tribute to late DJ and producer SOPHIE, along with Madonna and her mother.
Elsewhere at the 2023 Grammys, Beyoncé made history by becoming the most decorated artist at the ceremony. The star surpassed classical musician Georg Solti’s record of 31 Grammys tonight. Lizzo also declared Beyoncé “the artist of our lives” as she won Record Of The Year.
Bad Bunny opened the show with a vibrant performance of two songs from ‘Un Verano Sin Ti’, while Migos’ Quavo honoured his late bandmate and nephew Takeoff during the In Memoriam segment. A star-studded celebration of hip-hop’s 50th anniversary also took place, featuring LL Cool J, Busta Rhymes and more.
An Iranian singer-songwriter took home the inaugural Best Song For Social Change Award, which seeks to honour songs that respond to current issues and hold the potential for positive global impact.
Earlier tonight, Viola Davis achieved EGOT status with her Grammy win. Harry Styles also took home several trophies, including Album Of The Year, while Jay-Z, DJ Khaled and more wrapped up the ceremony with a stunning performance of ‘God Did’.