Sam Smith and Kim Petras make LGBTQ history on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart

Sam Smith and Kim Petras became the first openly non-binary solo artist and first openly transgender solo artist, respectively, to ascend to No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 song chart.

Their song “Unholy” debuted at No. 3 on Oct. 8 and spent two weeks at No. 2 before surpassing Steve Lacy’s “Bad Habit” on Monday. The song earned both artists their first No. 1 spot on the Hot 100, with Smith’s “Stay with Me” reaching No. 2 in 2014.

“I just really don’t want to be the last,” Petras told Billboard last week about her then-No. 2 spot on the Hot 100 chart. “There’s always been incredible and talented trans artists.”

She pointed to trans artist SOPHIE, who helped usher in a new era of electronic pop music, and others such as Amanda Lear and Ayesha Erotica who she looked up to.

“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,” she said. “I’m just happy that Sam gave me the chance to shine here. I hope I can help break the cycle — it feels like people are finally ready for us to succeed, and that fills me with a lot of joy.”

“Unholy” is the German artist’s first entry on the Hot 100. Petras has also toured with Camila Cabello, Charli XCX, and Rita Ora.

Smith has had six other songs reach the top 10 on the Hot 100 chart, including “Too Good at Goodbyes,” “I’m Not the Only One,” and “Dancing with a Stranger” with Normani.

Songs on the Billboard’s Hot 100 chart are determined based on a mixture of data including streaming, sales, and radio airplay.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.