Sam Smith and Kim Petras

EDGE2.0: Sam Smith Reacts to Single Going to No. 1, Making LGBTQ History


Editor's Note: EDGE2.0 is the sequel to EDGE1.0, which was a retrospective of this LGBTQ+ web publication's first decade. Now as we end our second and head into our third, we look back again at notable stories and events over EDGE's history.

In 2022, we saw the very first non-binary artist hit the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 with Sam Smith's and Kim Petra's "Unholy." The hit topped the charts for four consecutive weeks, and to this day remains the only number one hit by a non-binary or transgender artist.

Non-binary singer-songwriter Sam Smith hit the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 with their Kim Petras collab "Unholy," according to Billboard, and took to Twitter in celebration.

Smith and Petras are the "first openly nonbinary and transgender artists to top the Billboard Hot 100," CNN reported.

"I can't believe it," Smith posted. "Number 1 in America. I am honestly speechless, overwhelmed, nauseous, and extremely happy."

Smith went on to add: "This song is so special to me for so many reasons."

After offering their praise for "everyone involved for their bravery and guts and spirit," Smith gave a special shoutout to their collaborator, writing, "And Kim... what magic you are. You are a treasure and an inspiration to so many."

"This is ours sailors," Smith added, dropping in an anchor emoji. "I do this for you and you only. What a journey. What a 10 years. What a life xx".

"Despite Smith's popularity over the last decade, 'Unholy' is their first song to hit No. 1 on the Hot 100," Billboard noted. "'Stay With Me,' their breakthrough 2014 hit, peaked at No. 2 on the chart dated August 16, 2014, just underneath 'Rude' by Magic."

Billboard recalled that Smith has had "seven other top 10 singles" in the U.S. – the same tally of No. 1 hits they have had in the UK, with songs like "Stay With Me," "Promises," and "Writing's on the Wall," the latter of which was used as the opening credits song for the 2015 James Bond film "Spectre" and won an Oscar.

There's more new work from the singer-songwriter on the way. As previously reported, Smith's next album, titled "Gloria" and due for release next year, will take "queer joy" as its theme.

"I think joy for me, and for a lot of queer people, is quite a dangerous place," Smith told Billboard this past summer. "We're all masters of pain, and I think it's actually a very courageous act to step into the queer joy of it all."

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