Kim Petras is a well-known face around these parts. Her exciting and sickeningly sweet brand of pop music has earned her collaborations with everyone from Charli XCX to Elvira. She's raunchy, campy and incredibly talented.
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PAPER knew Petras was onto something special five years ago when we interviewed her for our forecast of the future's best and brightest. Forever immortalized in pixels on this very website, Petras reflected on expectations people have of her in the music industry, saying: "A lot of people didn't believe that I could be a great songwriter, or be super talented, and be transgender. I feel like a lot of people felt like 'transgender' would set you up to not be able to do that. I just want to prove people wrong. I want to get a Number 1 on the [Billboard] Hot 100."
Well, that time has come.
It feels like Petras' new collaboration with Sam Smith, "Unholy," is inescapable. Its steady climb on the charts is a testament to the powerful song's success. Since its release on September 22, audiences latched onto it and it currently boasts over 200 million streams on Spotify and 27 million views on YouTube. There's power in numbers, and now Petras' dream of having a number one song has been made a reality.
Not only is this a major milestone in Petras' career, but she's also made history as the first transgender person to hit the top of the Billboard charts. "Unholy" features an incredible cast of producers. Petras and Smith have a large part in the song, but ILYA, Blake Slatkin, Cirkut, Omer Fendi and Smith's long-time collaborator Jimmy Napes also make the magic happen.
Below, revisit the magic of "Unholy," before Petras releases her new single, "If Jesus Was a Rockstar," produced by the legendary Max Martin, later this year.
Photo courtesy of Jason Al-Taan