The achievement marks the first time a publicly trans woman has reached the number one spot, as well as the first time a non-binary person (Smith) has done the same in the United States.
Per Entertainment Weekly, “Unholy” was also Petras’ first-ever entry on the iconic chart, debuting at No. 3 before rising to No. 1.
Petras told Billboard of the historic milestone, “I just really don’t want to be the last. There’s always been incredible and talented trans artists, and they have been paid dust, you know?”
“I was friends with SOPHIE — her influence can be heard on practically every popular song these days. But in her lifetime, she didn’t get what she deserved to get,” she added of the late singer SOPHIE who passed away in 2021.
She shared, “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.”
“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,” she concluded.
The song first went viral before its release as a sound bite on TikTok that inspired nearly one million videos of everything from mustache tutorials to fashion transitions.
Smith has previously achieved No. 2 status with their 2014 hit “Stay with Me.”
Petras has been releasing music since 2008 as an independent artist before breaking through in 2017 with “I Don’t Want It at All” which featured a cameo from Paris Hilton in the music video.
The German artist has faced backlash for working with disgraced music producer Dr. Luke, who has been accused of sexual assault by Kesha.
However, Petras’ career has been a trailblazing one, taking her to historical performances at events like the MTV VMAs, the EMAs, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and Coachella.
Songs That Dominated the Billboard Charts