8 Best Grammys Moments: Kim Petras Makes Trans History, Legends of Hip-Hop Pay Tribute to Genre


And Beyoncé becomes the winningest Grammy artist of all time

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 05: Queen Latifah performs onstage during the 65th GRAMMY Awards at Crypto.com Arena on February 05, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

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The 2023 Grammys certainly went all out for music’s biggest night, from paying tribute to late greats to celebrating the 50th anniversary of hip-hop through the star-studded mashup of our dreams.

Host Trevor Noah set the tone for the evening by making all front-row musicians feel welcomed — including shouting out Harry Styles as the world’s sexiest man and introducing Adele to an unexpected fan.

Check out eight of the best moments from the 2023 Grammys ceremony, from Sam Smith and Kim Petras sharing the spotlight for “troublemakers” with Madonna to Beyoncé making Grammys history.

Adele and Dwayne

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Trevor Noah Surprises Adele with The Rock

As the comedian’s opening monologue spotlighted several front row musicians, he shared that Adele’s top pick for a celebrity she hasn’t met yet was The Rock. 

“I found out he’s a huge fan of yours, too,” Noah said. “And I don’t have Dwayne Johnson here tonight, but I do have someone called The Rock,” he teased as The Rock slyly walked up behind the “Easy on Me” singer.

Even better, when The Rock presented Adele with her win for Best Pop Solo Performance for “Easy On Me.” “Get up here bestie,” Johnson said as he presented the 30 year-old singer with her trophy.

Kim Petras and Sam Smith at the 65th Grammys

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Kim Petras Becomes First Transgender Woman to Win Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

After winning a Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for “Unholy,” Kim Petras accepted the award alongside her collaborator and supporter Sam Smith, who she says encouraged her to take the spotlight after becoming the first transgender woman to win in the category. After announcing this milestone, Petras paid tribute to her late friend, Sophie, and thanked her mother and Madonna for supporting her and countless other LGBTQ+ artists.

Madonna at the 65th Grammys

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Madonna Shouts Out the Troublemakers

Prior to introducing Sam Smith and Kim Petras’ performance of “Unholy,” Madonna echoed Petras’ tribute by shouting out the troublemakers and figures of controversy who push societal boundaries through provocative expressions of artistry. “You are seen, you are heard and you are appreciated,” the “Like a Virgin” singer said.

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That Sinister “Unholy” Performance

Introduced by Madonna, Sam Smith and Kim Petras stoked some flames with their performance of “Unholy.” Madonna hinted that the performance would be controversial. Smith kicked things off surrounded by dancers in what looked like a summoning circle. Petras sang her part from a cage guarded by several demon dancers. Smith’s horned hat from their “SNL” performance returned shortly before the dancers closed in on them at the end of the song.


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Hip Hop Greats Celebrate Genre’s 50th Anniversary

The Grammys kicked off hip hop’s 50th anniversary with a star-studded, highly bleeped-out mashup performance from the genre’s greats across generations, including Big Boi, Busta Rhymes, De La Soul, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Missy Elliott, Grandmaster Flash, Grandmaster Mele Mel & Scorpio, Ice-T, Method Man, Nelly, Public Enemy, Queen Latifah, Rakim, Run-D.M.C. Wu Tang Clan, Salt-N-Pepa, Lil Uzi Vert and GloRilla, to name a few. Produced by Questlove, the mashup was by far the highlight of the night as celebrities across the arena jammed out to their favorite throwbacks, including an enthusiastic Jay Z.

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Beyoncé Makes History

Queen Bey reigns now and forevermore. The “Break My Soul” singer has officially broken the record for the most Grammy wins of all time with a whooping 32 Grammy awards after tying up the title earlier in the evening. Of course, Beyoncé received the award with the utmost grace and gratitude, soaking in the moment and saying, “I’m trying to just receive this night.”

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Jill Biden Presents Best Song For Social Change to Shervin Hajipour

FLOTUS has entered the building. First Lady Jill Biden made a special appearance at music’s biggest night to present the inaugural Song For Social Change Special Merit Award. The accolade, which recognizes a song that promotes awareness and raises consciousness for a social issue, was presented to Shervin Hajipour for his song “Baraye,” which has become an unofficial anthem of the Mahsa Amini protests. Dr. Biden also presented Song of the Year to Bonnie Raitt.

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Lizzo Dedicates Her Grammy to Prince — and Confesses She Skipped School to See Beyoncé Perform

After winning Record of the Year for “About Damn Time,” Lizzo dedicated her Grammy to the late Prince, who she said inspired her to create positive music. The “Truth Hurts” singer also paid tribute to Queen Bey, recalling a time in grade school when she skipped school to see her concert.

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