Sam Smith and Kim Petras performed their contentious track “Unholy” at the Grammy Awards on Sunday night. Smith sported a top hat with devil horns while Petras danced in a cage surrounded by fiery red lights.
“Unholy,” which won Smith and Petras the Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, tells the story of a man carrying out an extramarital affair.
The performance was introduced by Madonna, who Petras, the first transgender woman to ever win the pop duo category, thanked for advocating for the LGBTQ community during her acceptance speech. According to People, while introducing Smith and Petras, Madonna asserted, “If they call you shocking, scandalous, problematic, provocative or dangerous, you are definitely onto something.”
Following the performance, host Trevor Noah pretended to answer a phone call from his concerned mother.
“No, mom, it wasn’t the actual devil. They were just dressed like the devil… Yeah, you did warn me about Hollywood,” Noah said. “She said she’ll be praying for all of us,” he added.
The energetic performance drew criticism on social media, with Christians and conservatives condemning it as “evil” or “diabolical.” Conservative commentator Liz Wheeler expressed her disgust in a tweet accompanied by a video of the performance, writing, “People say don’t get involved in the culture wars, but meanwhile, demons are teaching kids to worship Satan. I feel sick.
Christian apologist Solomon Buchi wrote, “If as a Christian, you think we are reaching when we talk about the dominance and normalization of Satan worship in pop music, you need discernment. Sam Smith’s performance at the Grammy’s last night was satanic, gory. No, it’s not art; it’s symbolic of who they serve.”
After the show, Petras told backstage reporters that the performance was inspired by “not being able to choose religion.”
“I think a lot of people, honestly, have kind of labeled what I stand for and what Sam stands for as religiously not cool, and I personally grew up wondering about religion and wanting to be a part of it but slowly realizing it didn’t want me to be a part of it,” she said.
“So it’s a take on not being able to choose religion. And not being able to live the way that people might want you to live because, as a trans person, I’m already not kind of wanted in religion. So we were doing a take on that, and I was kind of hellkeeper Kim.”
In recent years, many music artists have used controversial religious symbolism to promote their work.
In 2021, singer Lil Nas X collaborated with a company called MSCHP to create a pair of sneakers that had a drop of human blood in the soles. The shoes were also decorated with a pendant of a pentagram and a reference to Luke 10:18, which says, “And he said unto them, I beheld Satan fallen as lightning from heaven.”
Last year, pop singer Demi Lovato released an album called Holy F**k. The album art is a photo of Lovato in a BDSM bondage costume lying on a cross.
Actually, it should be only satanic acts for these worthless performers.