Madonna hits back at ‘Unholy’ backlash with epic Grammys speech about controversy


At the 2023 Grammys, LGBTQ+ icon Madonna bestowed some sage words about controversy when she delivered a fiery speech about defending Sam Smith and Kim Petras.

While introducing Sam Smith and Kim Petras to the stage for an electrifying performance of their smash hit song “Unholy”, the seven-time Grammy winner defended the duo with a fiery speech about controversy as she reflected on the decades of “rebels” who are constantly innovating the music industry.

 “Are you ready for a little controversy?” she told a cheering crowd, “Here’s what I’ve learned after four decades in music. If they call you shocking, scandalous, troublesome, problematic, provocative or dangerous, you are definitely on to something.”

The singer is speaking from experience. After using religious imagery of burning crosses in videos such as “Like A Prayer” she was excommunicated by the Pope and faced huge backlash from the Catholic community.

“I’m here to give thanks to all the rebels out there, forging a new path and taking the heat for all of it,” she continued. “All you troublemakers out there need to know that your fearlessness does not go unnoticed. You are seen, you are heard and, most of all, you are appreciated.

“So now, speaking of controversy, it gives me great pleasure to introduce two incredibly talented artists who have risen above the noise, the doubt, the critics, into something beautifully unholy. Here are two Grammy award winners, Sam Smith and Kim Petras.”

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Kim Petras made history when she became the first trans woman to receive the award for best pop duo/group performance alongside Sam Smith.

The “Unholy” duo later reunited on stage with a conversation-starting performance of the hit song filled with demonic visual references – something Madonna is all too familiar with.

Madonna’s words come after Petras gave her own dedication to Madonna during her emotional acceptance speech earlier in the night, saying: “Madonna for fighting for LGBTQ+ rights, I don’t think I could be here without Madonna.”

Sam Smith is also making waves right now, as their latest music video, “I’m Not Here To Make Friends” unapologetically champions LGBTQ+ voices and bodies, has also seen huge backlash.

In light of the vitriolic discourse since the non-binary artist dropped their latest album Gloria, Madonna’s Grammys speech feels ever more pertinent.

“Madonna’s speech about rebels and embracing those who do things differently and seen as trouble makers was awesome and now i’m in a contemplative state of mind,” one person wrote on Twitter.

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