The 65th annual Grammy Awards held in Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles on Sunday featured Satan, cages, dominatrices, whips, fire, and an "unrecognizable" Madonna.
"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," performer Kim Petras, a German-born, transgender woman (i.e., a biological man), said of the "Unholy" performance, Variety reported.
"I think a lot of people, honestly, have kind of labeled what I stand for and what Sam [Smith] 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," Petras also said.
"Sam [Smith] graciously wanted me to accept this award, because I'm the first transgender woman to win this award," the performer said in an acceptance speech, to a standing ovation from the crowd.
"Saturday Night Live" hosted a performance of the song "Unholy" two weeks ago. Sam Smith
performed in an enormous, hot pink, fluffy tulle gown. Petras was revealed to be sitting under the voluminous skirt as the gown was flipped open.
Billy Hallowell, who penned "Playing with Fire: A Modern Investigation into Demons, Exorcism, and Ghosts," described the "Unholy" performance at the Grammy Awards as "heartbreaking." He encouraged viewers to pray for "people who mock God, flaunt that mockery, and [are] then praised for it."
"Unholy's" lyrics address themes of marital infidelity and betrayal.
Page Six described Madonna as "unrecognizable." The "Like a Virgin" and "Material Girl" pop legend presented ahead of Smith's and Petras' "Unholy" performance.
Though she wore her signature fishnet gloves, some viewers were shocked by Madonna's near-unrecognizable face.
"Her lips appeared plumped and pouty and her skin was smooth and without wrinkles," according to the Mirror's gracious description of 64-year-old Madonna.
Others were more blunt.
"I'm all for cosmetic surgery but @Madonna should have left her face alone after her last lift," said actor Damon Gonzalez.
"The mother of reinvention needs an intervention. And yes, I'll be paying 1,300 to see her at MSG this summer," Gonzalez added.
"Madonna can't see it. It's filter fatigue. People get so used to their face they no longer see it's different, so they continue to get more," said writer and director Jay Arnold.
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