Sam Smith's "Unholy" Performance At The Grammys Reminds People Of The Church Of Satan

The 2023 Grammys had some memorable fashion (and not in a good way) as well as some controversial performances. Sam Smith and Kim Petras performed their song "Unholy," making many people wonder why there were such blatant references to Satanism.

By Gina Florio3 min read
sam smith grammys

Singer-songwriter Sam Smith first exploded onto the scene with the song "Latch" in 2012. His milky falsetto voice captured audiences everywhere and quickly rose him to fame. The Londoner released an album in 2014 called "In the Lonely Hour," which included the hit song "Stay With Me." At that point, he was known as a ballad singer whose music was about love and heartbreak. But as his career progressed and he released more and more music, Sam turned into an unrecognizable superstar. In 2019, he publicly came out as non-binary and announced that he changed his pronouns to "they" and "them."

"Today is a good day so here goes. I’ve decided I am changing my pronouns to THEY/THEM after a lifetime of being at war with my gender I’ve decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out...," he wrote on Twitter.

Since then, Sam has gotten more and more flamboyant, not only in the way he lives his personal life but also in his music. It all came to a head at the 2023 Grammys when he performed his hit single "Unholy" in a display that many people couldn't help but compare to Satanism.

Sam Smith's "Unholy" Performance at the Grammys Reminds People of the Church of Satan

The 2023 Grammy Awards was full of questionable fashion and huge performances. Harry Styles, Lizzo, Stevie Wonder, and more took to the stage to give the audience a show, but perhaps the most memorable performance that night was from Sam Smith and Kim Petras. Their song "Unholy" won the award for best pop duo or group performance and they performed their single on stage. Madonna introduced the duo, welcoming onto the stage Sam, Kim, and their posse.

At the very start of the performance, Sam, dressed as the devil, stood in the middle of a circle of dancers, all of whom were wearing long red robes with long, dark hair around their faces. They walked around him and chanted in loud whispers. It was very similar to what you might see in the occult.

The whole stage was engulfed in red, with flames bursting behind the dancers, and Sam wore a top hat that clearly had horns on it. There was a large cage on stage; Kim was performing inside of it while dancers climbed on top and danced around it. Here is a portion of the lyrics:

"Mmm, daddy, daddy, if you want, drop the add'y

Give me love, give me Fendi, my Balenciaga daddy

You gon' need to bag it up, 'cause I'm spending on Rodeo"

It's worth mentioning that the song references and praises Balenciaga, the high-fashion brand that was just caught up in a scandal involving young girls posing with teddy bears dressed in bondage gear while standing on top of papers from a court case that discussed child pornography.

The entire "Unholy" performance was clearly a reference to being in the throes of hell, particularly considering the devilish attire that many of the dancers wore, including horns on their heads. The dancers crawled around on the floor at Sam's feet at the very end, slowly putting their hands all over his body before engulfing him completely to conclude the performance.

Hollywood hasn't even attempted to hide its references to Satanism these days, and this performance is no different. Of course, celebrities will try to frame this as nothing more than an artistic choice. Kim, who told the crowd that he was the very first "trans woman" to win that award, was interviewed after the show about his win and performance. "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," he said. He said that he was interested in religion at a young age, but realized that religion didn't want anything to do with him. He referred to himself as "hellkeeper Kim" while he was on stage.

When you visit the website of The Church of Satan, it's clear that the imagery of Satanism matches perfectly with what we saw on stage during the "Unholy" performance. It's curious that Kim claims the performance is about "not being able to choose religion" while it's a clear reflection of The Church of Satan. People also can't help but point out that pharmaceutical company Pfizer sponsored the award show.

Sam was portrayed as the devil, complete with horns on his head and is surrounded by symbols that are identical to the imagery that is listed on the Church of Satan website. Many viewers took to social media to point out how "demonic" the whole performance was and how uncomfortable it made them. "This performance from Sam Smith is literally a tribute to Satan," @ben_kew wrote on Twitter. At some point we have to ask ourselves why Hollywood is so hell bent on making so many references to Satan, because at this point it's hard to believe these are all just artistic choices or coincidences.