Kim Petras says her “only friends” in high school were “Cher, Nicki Minaj and Madonna”


Now that Kim Petras has topped the charts with “Unholy” and won a Grammy to boot, she’s now getting invited to the coolest events and being asked to work with lots of different artists. Kim says she’s come a long way from her school days in Germany, where she claims her “only friends” were the famous female singers she heard on the radio.

Cher. Nicki Minaj. Madonna. Lana Del ReyKylie [Minogue]. The list goes on,” Kim tells Billboard for its Women in Music issue. “Women in pop music were my only friends in high school — they were everything I wanted to be and [gave me] the strength I [needed] to transition and live my life authentically. They gave me the strength to be myself.”

As for how things have changed for her in the past few months, Kim tells Billboard that before “Unholy,” “it was like, ‘Oh, the gays love her,’ but people didn’t want me on their songs. I didn’t get budgets approved. It was rough.”

“I’ve been an independent artist for so long just hustling and playing clubs,” she adds. “And now different people are hitting me up to collaborate and get in the studio. It’s cool that people are catching on.”

When discussing her history-making milestone of being the first out trans artist to win a Grammy in a major pop category, Kim points out, “I’m happy there are more trans artists now that are being taken seriously. I just don’t want to be the last.”

Kim will receive the Chartbreaker award at the Billboard Women In Music award ceremony March 1 in LA., and it’ll be a full circle moment: One of her old high school “friends,” Lana Del Rey, is also being honored at the ceremony.

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