At 11 a.m. on Nov. 24, the Recording Academy announced the Grammy nominees for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. Six minutes later, K-pop boy group BTS posted a video on Twitter with their reaction to hearing their name and song included in the list.
— 방탄소년단 (@BTS_twt) November 24, 2020
Although BTS performed at the 2020 Grammys, the nomination for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance is their first Grammy nomination and the first Grammy nomination for a South Korean music group. The seven members of BTS are up against artists such as Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga.
Being nominated for the Grammys is definitely not BTS’s first major accomplishment. Starting around 2017, BTS began making history with the amount of being mentioned on Twitter, Billboard Hot 100 rankings, YouTube views and more. The song nominated for this year’s Grammy, “Dynamite,” currently holds the world record as the YouTube video with the most views in the first 24 hours of uploading, with 101.1 million views.
The group’s most recent achievement involves their newest song “Life Goes On,” released on Nov. 20, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Although this is BTS’s third No. 1 Hot 100 debut within three months, “Life Goes On” is the first song predominantly sung in Korean ever to claim that feat.
To top it off, no other group has gotten three No. 1 Hot 100 debuts within three months since the Bee Gees in 1978.
BTS owes a lot of their success to their fans, affectionately called ARMY, who come in the millions all over the world to support BTS as if they are family. The power of ARMY shows in BTS winning the Billboard Music Award for Top Social Artist every year since 2017.
“This award belongs to everyone around the world that shines their love and light on us by the millions,” BTS leader Kim Namjoon, known to the world as RM, said during the acceptance speech of their first year winning Top Social Artist. “They make BTS proud.”
When BTS released their first album in 2013, their fandom was almost nonexistent. The members walked the streets to invite random passersby to attend their free concerts. Today, they sell out stadium shows within minutes.
Although BTS is considered the “biggest boy band in the world” by media sources such as CNN, that does not discredit other K-pop groups in their successes and efforts. Groups such as Monsta X, BLACKPINK, NCT 127 and SuperM have also been recognized by mainstream media in the United States, while many K-pop groups have large followings from all over the world.
BTS’s Grammy nomination is preceded by another historic moment for South Korean entertainment earlier this year. At the 92nd Academy Awards in February, the Korean film “Parasite” won four Oscars, including Best Picture — the first foreign film ever to do so.
“Parasite” and BTS’s history-making moments are proof that entertainment breaks down cultural barriers — when it comes to art, language is no barrier.
“Music transcends language,” Kim told Time Magazine. “BTS communicates with our fans by staying true to ourselves and believing in music every day.”
BTS has consistently been able to reach their goals, dominating Asian music charts and award shows to Billboard and now to the Grammys.
“I think the Grammys are the last part, like the final part of the whole American journey,” Kim said in an interview with Esquire.
The Grammys will be on Jan. 31, 2021, a day when the world will see if BTS makes history yet again.
Story by Tori Jensen
Photos courtesy of Billboard