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(News Focus) Billboard win brightens prospects of BTS' long-awaited Grammy nod

All News 18:01 September 02, 2020

By Chang Dong-woo

SEOUL, Sept. 2 (Yonhap) -- K-pop group BTS has taken the music industry by storm again, with its latest single debuting at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart on Tuesday, making the band the first South Korean artist to achieve the landmark feat.

Now with that accomplishment out of the way, along with bagging Best Pop and three other awards at the MTV Video Music Awards in the same week, the conversation and predictions surrounding BTS have naturally shifted toward whether or not the band will finally become the first South Korean pop artist to receive a nomination from the Grammy Awards in the United States.

When it comes to the Grammys, BTS is actually no stranger to the annual ceremony run by the Recording Academy of the U.S., which recognizes achievements in the music industry. The band has made appearances twice at the event, as an award presenter in 2019 and as an onstage performer at the 62nd event held in January, where the K-pop septet appeared alongside rapper Lil Nas X for a joint performance.

BTS celebrates topping Billboard Hot 100, now ready to win 2021 Grammy Awards

This photo, provided by Big Hit Entertainment, shows the members of BTS posing for photos during an online media day event in Seoul on Sept. 2, 2020. The band's "Dynamite" topped Billboard's main Hot 100 singles chart in the United States on Aug. 31. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The seven band members and Big Hit Entertainment chief producer Bang Si-hyuk have even been invited by the Recording Academy to become its voting members, allowing them to cast votes starting this year.

Despite the band's wide-reaching global influence and staggering album sales, not just around the world but also in the U.S., BTS has not once received a nomination by the Recording Academy, which has been seen as a glaring snub for a band that matched the Beatles in earning three No. 1 Billboard 200 albums in a single year.

The conspicuous absence of BTS each year from the nomination list has prompted an annual guessing game among K-pop observers and journalists on whether the Grammys -- considered the most conservative among major U.S. music awards show -- would finally open its doors and recognize the artistic merits of pop music that isn't sung in English.

With the summer music release calendar at a close and Grammy prediction season in full swing, predictions on whether BTS will receive a nod from the Grammys are once again being made.

This photo, released by Big Hit Entertainment via social media on Aug. 19, 2020, shows a teaser for global K-pop band BTS' new song "Dynamite." (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Whether it happens remains to be seen, but the chances of a nomination this time seem as likely as ever, as it would be harder for the Recording Academy to continue to ignore BTS after the band proved its wide-reaching popularity among the general American public with "Dynamite."

The online edition of American business magazine Forbes predicted Monday (U.S. time) that BTS studio album "Map of the Soul: 7," the highest-selling album in the U.S. during the first half, could possibly receive a nomination this year.

[Press Conference] Next goal? BTS solo stage at 2021 Grammys

"The former chart-topper is one of the bestselling and biggest releases of 2020," Forbes said.

Forbes added, "While the band's new single "Dynamite" isn't featured on its tracklist, the fact that they just landed a historic No. 1 hit should remind voters how beloved and successful they are."

The album's lead track "ON" also made it to the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 when released in February of this year.

Jason Lipshutz, senior director at Billboard, noted in a conversation with fellow Billboard writers that "a Grammy win would represent a key acknowledgement from the Recording Academy, which has yet to formally recognize the staying power of K-pop."

This photo, provided by Big Hit Entertainment, shows a scene from the 90-minute online concert "Bang Bang Con the Live" hosted by BTS on June 14, 2020. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE)(Yonhap)

BTS is also not shying away from its Grammy ambitions.

"The Grammy Awards is an event that everyone dreams of (being part of). We want to perform solo and, of course, we want to be nominated and possibly win an award," BTS leader RM said during a press conference held Wednesday to mark the No. 1 debut of "Dynamite" on the Hot 100.

Suga shared his desire to perform again at the Grammys.
"We performed at the Grammys in a collaboration. This time we would like to perform as a stand-alone act," the singer-rapper said.

With its newfound exposure within the mainstream music industry in America, BTS has found its footing to be able to clinch another No. 1 hit single on the Hot 100 with relative ease, music critic Kim Young-dae said.

"Until now, the band's popularity has largely been sustained by its fandom. But now the band has arrived at a point where its music is starting to spread within the general public in America," Kim noted, adding that "I think it's possible" for BTS to achieve another No. 1 song.

This photo, provided by Big Hit Entertainment, shows BTS posing for a photo during a global news conference on its new album "Map of the Soul: 7" at COEX in Seoul on Feb. 24, 2020. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

odissy@yna.co.kr
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