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BTS becomes first K-pop group to win at Billboard Music Awards

BTS, also known as Bangtan Boys, has become the first K-pop group to win at the Billboard Music Awards.

The South Korean boy band grabbed the top social artist category award at the high profile event Sunday, held at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It was the first time that a Korean artist won at the global awards since Psy was honored in the top streaming song (video) category with his worldwide smash-hit “Gangnam Style” in 2013. 

BTS poses in the press room with the trophy for top social artist at the Billboard Music Awards at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday. (AP-Yonhap)
BTS poses in the press room with the trophy for top social artist at the Billboard Music Awards at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday. (AP-Yonhap)

BTS edged out tough competition for the award including Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande and Shawn Mendes.

“We still cannot believe that we’re standing here on this stage at the Billboard Music Awards, Oh my gosh. It’s so great to see all the artists we admire and we feel honored to be in this category with all these great artists right in front of us,” Rap Monster, the leader of the group said during the acceptance speech. “This award belongs to the every people (sic) all around the world that shines. I love you and thank you very much!”




According to Billboard, the winner was chosen based on major fan interactions with music, which includes album and digital song sales, streaming, radio airplay, touring, social engagement and the result of a global online vote by fans. These were tracked from March 2016 to March this year.

BTS shows excitement over winning the top social artist award through a group photo. (BTS’ Twitter)
BTS shows excitement over winning the top social artist award through a group photo. (BTS’ Twitter)

The seven-member group has been going strong on several Billboard music charts, topping Social 50 for 25 weeks and ranking No. 16 on Artists 100. Four consecutive BTS albums also made it on the Billboard 200 chart, including its latest release “Wings: You Never Walk Alone.” The track “Spring Day” landed at No. 15 on the Bubbling under 100 chart and “Not Today” stood at the top of the week’s Twitter Top Tracks.

(Screen captured from BBMAs Magenta Carpet LIVE)
(Screen captured from BBMAs Magenta Carpet LIVE)

Prior to the music event, the group was interviewed by Billboard and ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

The group’s fans exploded with excitement when pictures of BTS with other superstars like The Chainsmokers, singer-songwriter Halsey and Camila Cabello emerged online.

BTS attends the 2017 Billboard Music Awards and makes its first red carpet debut Sunday. (Billboard)
BTS attends the 2017 Billboard Music Awards and makes its first red carpet debut Sunday. (Billboard)

BTS was showered with congratulatory messages on social media from those in the music circles in and out of Korea, including Apple Music and Bang Si-hyuk, CEO and producer at the band’s agency Big Hit Entertainment.

BTS attends the 2017 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday. (Billboard Music Awards' Twitter)
BTS attends the 2017 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday. (Billboard Music Awards' Twitter)

BTS’ fashion also became a hot issue at the annual award. Vogue magazine praised the nine members’ black suits.

“Each look played off the other, yet stood on its own ground -- a pitch-perfect red carpet debut,” the fashion magazine said on social media.



Since its debut in 2013 with “No More Dream” from its first album “2 Cool 4 Skool,” BTS has gained international fame and high popularity worldwide.

By Jie Ye-eun (yeeunjie@heraldcorp.com)
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