Korean pop sensation BTS and its producer Bang Si-hyuk has been invited to join the Recording Academy, an elite US group of pop music figures most well-known for voting for the Grammy Awards.
The Los Angeles-based group on Thursday announced the list of 1,340 people in the music industry that have been invited to be members, and therefore eligible to vote for next year’s awards. All seven members were invited as “voting members” while Bang -- the head of its agency Big Hit Entertainment -- was to become a “professional member.”
The inclusion of the Korean boyband marks both a recognition for its recent success in the international market and the Recording Academy’s ongoing attempt to diversity its members. The group said that 49 percent of those invited to join the academy this week were women, while 51 percent were under 40 years old.
Having debuted in 2013, BTS made history earlier this year by being the first Korean act to appear in the Grammys, doing so to present an award and as a nominee.