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BTS again aims for first Grammy Award

The members of K-pop sensation BTS pose for a picture on the red carpet at the 63rd Grammy Awards in Los Angeles in March. (Big Hit Music)
The members of K-pop sensation BTS pose for a picture on the red carpet at the 63rd Grammy Awards in Los Angeles in March. (Big Hit Music)
Fresh from conquering the AMAs, K-pop sensation BTS now has its sights set on a gramophone shaped trophy, with a nomination for best pop duo or group performance for next year’s Grammy Awards.

The group was nominated Tuesday for the prize for its megahit “Butter.” BTS received its first-ever Grammy nomination last year for “Dynamite,“ but failed to get a nomination for any of the top four overall Grammys.

“Butter” was recognized alongside songs by big-name performers -- Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga’s “I get a kick out of you,” Justin Bieber and Benny Blanco’s “Lonely,” Coldplay’s “Higher Power” and Doja Cat and SZA’s “Kiss Me More.”

Nominees were determined by the eligible voting members of the Recording Academy, comprised of music industry experts and professionals, such as artists, producers, sound engineers and critics. While the first round of votes had finished earlier this month, a final-round voting will take place between Dec. 6 and Jan. 5.

If the boy band wins, it will write a new chapter in history as the first K-pop act to take home not only a Grammy trophy but also to sweep all three major US music awards, including the American Music Awards and the Billboard Music Awards.

K-pop boy band BTS poses for a photo on the red carpet at the American Music Awards held at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday (US time). (Big Hit Music)
K-pop boy band BTS poses for a photo on the red carpet at the American Music Awards held at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday (US time). (Big Hit Music)
BTS bagged three awards, including the top honor, artist of the year, at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles Sunday. Back in May, the group also took home four awards, including top-selling song for “Dynamite,” at the Billboard Music Awards.

The 64th Grammy Awards is set for Jan. 31 in Los Angeles and BTS, which has had a big year in 2021, is widely expected to start the new year with a win.

Seoul-based pop music critic Lim Jin-mo told The Korea Herald that winning a Grammy nomination is enough of a “great honor” for artists around the globe. At the same time, he predicted that BTS is highly likely to win this time.

“‘Butter’ stayed on the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 10 nonconsecutive weeks, making it the longest-running top song of the year on the chart. And the boy band’s six songs (including ‘Dynamite’ and ‘Permission to Dance’) became chart-toppers at a very fast pace this year,” Lim said.

Pop culture critic Kim Hern-sik expected BTS to win at the Grammy as well. He particularly appreciated the septet’s “experimental journey” of collaborations with global artists such as Coldplay and song releases in Western music styles.

The awards’ internalized racial bias in the voting system and placement of greater value on artists’ commercial success rather than their high artistic quality and global popularity could be big hurdles for BTS to overcome, the expert added.

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