Members of BTS perform at the Times Square New Year's Eve celebration in New York on Dec. 31, 2019. (AP-Yonhap)
WASHINGTON/SEOUL -- South Korea's K-pop megastar BTS was nominated for the Grammy Award in best pop duo/group performance, becoming the first South Korean pop artist to be nominated for the US music award.
The South Korean boy group was nominated for its latest hit single "Dynamite" in a virtual ceremony streamed live on Tuesday morning (US time).
BTS was one of five nominated in the category, which included "Intentions" by Justin Bieber, featuring Quavo, "Rain On Me" by Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande, and Taylor Swift's "Exile," featuring Bon Iver.
The nomination marks another step for BTS, which has emerged as one of the world's most popular boy bands since its debut in 2013.
In a press conference marking the release of its new album "BE," RM recalled how going to the Grammys has been a longtime dream for the band since its trainee days.
In 2019, the septet moved closer to that dream by appearing as presenters in the annual ceremony. In January, the band's rappers joined American rapper Lil Nas X to perform his record hit "Old Town Road" with lines from the remix "Seoul Town Road."
While the group's Billboard-topping album "Love Yourself: Tear" was nominated for best recording package, it's the first time that the seven-piece band has earned a nomination for its music.
BTS, whose member RM had said the Grammys would be the "final part of the whole American journey" in a recent interview with Esquire, reacted on social media.
"Thank you to everyone who listened to our music and empathized with it in difficult times. Above all, it is you ARMY that made the miracle of (us becoming) a Grammy-nominated artist. Thank you and love you always," it said in a Korean tweet, referring to its dedicated fan base known as ARMY.
"Thank you Recording Academy for this great honor," the band added in English.
The band also posted two short clips of four of the band's members -- RM, V, Jimin and Jungkook -- reacting to the nomination as they watched the announcement. RM, Jimin and Jungkook were clapping and standing up, while V appeared to be in a shock.
"Dynamite" became a music sensation earlier this year when it became the first song by a South Korean artist to debut at top of the Billboard's main singles chart, the Hot 100.
The song, the band's first all-English lyric track, reigned atop the chart for two consecutive weeks before slipping to the No. 2 spot, but again climbed back to the summit after two weeks.
BTS voiced hope on clinching its first gramophone, the trophy given out to winners, in the Grammy ceremony scheduled for Jan. 31.
"Thinking that our fans will be happy makes us happier. With the nomination, we wish to win and look forward to it," the band said through its management agency.
If the group succeeds in getting its first Grammy, BTS will become the first South Korean act to have won prizes at all three major US music awards that include the Billboard Music Awards (BBMAs) and American Music Awards (AMAs).
BTS won Top Social Artist at the BBMAs for the fourth straight year in 2020. It also won Favorite Duo or Group in Pop/Rock and Favorite Social Artist in the 2020 AMAs, where it put on its first televised performance of the new ballad "Life Goes On."
Currently, the only Korean artist who has won a Grammy is soprano Jo Su-mi. She performed in the album "Die Frau Ohne Schatten," conducted by Georg Solti, which won best opera recording in 1992.
Recording engineer Hwang Byeong-joon is another Korean who has won in the classical categories. (From news reports)