The Korea Herald


No win, but multiple nods still make BTS shine at Grammys

By Choi Ji-won

Published : Feb. 6, 2023 - 15:02

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K-pop band BTS (Big Hit Music) K-pop band BTS (Big Hit Music)

In its third year of contending at the Grammys, K-pop phenomenon BTS ends the night technically empty-handed again. But experts assure this does not mean a failure at all.

The 65th Grammy Awards' ceremony took place Sunday night at the Arena in Los Angeles. BTS did not attend the event in person.

This year saw the group get multiple Grammy nods for its first time, including in the best music video category for "Yet to Come" and in the best pop duo or group performance category with "My Universe," along with the main album of the year prize for Coldplay's “Music of the Spheres."

Beating BTS' "Yet to Come" for best music video was Taylor Swift's "All Too Well: The Short Film." "Yet to Come" is from the group's anthology album "Proof," which released in June in celebration of its ninth anniversary.

BTS was nominated in the best pop or duo performance category for a third time with "My Universe," the K-pop act's megahit collaboration with British rock band Coldplay. Previously, BTS was nominated in the same category for "Dynamite" in 2021 and with "Butter" in 2022. This year's best pop or duo performance went to "Unholy" by Kim Petras and Sam Smith.

The band also had an interest in the top prize of the night for the first time, album of the year, with Coldplay's "Music of the Spheres" on which the band's rappers -- J-Hope, RM and Suga -- were credited as songwriters for "My Universe." Album of the year went to Harry Styles' third studio album "Harry's House."

This year marks the group's fifth year of being involved with the Grammys, and its third try for some hardware. In 2019, the group was invited as an award presenter at the 61st edition. The following year, it was invited to perform, becoming the first Asian act ever to earn that honor. In 2021, the septet was nominated for an award for its first time and matched that with its second nomination the next year, achieving both feats for the first time as a K-pop act.

While many fans and Koreans rooting for the band's first Grammy statues expressed disappointment, critics said the result is not all that matters.

During the live broadcast of the ceremony streamed locally via Tving, pop music critic Kim Young-dae, who was among the commentators, said, "Although more Koreans have their eyes on the Grammys thanks to BTS and thus have high expectations, there are numerous big names, such as Snoop Dogg, who were nominated countless times but have not won yet. Focusing just on the final win would be unfair. Getting nominated itself holds significance."

Seoul-based pop music critic Kim Do-heon spoke on a similar note, adding there will be greater prospects of a Grammy win if BTS continues to make the band's own music about their own stories.

"I personally hope BTS could make more albums like the 'Map of the Soul' series through which they voice their own stories. When the series' albums were released, Grammys had their own troubles inside. But, hopefully in 2025-26, when the group is set to make a full return, the members will be more mature and capable of making their own music that could leave a socially meaningful mark in the US music scene," Kim said.

This year BTS did not attend the ceremony in person. Since June, the group has been on an indefinite hiatus to focus on their solo careers and to fulfill their obligatory military duty in turn. The group's eldest member Jin enlisted in December, and the other members will also start their service in order.

Meanwhile, American pop artist Beyonce was night's biggest winner at the 65th Grammys.

Beyonce won four trophies in total, including best R&B song with "Cuff It" and best dance/electronic music album with "Renaissance," bringing her overall number of wins to 32, the most by any artist in the Grammys' history.