A year ago, I wrote on how it was baffling that the Recording Academy had not acknowledged BTS despite their Map of the Soul: Persona album breaking multiple records. Records not just for each track making it to the Billboard charts, but also a music video that broke Guinness World records.
A year later, 24th November 2020 —
as per the reaction of four of the members above, it was announced that BTS are nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance!
(The complete list of 2021 GRAMMYs nominees can be accessed here.)
In this article, I will be breaking down:
- what I (and possibly many of the ARMY community) felt about the nomination,
- what does getting a GRAMMYs nomination personally mean for BTS, and
- how BTS’ nomination and impact changes the game.
During their recent global press conference to promote their new album BE, Jin shared the group’s hopes in getting a Grammy award nomination. This was not the first time the group has mentioned their dream to be nominated. Suga has mentioned this during interviews, most notably on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and The Late Late Show with James Corden.
From being nominated for Best Recording Package for Love Yourself: Tear, being the First K-Pop group to present at the GRAMMYs, to BTS receiving their first Grammy nomination for their music, this accomplishment has fans all over the world celebrating.
Though I (and many others) are extremely happy for BTS’ nomination, it does make me wonder why solely Dynamite was nominated.
What about Album of the Year? Record of the Year? Song of the Year?
If we thought Map of the Soul: Persona broke records, Map of the Soul: 7 surpassed that. In fact, this year’s album broke records set by last year’s album:
- first Asian artist to top the world’s largest music markets: the U.S, Japan, Germany, France, UK, and the U.K
- first Korean artist to occupy 21 of the 25 spots on the Billboard World Digital Song Sales Chart
- most pre-ordered South Korean album of all time, banking in at 4.02 million orders
- achieving their fourth no.1 album on Billboard 200
I could go on and on, but instead I’ll direct you to this article that lists out 20 records that BTS has set with Map of the Soul: 7.
According to the Grammy Awards Category Rules, it would have made sense if Map of the Soul: 7 was nominated for more categories based on the records they achieved:
- Record of the Year: “Recordings entered for consideration in this category should represent the best overall achievement. The elements to be considered are the performance, production and engineering; secondary elements for consideration are songwriting/composition, arranging and performance of the backup vocalists and musicians, as applicable.”
- Album of the Year: “Albums entered for consideration in this category should represent the best overall achievement by the performer(s), album producer(s), engineer(s)/mixer(s), and songwriter(s). Other elements to be considered are arranging and musicianship.”
- Song of the Year: “Songs entered for consideration in this category should represent the best achievement in songwriting. Songs that contain samples or interpolations are eligible. A song must comprise melody and lyrics to be eligible in a songwriting category and must have been released on a recording for the first time, or achieved prominence for the first time, during the current eligibility year.”
It is undeniable that Dynamite on its own amassed records as well, with the music video being the most-viewed music video premiere on YouTube and charting multiple times on the Billboard Hot #100 chart.
However, is it a cause for concern that only Dynamite, BTS’ only full English song, was nominated? Could this showcase a deeper problem involving gatekeeping within the Recording Academy? Don’t get me wrong, there are bilingual songs such as Un Dia (One Day) that were nominated. With the septet’s track record, it is surprising that only Dynamite received recognition.
Unlike what some news platforms are saying, the problem here is not the lack of a K-Pop category. The problem here is the denial of BTS’ track record as a whole, considering how their Map of the Soul series has BTS beating BTS at their own game.
However, their nomination for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance is still something to be celebrated. They were part of Lil Nas X’s performance of Old Town Road — which had won this category last year. A year later, BTS is nominated for that same category. Let that sink in on how far they’ve come.
Getting a Grammy Nomination — What We Know So Far
Last year, BTS were able to share a collaboration stage at the Grammy’s with Lil Nas X for a performance of Old Town Road.
So, how does this nomination for Dynamite change things up for them?
Though we will have to wait till closer to the awards show day to find out who the performers and presenters are, with BTS being a Grammy nominee, there may be a higher chance of BTS getting their own stage this time around. Based on how the award show has been conducted so far, Grammy nominees have taken to the stage to perform.
We may possibly (fingers crossed) be seeing a BTS stage at the Grammy’s!!
Following BTS’ Grammy Nomination
I am reminded of BTS’ interview with Reuters, when RM said that they felt like “aliens to the music industry in America”. They wondered if there was a place for them at the Grammy’s. Regardless, RM said BTS will continue doing their best and hope towards being recognised by the Recording Academy one day.
“One day” has come, but there is still so much more to look forward to.
This is only the beginning.