Light It Up, BTS

This year’s Grammy’s were definitely eventful. BTS, the group that transcended language barriers and became Korea’s “One Direction,” is actually being called the biggest boy band in the world currently. The group has broken records and opened doors for many other Korean groups. They had gotten a glimpse of the Grammys for the past two years, but were official nominees and performers at the 2021 award show. Although it was online, there’s still a lot to discuss… 

The Group

The group is new to many, so here’s a bit of background. BTS stands for Bangtan Sonyeondan (written 방탄소년단 in Korean), literally translating to “Bulletproof Boy Scouts” in English. According to J-Hope, one of the members, their group name signifies the group’s intention; “to block out stereotypes, criticisms, and expectations that aim at adolescents like bullets,” which has clearly gotten them far. BTS is a seven-member group with an age range of six years between the oldest and youngest member. Due to the group’s perseverance, hard work and genuine styles and songs; they managed to break down barriers and gain fan bases globally.

The group rocks color-coordinated suits at the 2021 Grammy awards.
Photo from www.eonline.com

Light It Up, BTS

The Grammy’s aren’t foreign to BTS, as the group has been invited in past years and even performed with Lil Nas X in 2020, however, 2021 saw them as first-time nominees. With this, BTS became the first Korean group ever to receive a major Grammy nomination, which is a milestone both for them and for the Grammy awards. This got fans excited and considering their fanbase is so large, BTS’s Grammy presence spread like wildfire to those who hadn’t even listened to their music before. #LIGHTITUPBTS became a trending Twitter hashtag, encouraging the boys to make their mark on the Grammy audience. 

The Song

“Dynamite,” was the song that got them where they are today, breaking many records; one being the fastest Korean song to reach 700 million views on Youtube. It even topped the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the first single by a Korean artist to hit number 1 on the Billboard charts. Furthermore, the song currently has over 700 million Spotify streams. Considering Spotify isn’t supported in Korea and many other Asian countries, that shows that many of those streams are coming from countries in the west, just showing how wide of an audience they’ve reached. It was announced on March 16 that the group had broken yet another record. Guinness confirmed that BTS achieved the record for most simultaneous viewers for a music video on YouTube Premieres. Those are just a few of the song’s achievements. “Dynamite” really is on fire!

BTS' 'Dynamite' music video sets 3 Guinness World Records | Yonhap News  Agency
Guinness praises the single “Dynamite”.
Photo from Twitter

They performed the hit at the award show, topping it with flawless choreography and vocals. Due to Covid restrictions, the group had to perform at home in Seoul; so their team recreated the Los Angeles Grammy set for them. The show was visually and sonically appealing and definitely one of the most memorable that night.

Who’s That Man?…

The member that caught viewers’ eyes.
Photo from www.trendsmap.com

One of the members caught the eyes of viewers during their performance. Since people didn’t know his name, they referred to him as the “White Suit Black Hair” guy. His handsome features caught a lot of attention. Funnily enough, viewers also asked about him during the 2020 Grammys as the “man in black with a perm,” and during the 2019 Grammys where he was known as the guy with the green hair. I mean, are they wrong?

The “Man in black with the perm” at 2020’s Grammy awards
Photo from www.teenvogue.com

Grammys or Scammys?

The Grammys caused a lot of uproars this year. The Weeknd feels he’s been snubbed and fans think that Doja Cat was also robbed of a Grammy. So when BTS didn’t end up winning an award even though they were hyped up so much, fans got very upset. Fans and non-fans alike believed that the Grammys overhyped BTS’s presence just to gain a bigger audience, which seemingly worked in their favor. In fact, directly after the awards, the group held a live-stream that gained almost as many viewers at the Grammys themselves, which led fans to retort that BTS doesn’t need the Grammys. Fans also called the awards “racist and xenophobic.”

It’s still uncertain whether or not the Grammy awards are rigged when accomplished artists with big cultural impacts didn’t win or even get nominated – cough, the Weeknd, cough – but it’s not to say that even without the awards these artists (BTS included) will continue to thrive and open doors for other artists following in their paths. Although the group didn’t win this year, they really are lighting things up and will hopefully continue to spread joy and music in the future.

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