S. Korean President Moon congratulates BTS on AMA win

Anna Gabrielle Cerezo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 23 2021 06:23 PM | Updated as of Nov 23 2021 08:03 PM

BTS receives an award for Artist of the Year at the 49th Annual American Music Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, California. Mario Anzuoni, Reuters
BTS receives an award for Artist of the Year at the 49th Annual American Music Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, California. Mario Anzuoni, Reuters

(UPDATED) South Korean President Moon Jae-In on Tuesday congratulated BTS on their historic win in the global music scene.

On Monday, RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook bagged all three nominations at the 2021 American Music Awards, including the coveted Artist of the Year.

The feat marks the first time an Asian act snagged the Artist of the Year title since the ceremony's inception nearly half a century ago.

"I would like to congratulate and thank BTS for winning the AMA grand prize," Moon wrote in a statement.

"Korean culture dominates the world and it is also exerting strength in national character and diplomacy. BTS' award for the reason confirmed that once again."

BTS has been on a record-breaking streak since they landed their first No. 1 album in the United States in 2018. 

And as the group rose to unprecedented heights, so did Korean popular music. K-pop, once a niche interest in the west, has now become a multi-billion dollar juggernaut.

While there are numerous K-pop acts that are equally talented, the unrivaled achievements of BTS in 2021 (their unbeatable streaming count, remarkable sales record, and their historic run on the Billboard charts) is enough proof that the Bangtan boys are undoubtedly leading the charge in forwarding the Hallyu wave.

"We are also proud of the fact that Korean popular music has made meaningful achievements in the global mainstream music market. In the future, we expect that our culture and artists in more diverse fields will capture the hearts of people all over the world," BTS tweeted in response. 

In 2014, BTS dared to break through language barriers and took on the western music industry. Despite only one member fluent in English, the Bangtan boys now holds 6 No. 1 hits in the US, with “Butter” succeeding as the longest-running No. 1 track on Billboard’s Hot 100 and Digital Song Sales chart this year. 

BTS will also be holding a four-day sold-out concert at the massive SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles this weekend, the same state where they once pleaded bystanders to come to their free concert. 

"Nobody could have bet on us standing here today, except for ARMYs. 7 boys from Korea united by love and music, and the love supported by ARMYs all over the world, this whole thing is a miracle. I wanna give this honor to you guys," BTS RM said during their acceptance speech at the AMAs. 

According to the members, the win that shattered the stubborn Asian pop glass ceiling is not a pinnacle of success or end-goal, but the beginning of their journey.

“We wanted to make people happy with our music, we believe that these awards open the beginning of our new chapter. In the past few years we learned that each and every moment is precious,” Jungkook, the group's main vocalist, said in their acceptance speech at the AMA. 

Moon, meanwhile, asserted that BTS’s singular influence is changing the world’s perception of South Korea. 

"Even though there is no country that has been more successful than Korea over the past 60 years, I think so many Koreans are weak and lagging behind it affects their optimism and creativity," Moon said quoting Joseph Age. 

He went on: "What do you think everyone? Isn't it worth having confidence and pride now?"