BTS scores Grammy nod, snubbed anew in major categories

Anna Gabrielle Cerezo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 24 2021 12:30 PM

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Popular Korean boy band BTS is again challenging the west's reign over the global music industry. 

Following their groundbreaking Artist of the Year win at the 2021 American Music Awards, RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook, are now gearing up to conquer the Grammy Awards. 

For the second time, the septet was nominated for best Pop Duo/Group Performance.

Last year, BTS made history when their 2020 single “Dynamite” was named for the same award, becoming the very first K-pop act to be considered for a Grammy 

The South Koreans' disco-pop track, however, was bested by Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga's "Rain on Me." 

This time around, their summer hit “Butter” will be competing alongside Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga’s “I Get a Kick Out of You,” Justin Bieber and Benny Blanco’s “Lonely,” Coldplay’s “Higher Power” and Doja Cat and SZA’s “Kiss Me More.”

Despite releasing three No. 1 hits this year, this was the only nomination the South Koreans received for the 2022 Grammy Awards.

The nomination, albeit celebrated, again puts a spotlight on the Western dominated music industry’s lack of diversity. 

Following the backlash the Recording Academy received after Canadian pop star The Weeknd was snubbed at last year's awards despite an impressive run at the top of the charts, the organization dropped its anonymous review committees. 

Although they removed the previous system used to determine the nominees, not much has changed in this year's line-up. 

BTS, despite flaunting a massively successful year at a time when most acts still continued to reel from the fall out of the global pandemic, was snubbed for Artist of the Year. 

Their blockbuster single “Butter,” was also excluded from the marquee Record and Song of the Year category, even though the track, which is this year’s top-selling song in the United States, spent an impressive 10 weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart (as well as smashed a handful of Guinness World Records).

Not long after the announcement of nominees, “SCAMMYs” trended on Twitter. 

This was not the first time the Recording Academy was called out for being discriminatory as the institution had long been embroiled in controversies, particularly when it comes to issues concerning artists of color. 

Nicki Minaj, The Weeknd, Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar, and even Beyoncé (although she is among the most awarded artists, she has been notoriously overlooked for major categories like Album of the Year) are just some of the big names who have been regarded as some of Grammy's greatest snubs. 

In an interview with Billboard, BTS leader RM previously said dominating the US, which is still largely unaccepting of non-english records, is not among their objectives and would rather stand by their Korean heritage, in part, by writing music in their own language. 

“I don’t think we could ever be part of the mainstream in the US,” RM told the music publication. “And I don’t want that either. Our ultimate goal is to do a massive stadium tour there. That’s it.” 

This weekend, BTS will kick off the first of four much-awaited shows at the SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. Their concerts on November 27 and 28, and December 1 and 2 will mark the first time the South Koreans will perform before a roaring crowd of fans since 2019.