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BTS takes the Grammys by storm: The top boy band’s seven members sounded almost as excited as ARMY

Feb 12,2019
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BTS arrives for the 61st annual Grammy Awards held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles Sunday. [AP/YONHAP]
K-pop’s biggest group, BTS, chalked up another first Sunday evening, local time, at the 61st Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The seven BTS boys walked the red carpet and presented an award, the first time for Korean artists. It was as thrilling for them as for their fans, according to the members.

“I can [see] so many artists. It’s exciting,” BTS member Jin said in a brief interview on the red carpet before the annual music award ceremony. “[It’s a] dream come true,” member J-Hope noted.

Suga expressed his excitement, saying, “I cannot believe it” as the seven members appeared in matching, custom-made tuxedos.

Even though BTS was nominated for only one award — for the jacket of its third album — being invited to one of the world’s biggest music awards was a triumph in itself. Added to their appearance at the Billboard Music Awards in May and the American Music Awards in October, the Grammys were a crowning achievement.

In a short interview with former “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet, the members also thanked their fans.

“It’s a blessing that we can get so much love for doing what we love to do. We are so thankful,” member Jungkook said in smooth English.

“They made us, they gave the wins and they gave all the opportunities to us,” RM said in another interview with the TV show Entertainment Tonight, referring to the group’s fans, who are known as ARMY. “So I am sure they will be proud [...] and they are here with us today.”

Even after the wild success, “we still try to stay ourselves. We could be proud and a little bit high, but we try to keep on what we are doing,” RM said, adding, “I think being ourselves, waiting for the opportunity and challenging is the most important thing.”

Team leader RM also heralded the upcoming release of the band’s new album, saying it will be out “sooner or later.”

“We have been just working on our next album. We’ve stayed all night right before the flight [to the United States,]” RM said, adding that, “It will be really soon.”

“There could be collaboration songs and some joint songs,” he also said after being asked about the possibility of collaborations with other artists. “We don’t know [yet.] We are working on it,” he said.

Asked to name which artists the band wanted to see at the Grammys, the members cited Lady Gaga, Camila Cabello, Travis Scott and “everybody.”

HuskyFox, a South Korean branding firm that designed the jacket for BTS’ third full-length album “Love Yourself: Tear,” was nominated in the award ceremony’s Best Recording Package category but didn’t win.

Sunday’s Grammys was a day for women, as female acts won Album of the Year and Best New Artist, while rap also triumphed, with Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” becoming the first rap-based song to win record and Song of the Year.

Kacey Musgraves’ “Golden Hour” picked up Album of the Year, and Dua Lipa won Best New Artist.

“I don’t even know what to say,” Musgraves said. “I am very thankful. Winning doesn’t make my album any better than anybody else in that category.”

Gambino was the night’s big winner, picking up four honors, including Best Music Video and Best Rap/Sung Performance. Drake surprised the music world when he emerged on stage to accept the Best Rap Song trophy, but told the room of musicians that winning awards isn’t necessary if you have real fans attending your concerts and singing your songs.

Drake, who rarely attends awards shows, won the honor for his massive hit “God’s Plan.”

“You’ve already won if you have people who are singing your songs word for word, if you’re a hero in your hometown. Look, if there are people who have regular jobs who are coming out in the rain and the snow, spending their hard-earned money to buy tickets to come to your shows, you don’t need this right here. I promise you: You already won,” he said.

He tried to continue speaking but was cut off as the ceremony suddenly went to a commercial.

Rap has endured a longtime losing streak at the Grammys. The last time a rapper won album of the year was in 2004, with Outkast. Only a handful of rappers have won best new artist.

Cardi B made history as the first solo female to win Best Rap Album — Lauryn Hill won as a member of the Fugees at the 1997 Grammys. She was shaking onstage as she tried to give a thank-you speech with her rapper-husband Offset holding her arm.

“The nerves are so bad. Maybe I need to start smoking weed,” she said.

The Grammys kicked off with a group of powerful women — including Michelle Obama and Lady Gaga — describing the role of music in their lives: A display that came a year after female voices were somewhat muted at the 2018 ceremony.



BY YOON SO-YEON, AP, YONHAP [yoon.soyeon@joongang.co.kr]