Did BTS get robbed of a 2021 Grammy nomination?

(Ben Hider / Invision / AP)

BTS finally landed its first Billboard Hot 100 chart-topper this year, with the effervescent single “Dynamite.” The seven-piece South Korean pop band — it’s probably not fully accurate to call them K-pop anymore — had one of the two top-selling albums of the year in 2020 (and might have another one in last week’s “Be”), and the disco-driven, English-language “Dynamite” had a strong case for 2021 Grammy record or song of the year nominations.

Even Grammy K-pop’s skeptics had to admit that the bona fides were there: sold-out stadium tours, mainstream radio play beyond streaming, phenomenal album sales (as in physical sales of CDs and downloaded tracks, not just streaming equivalents) and a No. 1 single with zero K-pop bona fides needed to love it. They did get a nod for pop duo/group performance, but that probably won’t sate the faithful.


Will the Grammys ever get a dedicated K-pop category? It’s a perennial complaint in fandom (BTS did get a nomination last year for recording package). But there’s a legitimate case to make that BTS should have had a shot at record and song of the year.

The 2021 Grammy nominations, in 83 categories