BTS fails to win Grammy for pop duo/group performance, and K-pop fans are not pleased

BTS, in white suits, sing and dance on stage.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

No one should ever be too surprised to lose a Grammy to a collaboration by Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande.

But the BTS Army — the fans of the South Korean megastars — had high hopes the group would win its first Grammy, which would have been the first Grammy ever for a K-pop act.

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The seven-member group had hoped to pull off a victory for pop duo/group performance for the No. 1 single “Dynamite.” The upbeat track, which topped the Hot 100, epitomized last year’s disco revival. It also marked BTS’ first single performed entirely in English.

Gaga and Grande’s “Rain on Me,” another disco-driven smash with formidable star power, took home the top prize instead.


The win would have marked a major achievement for K-pop at the music industry’s defining awards show (though many fans wondered why they weren’t nominated for more high-profile awards at the Grammys this year).

“Dynamite” was the rejuvenating closer on the 2020 LP “Be,” which grappled with the effects of the coronavirus and the isolation that many fans felt while stuck at home.

The group was previously — if obliquely — in the Grammy nomination mix in 2018, when its LP “Love Yourself: Tear” won a nomination for recording package, though the nomination technically went to the design firm HuskyFox.

BTS performed at the Grammys in 2020 as part of Lil Nas X’s medley for “Old Town Road,” where the group’s edit — “Seoul Town Road” — was a highlight of the telecast. They’ll perform in Sunday’s main telecast as well.

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