Asia Minute: South Korea’s Grammy Triumph Follows Oscar Win

Nov 26, 2020

This week’s Grammy Award nominations sparked some controversy for some of the performers who were not included. One group that was recognized has made a little international history—at least in South Korea.

South Korean popular music — or K-pop — has long been a popular export. This week, the genre made a new mark in the United States with its first Grammy nomination.

Super-group BTS is a seven-member boy band that’s been churning out hits for more than seven years.

They’re the best-selling music group in South Korean history, and this past September became the first Korean group to top the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.

13 weeks later the song “Dynamite” still lingers within the top 20, and that’s the one that’s been nominated for a Grammy.

It’s the group’s first song done entirely in English. They’ve previously done songs and even entire albums in Japanese — part of a broader international appeal.

The group has shattered records for YouTube views when debuting a video, and attracted a legion of fans known as the BTS Army — which according to Time Magazine now includes some 40-million followers.

The Hollywood Reporter says its sales last year from merchandise alone topped 130-million dollars.

The nomination marks the latest impact of the Korean wave of popular culture washing over U.S. audiences — coming less than a year after the South Korean movie “Parasite” became the first non-English film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.