After topping US Billboard chart, BTS eyes Grammys

SEOUL – Fresh from scoring Korea’s first-ever No. 1 hit on the main US Billboard music chart, K-pop juggernaut BTS on Wednesday set its sights on a standalone performance at next year’s Grammy Awards – and maybe a trophy or two.

Since its 2013 debut, the seven-member South Korean boy band has surfed the global K-pop craze to dizzying heights. 

On Monday, it landed top spot in the Billboard Hot 100 chart with breezy disco hit Dynamite, a first English-language single that’s been lapped up by mainstream US pop fans.

For BTS, the global smash – with a YouTube video that’s already racked up 275 million views – raises hopes of glory at the Grammys.

The band performed there earlier this year alongside rapper Lil Nas X, but has never been nominated for an award.

“The Grammys is the place that all artists would dream of, and we’re hoping that we will be able to stage our own performance, secure nominations and if possible, win an award,” said band leader and rapper RM, 25, speaking alongside his bandmates during on online news conference on Wednesday.

Members said the Billboard achievement still didn’t “feel real”, lamenting being unable to celebrate it with fans as the coronavirus pandemic prompted them to cancel a scheduled world tour.

“All the performances and concerts we had always held have now become a dream,” said RM. “But we still want to do an outdoor show some day, inviting many people and throwing a festival at a big square.” 

Dynamite notched 33.9 million US streams and 300,000 sales in its first week, according to Nielsen Music data. BTS also scored the biggest digital sales week in nearly three years, the numbers showed.

While the group’s introspective 2018 album Love Yourself: Tear was aimed at showing fans how the young stars dealt with and overcame doubts and fears, the new single was designed to give energy to fans who might be grappling with coronavirus gloom, the band said.

“Everyone should join hands to help fight the pandemic, in which lifting people’s spirits is vital,” said vocalist Jimin, 24.

“What we should and can do is to give a bit of comfort and refresh them, that’s another goal of ours.” - REUTERS