BTS, a South Korean kpop group, beat out the likes of Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, and Shawn Mendez to win the Top Social Artist award on Sunday night’s Billboard Music Awards. They are the first kpop group to win at the BBMAs (or any award show in America). The only other Korean artist who was able to win a BBMA was PSY back when Gangnam Style was sweeping the world.
This is a monumental moment for kpop. These boys were not only nominated, but won by a large percent, were invited to the show, and were able to go onstage to receive an award that in previous years had not been televised. That means Billboard made SURE to get BTS onstage and in front of the cameras. For that I am grateful. It goes to show how powerful social media can be when used correctly and efficiently. BTS are in constant contact with their fans through photos, messages, and videos. It’s a rare day that passes when one of them hasn’t posted something. This keeps fans actively engaged and interested in a musical world where it can be very easy to be forgotten. I am confident other kpop groups will be studying what they have been doing to try to replicate even a small percent of their success. Be active. Be engaged. Embrace the social media that is helping to connect the genre to the world.
However it is not simply the constant communication that make BTS so beloved. It’s also, and more importantly, their music. Music which they help write and produce themselves. Their songs speak of growing up, loneliness, female empowerment, temptation, being in the wrong, and more. They are singing/rapping about topics that anyone in the world can relate to, language barrier be damned. For this reason, BTS made more history when they released their second studio album Wings which debuted at #26 on the Billboard 200 charts. This is the highest debut for a kpop artist. In addition their latest single “Spring Day” landed at #15 on the Billboard Bubbling Hot Under 100 Singles Chart. In addition they recently completed 5 sold out shows in America in Newark, Chicago, and LA for their 2017 BTS Live Trilogy Episode III: The Wings Tour. Originally they were only meant to have 3 shows, but added 2 more when tickets sold out within minutes. Whew! We have social media to thank for that. Sometimes it truly is a tool for good and I have a feeling that this is just the beginning of BTS’s success in America and worldwide.