Forbes article: As BTS continue smashing records and the Grammys continue to lose relevance, who really needs who?
BTS’s 2020 Grammys Shutout Reveals The Recording Academy’s Cultural Blindspot
Every year, the Grammys release their list of nominations, and every year, fans express their outrage over perceived snubs. But this year’s list of Grammy nominations revealed one of the Recording Academy’s most egregious oversights in recent memory: BTS’s total shutout.
BTS enjoyed an unprecedented hot streak in 2019. In April, the group released Map of the Soul: Persona, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, making them the first group since the Beatles in 1996 to score three chart-toppers in less than a year. (They also hit No. 1 with 2018’s Love Yourself: Tear and Love Yourself: Answer.) The septet recently wrapped its Love Yourself: Speak Yourself Tour, which hit stadiums around the world, grossing nearly $117 million and selling almost 1 million tickets. They also scored their highest-charting Billboard Hot 100 hit to date with the Halsey-assisted “Boy with Luv,” which peaked at No. 8, was certified platinum by the RIAA and boosted the band’s crossover appeal even further.
These are just a sample BTS’s achievements in 2019. The group seemed like a shoo-in for Grammy nominations—if not Album or Record of the Year, then perhaps Best Pop Duo/Group Performance or Best Pop Vocal Album, and at the very least Best World Music Album. But by shutting BTS completely out of the 2020 Grammy nominations, the Recording Academy yet again revealed its perennial cultural blindspot and proved to be woefully out of touch with popular music trends.
The Grammys’ tenuous relationship with race is hardly a secret. In their 61-year history, only 10 black artists have won the Album of the Year award, while many non-white artists are relegated to R&B or rap categories. Grammy nominees and winners throughout history reveal a voting bias within the Academy, as artists of color are repeatedly “othered” and mediocre works from legacy acts are awarded over critically and commercially successful efforts from contemporary artists. In this instance, BTS have been snubbed in both regards.
Of course, quality is subjective, and naysayers could make the objection that BTS’s recent output simply wasn’t good enough to warrant Grammy nominations. But let’s be real: The Grammys have virtually nothing to do with objective musical quality. They are an antiquated institution determined by industry politics and populism—which is why Kendrick Lamar’s Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City can lose Best Rap Album to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ The Heist, and DAMN. can lose Album of the Year to Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic.
The irony is that, by these metrics, BTS are some of the most deserving Grammy candidates. They regularly outperform their white and/or Western contemporaries in terms of album sales, streams, video views and concert draw. Western artists clamor to collaborate with them, and award shows invite them to participate in an attempt to seem hip—including the Grammys themselves last year. The Grammys regularly value populism over artistic integrity, and BTS are the definition of a people’s band (while also making sophisticated, critically acclaimed pop music).
The silver lining is that BTS fans are used to this sort of disappointment. Today, they responded how they usually do: by doubling down on their streams and publicly professing their love and support for the group. As of this afternoon, fans had launched BTS’s entire Korean discography back onto the iTunes Top Albums chart in the United States, according to Soompi, and at the time of this writing, #ThisIsBTS is the third-highest-trending hashtag in the world.
BTS will continue to tour and release music, and fans will continue to support them unabated, regardless of Grammy recognition. The Academy may properly acknowledge the K-pop group someday. But as BTS continue smashing records and the Grammys continue to lose relevance, who really needs who?
original post: theqoo
1. I like this article, it comforts me a lot (although I don’t really expect it).
2. That’s a good article, Forbes really takes an objective look at the current situation.
3. Bangtan is an Asian group of singers, and Bangtan sings songs in Korean. That’s the only thing that makes it difficult for them to reach the Grammy. This shows how the Recording Academy is racist.
4. Who really needs who? That’s so true … The Grammy needs Bangtan so they invited Bangtan to the awards ceremony last year?
5. Black singers who sing songs in English are also discriminated against. Bangtan fans also anticipate this, so we’re not disappointed.
6. I’m looking forward to next year’s album quality.
7. It’s okay because the fans didn’t expect much. Instead, the press thinks this is an opportunity to criticize the chronic issues of the Grammy. In the end, I think the Grammy wants Bangtan more than Bangtan wants the Grammy.
8. I’m not surprised because the Recording Academy is so conservative.
9. That’s a good article, seriously …. We just need to support Bangtan more in the future
10. It’s great to see Forbes supporting Bangtan