If this becomes reality, BTS will certainly once again make a new history for K-Pop.
On April 5, Billboard officially announced nominations for the 2019 Billboard Music Awards. This is one of the most prestigious music awards of the pop industry that is determined based on professional reviews, artist achievements in Billboard charts and public vote.
At this year’s awards ceremony, K-Pop had 3 representatives appearing on the nomination list instead of just 1 like 2 years ago. Still in a familiar category “Top Social Artist”, but besides BTS, EXO and GOT7 are two new names. Korea most popular trio of boy bands will compete with Ariana Grande and Louis Tominson to find out who is the winner of this category.
However, this year, “Top Social Artist” is not the only category that BTS is nominated for. The BigHit’s boy group also appeared in another category, “Top Group/Duo” for the best band, group, duo. This makes ARMY extremely proud because it is an award that is decided on the basis of achievements in the charts and evaluation of the professional council, not based on the votes of the fans. Therefore, this award is among the most prestigious items of BBMAs.
Although it is an important award, BTS is not without a chance to win. Other names nominated with this K-Pop representative are: Maroon 5, Dan & Shay, Imagine Dragon and Panic! At the Disco. These are all very strong candidates, but based on what BTS has achieved in 2018, the group might be able to receive awards for “Top Group/Duo”.
Impressive achievement on the Billboard 200 chart
As mentioned above, one of the prerequisites for winning BBMAs is based on the Billboard chart category. The two most important charts are the Billboard Hot 100 – ranking 100 best-selling songs in the US and the Billboard 200 – ranking the top 200 best-selling albums in the US.
In 2018, BTS released 2 albums “Love Yourself: Tear” and repackage version “Love Yourself: Answer”. Both of them landed at No. 1 in the Billboard 200 chart – this is an unprecedented achievement for any K-Pop artists ever. Specifically, “Love Yourself: Tear” has become the first Asian artist album to hold the crown in the chart above, and is the first non-English album in more than 12 years to dominate the chart. The previous product that holds this record is the “Diva” of II Divo in 2006.
“Love Yourself: Tear” sold 135,000 album units. Meanwhile, “Love Yourself: Answer” sold 185,000 album units, of which 141,000 were physical disk sales. Throughout Billboard’s history, only 18 artists had two consecutive albums to win the Billboard 200 No.1 in the same year, and BTS was the 19th name to achieve this feat.
Besides, according to IFPI – International Recording Industry Federation, BTS is second only to Drake in total album sales in 2018. This statistic is based on all the music products consumed by the group in a year, which includes physical album sales, digital downloads, disc sales, etc. If you count each album separately, “Love Yourself: Answer” and “Love Yourself: Tear” keep taking turns at 2nd and 3rd in the top 10 with 2.7 million and 2.3 million copies, therefore the BigHit’s boy group is just behind the soundtrack album “The Greatest Showman” in terms of sales.
Considering the achievement on the Billboard 200 and the sales of albums in 2018, BTS will be far ahead of the remaining competitors in the nomination for “Top Group/Duo” award. They only have disadvantage on the Billboard Hot 100 chart when in the past year, the group has not owned any No.1 song, while Maroon 5 is too successful with the hit “Girl Like You”. Even so, on this chart, BTS still got No.10 for the hit “Fake Love” and No.11 for “IDOL” collaborated with Nicki Minaj.
In addition, BTS has been making headlines on the Billboard World Albums chart for months. In other categories such as Top 100 Artist, Social 50, they still hold very high positions. It can be seen that in terms of achievements on Billboard, the group is completely able to win the “Top Group/Duo” award.
The power of fandom and social networking
Perhaps there is no need to discuss much about the power of the A.R.M.Y after 2 consecutive times helping BTS win the “Top Social Artist” award with the vote outnumbered the remaining competitors. Moreover, just by looking at the number of views that the group achieved during each comeback or their album sales, we can see the growth of this fandom.
Although in the “Top Group/Duo” category, the final result is not based on fans’ votes, but this factor can completely be taken into consideration by the critics. An artist or a product can be considered successful when they gained popularity and recognition from the audience. So the fact that BTS has a lot of fans shows that their music really touched the audience, which is more important than the numbers or rankings.
Furthermore, BTS also has impressive power in terms of social media. From the Facebook, Youtube, Twitter to Instagram accounts of the group, they have huge numbers of followers and subscribers. Therefore, it is a factor that contributes to the “promotion” of the award whether they win it or just be nominated.
Many think that a prestigious award like Billboard will not need to be promoted by any artist, but in fact, it’s the opposite. The world music market is in a situation where the best awards ceremonies are having lower and lower ratings. The rating is now a competition for all the stations, so any award all needs promotional support from the artists to be able to increase the ratings.
In BTS’s case, as soon as the group is announced in nominations, BBMAs-related hashtags immediately appeared in the top trend globally, as well as being mentioned a lot on other social networks. In the context where there is way too much information like these days, this will certainly be a great help for the awards to create a breakthrough in rating, and when considering BTS’s media power, it can help the group win the prize.
Anyway, we can all wait and count down to 8 pm on May 1 to know if BTS is the winner or not. But one sure thing is that with just being nominated, it is a great pride for A.R.M.Ys as well as the Kpop. The 2019 Billboard Music Awards will be held at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas (USA).