As BTS failed to reach the Grammy win despite the high possibility, music critics complain about the U.S mainstream music market that refuses to change

“Little strokes fell great oaks” – Suga said at a press conference in November last year.

BTS, which has firmly established itself as a global pop star, ambitiously knocked on the door of a Grammy win again with its song “Butter”, but couldn’t break through that solid wall in the end.

Although BTS stopped at the threshold to the award after competing with prominent candidates, getting nominated with “Butter” for the second consecutive year following “Dynamite” is considered a meaningful trace already.

In a telephone interview with Yonhap News on April 4th, pop music critic Kim Do-heon said, “The fact that BTS was nominated at the Grammy for an eventful single rather than a full-length album is enough to prove that BTS is impressive and amazing (in the music industry)”

BTS-Grammy 2022

Critic Kim predicted, “If BTS releases a better song, they might get nominated for the Grammy again and expect good results”.

Inside and outside the music industry, many analysts are saying that BTS faced such fierce competition due to unprecedentedly prominent candidates.

Doja Cat, who beat BTS and lifted the trophy, was also considered a strong candidate for the award.

BTS-Grammy 2022

Doja Cat, who began posting her self-produced music on the music platform “SoundCloud” in her teenage years, has released emotional and sweet songs ever since her debut in 2014.

In particular, as “Kiss Me More” became a worldwide hit, she was nominated for a total of 8 categories at this awards ceremony, including “Record of the Year” and “Song of the Year”.

Pop music critic Jung Min-jae analyzed, “The Grammy Award is decided based on a vote by the members of the Recording Academy, which consists of music officials. Especially, this year’s nominees were considered highly competitive”

BTS-Grammy 2022

However, he emphasized, “Since the Grammy doesn’t favor boy groups, just being nominated already means a lot”, adding, “Getting nominated for the second consecutive year, BTS was also recognized by the Grammy”.

Some criticized the results of the Grammy this year, saying, “The Grammy did that again”. 

Since the Grammy nominations were announced in November last year, foreign media have called out the Recording Academy over the fact that BTS once again failed to earn any nomination for “General Fields”, the four major Grammy awards, last year for “Dynamite” and this time for the mega hit “Butter.”

BTS-Grammy 2022

Is it true that the Grammys has come under criticism for being more conservative and exclusive compared to other popular music awards. In particular, many non-white and female artists are said to face higher barriers than white men and many Grammy officials who are eligible to vote are notoriously stingy with “new choices,” prompting calls for essential changes in the Grammys’ voting system.

BTS was expected to win the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance category for chart-sweeping song “Butter” released last year 

Famous music critic Kim Young-dae said, “The Grammys has been criticized (for the need for change) for the past several years and has supplemented the voting members in consideration of diversity.” However, looking at the results, he said, “They haven’t changed yet,” and “There wasn’t enough change for the Grammys to give BTS an award.”

BTS-Grammy 2022

Pop culture critic Jung Deok-hyun also explained, “Even if you look at the Academy Awards, the so-called ‘glass ceilings’ that value mainstream culture are being smashed, but the Grammys is still questioned and criticized for being local.”

Critic Jung added, “All BTS activities so far have been carried out together with ARMY (BTS fans), so (the failure to win this award) can be expressed as a disappointment given their efforts.”

Unlike other music award shows that use chart performance and public popularity as criteria, the Grammys is faithful to its musical nature and the winners are only decided by experts from the Recording Academy. So some critics advise that BTS should take a step further musically with this result.

BTS-Grammy 2022

For example, the controversy over the same melody that songwriter Sebastian Garcia sold to Dutch musician Luca Debonaire for “Butter” affected BTS.

Lim Jin-mo, a pop music critic, said, “It may mean that the Grammys does not evaluate BTS as musically perfect enough to nominate them as the winner. BTS can put more emphasis on music and art. They still have a lot of work to do.”

Critic Jung Deok-hyun said, “Songs such as Butter and Dynamite have become globally popular, so now it is time for BTS to find their own color musically in addition to popularity. If they succeed, BTS can aim for the Grammys next year and the year after.”

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