The 2021 Grammys have now come and gone, but there is an issue that still persists almost a week later among the BTS Army. South Korean K-Pop sensations BTS received the results of their first ever Grammy nomination on Sunday, March 14, 2021. Fans anxiously awaited along with BTS to hear the much-anticipated results of the winner for “Best Pop Duo/Performance.” Instead of hearing “Dynamite by BTS!” ARMY heard “Rain on Me By Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande!” Naturally, this was quite a shock to the fandom.
Let’s rewind, shall we?
“Rain on Me,” a collaboration between Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande that was featured on Gaga’s latest album, Chromatica, was released on May 21, 2020. “Dynamite” was released on Aug. 20, 2020 as a single. Let’s keep in mind that these two songs were released almost exactly three months apart, with “Dynamite” coming after “Rain on Me.”
“Rain on Me” tallied up about 21 million views on YouTube in its first 24 hours. Billboard reported that “Dynamite” “is blowing up on YouTube. The new music video from BTS counted 101.1 million views within 24 hours of its release, YouTube confirms to Billboard, making it the music video with the biggest first-day debut to date.” It is pretty obvious to state, at this point, that, when it came to both songs debuting on YouTube in the first twenty-four hours, “Dynamite” clearly came out on top. It had about five times more views than “Rain on Me,” and, simultaneously, broke a YouTube record. It is also important to note that, as of March 18, 2020, “Rain on Me” has accumulated 293 millions views, while “Dynamite” encroaches on a billion views at 934 million thus far.
When it comes to Spotify numbers, “On Aug. 21, “Dynamite” debuted at No. 1 on Spotify’s daily Global Top 50 chart. The song achieved 7,778,950 streams within a day, and beat Taylor Swift’s previous record of 7.742 million streams with “Cardigan.” Now, BTS holds the title for the biggest Spotify debut of 2020. “Dynamite” is the first and only song by a Korean artist to ever debut at the top position on the chart. It is also BTS’s first time reaching No. 1 on Spotify’s Global Top 50.” It is unnecessary to even look up “Rain on Me” when it comes to the Spotify’s daily Global Top 50 chart, as it is stated, in black and white, that “Dynamite” was the biggest Spotify debut of 2020.
Reports also show that “Rain on me” “becomes Lady Gaga’s fifth chart-topper, it’s the second time she’s debuted at No.1, she sets the record for ‘the longest span between number one debuts’ (it’s been exactly 9 years since ‘Born This Way’) and, she is now the third artist in history to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in the last three decades (Gaga follows Mariah Carey and Beyoncé).” Despite this being a huge achievement for Gaga, it is also the most popular achievement that is connected to “Rain on Me” and practically the only one aside from a handful of awards from MTV and NRJ. The song was able to debut at number one in a little over a week on the Billboard Hot 100, but did not remain there for multiple weeks.
“Dynamite” has a very different story.
Billboard reported that “Dynamite” remained for a total of four weeks as number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart despite it taking about three weeks after the single’s debut. Furthermore, Lady Gaga’s album Chromatica did not even rank in the Top 10 Best Selling Albums of 2020, according to Forbes. In fact, BTS snagged the number one and number two spots, with “Dynamite” being featured in the second album spot. There are many other records that “Dynamite” has broken, which can be viewed rather conveniently at this link.
Additionally, for an even simpler breakdown, thanks to the countless chart data accounts on Twitter that keep track of BTS’s achievements and records, a simple breakdown, posted on the day of the Grammys, featured exactly where these two Grammy-nominated songs differed when it came to achievements and numbers, with BTS taking the lead in six out of eight columns; the tweet with this data can be found here.
By now, you should be able to come to the conclusion that there lies a massive gap in achievements and numbers between “Rain on Me” and “Dynamite.” This brings us to the point of this article; BTS was snubbed by the Grammy’s big time, and the awards even laid the groundwork to add insult to injury before the actual day of the ceremony.
It was reported, about two weeks before the Grammys, that there would be a Separate Premiere Ceremony. It was said that this ceremony would consist of announcing some of the winners, including Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. The BTS Army immediately saw a red flag with this announcement, and many questioned why the one category that BTS were nominated for would not be televised. In the past, this category had been featured on television, back when Twenty-One Pilots won in 2017, Portugal. the Man in 2018, Lady Gaga in 2019, and Lil Nas X in 2020. These broadcasts can be seen just by looking up the winners via YouTube or Twitter.
Not only was it disappointing enough that the category would not be televised, it was even more upsetting when BTS were not deemed the winners. What made matters even more insulting was that neither Lady Gaga nor Ariana Grande bothered to be available for an acceptance speech, while ARMYs saw, via social media, that BTS were dressed, prepared, and ready, should they have been chosen as the winners. It appears that a sense of gratefulness could be lost after so many years of success. However, despite BTS not achieving a Grammy this time around, they have shown themselves to constantly show gratitude towards their fans, even through COVID-19, by making sure to submit acceptance speech videos for awards, whether it was an award won in South Korea, or even something as small as the U.S.’s Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards.
The Grammys continued to have their nerve as about a third of the televised Grammy ceremony was spent teasing fans that BTS would be up next to perform. It was clear, when it had almost been an hour and half since the first mention of the performance, that the Grammys were using BTS to garner views just as they had been planning to do ever since they announced their nomination back in November. This was made even more clear by BTS not performing until practically the very end. The group performed “Dynamite,” and it was probably the best performance of the night, as BTS recreated an entire set resembling the skyline of L.A., and, of course, by performing with the amazing energy that they bring to every performance. (By the way, neither Gaga nor Grande performed anything for the Grammys this year.)
After the news of the Grammy results came to be, BTS’ loyal fanbase, known as ARMY, took to social media to express their overwhelming support for the boys and provide their own thoughts on the results. Thousands of fans trended #LightItUpBTS on Twitter as another way to showcase their support. There were tweets that were even featured in various other news articles, such as: “what I’m most upset about is that they lost in a PERFORMANCE category…think what you want about the song but no one could out perform BTS.” This tweet rings true, as all a person has to do is go to YouTube and pick one of the many BTS performances available to watch in order to prove this. Just from viewing a few videos, one would be able to see how much strength, stamina, and coordination is involved in most of BTS choreography.
Furthermore, BTS has performed “Dynamite” an array of times ever since its release, and, every time, they have changed it up with the sets, costumes, dance breaks, and charisma. A live performance of “Rain on Me,” that was performed by Gaga and Grande for the MTV Music Awards, pretty much involved similar choreography as featured in the music video. This choreography mostly consisted of Gaga, Grande, and their backup dancers, standing in the same place while kicking, raising their arms, jumping in place, and . . . whatever Gaga was doing with her hands before the beat dropped during the chorus. In other words, it was nothing close to the show that BTS puts on whenever they perform “Dynamite.”
Lastly, when the nominees for the Grammys first came out, just by looking at the list, one can see that most, if not all, of the nominees were nominated for at least two or more categories, while BTS submitted for seven categories and were only nominated for one. I go into more depth about the ridiculousness of BTS only receiving one Grammy nomination in my previous article. This piece discussed BTS’s success with “Dynamite” thus far at the time of the nomination, and how their success did not match up with their single nomination. It is being made even more obvious, at this point, that the blatant lack of recognition toward BTS despite their success here in the U.S., is intentional, and everyone and their mother is starting to wake up and see it.
I would personally love to ask the Recording Academy: what is the point of working so hard to achieve such great numbers, break records, and bring upon such a great cultural impact, just for it not to be recognized? It is difficult to not see the prejudice that was involved with this decision, as the sheer amount of achievements that “Dynamite” has racked up simply outweigh “Rain on Me” in numerous ways. It has been prominent for years that something fishy is going on within the Recording Academy, as, year after year, they hand out awards to their little “darlings,” in the words of Eminem. If fairness is not restored to awards such as The Grammys, it may soon come to pass that the only ones watching will be the people monitoring the broadcast feed.
At the end of the day, nobody can erase the fact that BTS was the first ever South Korean group in history to present at the Grammys, perform, and be nominated. This is something the entire fandom is extremely proud of BTS for. Grammy results aside, BTS have and continue to make a huge global impact from millions of fans all over the world. Army loves you very much, BTS, and we congratulate you on your nomination, once again. Continue to ‘Light it up like Dynamite!’
Featured Photo Courtesy of Entertainment Tonight