BTS made 2020 their year by turning crisis into opportunity

Posted on : 2020-12-31 17:48 KST Modified on : 2020-12-31 17:48 KST
The first Korean act to be nominated for a Grammy has dominated the charts this year
Global K-pop group BTS. (provided by Big Hit Entertainment)
Global K-pop group BTS. (provided by Big Hit Entertainment)

2020 has been BTS’ year. Not only did the group become the first Korean act to top the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, but it has done so with three songs over a three-month period. It’s the fastest that feat has been achieved in the 42 years since the Bee Gees reached No. 1 on the Hot 100 with three songs in two months and three weeks. The three songs that BTS took to the Hot 100’s summit are the English-language “Dynamite” (released in August), the Jason DeRulo song “Savage Love” (with BTS as a featuring act), and the Korean-language single “Life Goes On” from their EP “BE,” which was released last month.

If anything, BTS has turned the COVID-19 crisis into an opportunity. The group has captured the US market with songs that offer energy and comfort to people around the world who are suffering amid the pandemic. Their songs “Dynamite” and “Life Goes On” both send consoling messages to people going about their lives while the virus rages. Where “Dynamite” sings of hope in a cheerful and lighthearted way, “Life Goes On” soothes the listener with a more lyrical mood.

BTS has also become the first K-pop act to be nominated for the Grammys, the most prestigious popular music awards in the US. “Dynamite” has been nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. The ceremony is set to take place on Jan. 31. While some have criticized the Grammys for being too conservative — slow to recognize change and dominated by older White males — many experts and major overseas media see a possible victory in the cards for BTS.

BTS’ achievements this year extend to an amendment of the Military Service Act. In its main session on Dec. 1, the National Assembly approved a partial amendment to the act that has become known as the “BTS deferment.” The amendment allows a deferment of mandatory military service to the age of 30 for outstanding achievements in popular culture and the arts who are recommended by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism as having contributed significantly to enhancing the stature and prestige of the Republic of Korea.

By Kim Kyung-wook, staff reporter

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