“Dynamite” GRAMMY Loss has Caused Quite an Explosion for BTS ARMY


BTS members embrace into a group hug after receiving their first ever Daesang [Grand Prize] for Album of the Year at the 2016 Melon Music Awards. This was a huge milestone for the group that marked a day in history for BTS and BTS ARMY. Almost all of the members cried tears of joy. “This is really the biggest award we got since our debut,” said RM during the acceptance speech of this award.

Grace Blaisdell, Staff Writer

The night of the GRAMMYs was March 14, 2021. At the end of the award ceremony, BTS fans (known as the BTS ARMY) were disappointed to see BTS’ 2020 hit “Dynamite” lose a GRAMMY to “Rain on Me” by Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga. Both songs were under the Best Duo/ Group performance category of the GRAMMYs, and “Dynamite” was the first song released in English by the entire group. Many people, not just the BTS ARMY, believed that “Dynamite” deserved the win since the song has become a global phenomenon and a massive hit of 2020. 


To start off, I am not saying that “Rain on Me ” was not a 2020 hit, or that it was undeserving of the GRAMMY. However, I think that “Dynamite” has made a much bigger overall impact in music history than the winner. It broke numerous records alone within the first 24 hours and was a very impactful song for people globally, especially during these times that we are facing with the COVID-19 pandemic. “I think BTS should’ve won. I heard more from them than any other person nominated. They were everywhere from ads to radio plays to merch,” said Nicolai Santana of Memorial High School. Santana has been a K-pop fan for a while, and a BTS fan since early 2015. Additionally, in an interview with BTS from when the song was released, Zach Sang thanked the group for sharing the song because it brings “a lot of light for him during these dark times.


Additionally, “Dynamite” is the only song that the group has sung entirely in English, and it was also their first ever GRAMMY nomination. The group’s songs such as “Boy With Luv,” “DNA,” “FAKE LOVE” have a mix of both Korean and English lyrics. These songs all possessed the qualities of a GRAMMY nomination at the time of their release. For example, “Boy With Luv” became the fastest video to reach 100 million views in two days. Over the last couple of years, I have noticed from my time as a K-pop fan especially here in America, there is a certain stigma here when it comes to music that is not sung in English. Ever since I became a fan of K-pop, people constantly question why I love it so much even though I do not understand the lyrics since I am not fluent in Korean. However, many K-pop songs possess a much deeper meaning with regard to the messages in their lyrics. When BTS first debuted in June of 2013, their first album concept revolved around teenage thoughts of life since they were all close to their teen years around that time. Similarly, in BTS’ “Young Forever” concept, it expressed “the concerns about people in their 20s with sacrifices and work”. Therefore, because of the Recording Academy’s denial in recognizing the impact of BTS’ other songs that are sung mostly in Korean, it leads me to believe that there is bias with regard to choosing not only the nominees, but the winners as well. 


Although I have unsettling feelings that this is the group’s only English song and it was BTS’ first ever GRAMMY nomination, there is no denial about the influence of the song since it is entirely in English. “This is the group’s first song that features all English lyrics. So for the parent trying to connect with their child’s interests, or the casual music fan who keeps hearing ‘BTS’ on the news, the song provides an easier introduction to the group’s work. It breaks down another barrier for a differentiated audience,” explained Matthew Barbosa, the department head for the Visual and Performing Arts department at Hollis Brookline High School. English is the most popular language that people want to learn. As a matter of fact, a significant number of countries require English to be taught. Therefore, fans from all over the world have the access to this fun and uplifting song during these hard times. Having the song entirely in English is a huge part of why the song generated the fame and recognition it did. Different cultures and races could relate as we all are facing this pandemic on some sort of scale. 


Unfortunately, I think that the GRAMMYs used BTS’ nomination in order to gain viewership since BTS’ name alone attracts a very large audience. According to Julia Stoll, a total of 8.8 million Americans watched the Grammys in 2021. The view count went down compared to the 2020 view count which was 18.7 million. The award that BTS was nominated for was not even televised on the main show even though the category included well known stars in the music industry. Specifically, the pre-show stream on YouTube started off with a 1.2 million view count and shortly declined to 400,000 after BTS’ award was announced. 


Even with the loss, the group remained humble. “BTS is one of the most popular boy bands now because their fandom loves the messages they spread and how sincere they are towards their fans,” said Ashley York of Newington High School. York has been a member of the “BTS ARMY” since 2017, and saw them live in concert in May 2019. This sincerity that York describes occurs even after their GRAMMY loss. After the show, the boys went live to express to their fans about how much of an honor it was to be nominated. RM, the leader of the group also consoled fans during the live video by telling us not to worry and that we [BTS ARMY] are their prize. Finally, Eric Nam, another famous idol singer in Korea said in his podcast that this is one of the reasons he loves the members of the band. 


Even though “Rain on Me” was an extremely popular song of 2020, it did not have the profound impact that BTS’ “Dynamite” had, which is why I believe that “Dynamite” was the more deserving of the GRAMMY award.