After first Billlboard No. 1 single, BTS eyes Grammys

BTS single Dynamite notched 33.9 million US streams and 300,000 sales in its first week.
BTS single Dynamite notched 33.9 million US streams and 300,000 sales in its first week.PHOTO: AFP

SEOUL (REUTERS) - Fresh from scoring Korea's first No. 1 hit on the main United States Billboard chart, K-pop juggernaut BTS are now setting their sights on a standalone performance at next year's Grammy Awards - and maybe a trophy or two.

Since their 2013 debut, the seven-member South Korean boy band has surfed the global K-pop craze to dizzying heights.

On Monday (Aug 31), they landed at the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with breezy disco hit Dynamite, their first all-English language single that has been lapped up by mainstream US pop fans.

For BTS, the global smash hit - which has a YouTube video that has racked up 275 million views - raises hopes of glory at the Grammys. The band performed at the awards in January this year alongside American rapper Lil Nas X, but have never been nominated.

At an online news conference on Wednesday (Sept 2), band leader and rapper RM, 25, said: "The Grammys is the place that all artists would dream of, and we're hoping that we will be able to stage our own performance, secure nominations and if possible, win an award.

The group noted that the Billboard achievement still did not "feel real", lamenting being unable to celebrate it with fans. The pandemic has also prompted them to cancel a scheduled world tour.

"All the performances and concerts we had always held have now become a dream," said RM, whose real name is Kim Nam-joon.

"But we still want to do an outdoor show some day, inviting many people and throwing a festival at a big square."

BTS boasts an extensive global fan base, collectively called ARMY, who along with the band have been active on social media supporting social and humanitarian campaigns. They have raised more than US$1 million (S$1.36 million) for the Black Lives Matter movement.

 
 
 

Dynamite notched 33.9 million US streams and 300,000 sales in its first week, according to Nielsen Music data. BTS also scored the biggest digital sales week in nearly three years.

While their introspective 2018 album Love Yourself: Tear was meant to show fans how the young stars dealt with and overcame doubts and fears, the new single was designed to give energy to fans who might be grappling with coronavirus gloom, the band said.

"Everyone should join hands to help fight the pandemic, in which lifting people's spirits is vital," said vocalist Jimin, 24. "What we should and can do is to give a bit of comfort and refresh them, that's another goal of ours."

As BTS basks in their success, their management label, Big Hit Entertainment, said on Wednesday that it plans to raise up to 962.6 billion won (S$1.1 billion) in an initial public offering of shares expected in October.