MTV Video Music Awards

K-pop fans welcome new Best Group category

SEOUL • K-pop fans were initially upset after super boy band BTS were overlooked by the MTV Video Music Awards (VMA) organisers.

The seven-member group, which have spearheaded a K-pop invasion of the United States, bagged four VMA nominations last month, but none in the major categories.

Fans also perceived that the unveiling of a new K-pop category was meant to "protect" Western artists from competition.

The organisers, reacting to the backlash, have introduced a new, fan-voted Best Group category.

The nominees announced on Monday are Australian pop rockers 5 Seconds Of Summer; Latin-American boy band CNCO; two American boy groups - Backstreet Boys and Jonas Brothers; American-Canadian boy band Prettymuch; and American pop outfit Why Don't We; along with K-pop heavyweights BTS and Blackpink.

The new award is welcomed by K-pop followers, who have long been vexed by the unequal treatment of artists, even if they storm the charts.

The Grammys early this year nominated BTS for Best Album Package only, with the organisers later trying to pacify critics by inviting the Korean group to present a prize at the ceremony.

But even as the VMA organisers have made a concession, some netizens are not happy over the 24-hour voting window, saying it feels like an insincere, rushed job.

The winners of the VMAs will be announced at a show in Newark, New Jersey, on Monday.

Powerhouse artists Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift lead the list of nominees, with 10 nods each.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 21, 2019, with the headline 'K-pop fans welcome new Best Group category'. Print Edition | Subscribe