South Korean pop group BTS lit up the eleventh hour of the Grammy Awards with a dynamic performance despite losing their nomination in the award show’s Best Pop Duo/Group Performance category.
The seven-member group was nominated for “Dynamite,” their feel-good anthem designed to provide a welcome respite from a year defined by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The song, released on Aug. 21, 2020, was the group’s first to be recorded entirely in English. The track also made history as the first K-Pop song to top the Billboard Hot 100 and be nominated for a Grammy, though BTS was nominated in 2019 for the Best Recording Package award for the appearance of their album “Love Yourself: Tear.” The group had also appeared in a medley of Lil Nas X’s hit “OId Town Road” during the 2020 Grammys.
BTS lost to Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande’s “Rain On Me.” Other nominees included “Un Dia (One Day),” by J Balvin, Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny & Tainy, “Intentions” by Justin Beiber and Quavo, and “Exile” by Taylor Swift and Bon Iver.
BTS’ legion of worldwide fans — known colloquially as the “BTS Army” — mourned the Grammy loss on social media, but also commemorated the group’s performance, which featured the crew dancing in a facsimile of the Grammy stage and eventually moving to the roof of Parc1 Tower, a skyscraper in Seoul.
According to host Trevor Noah, the group re-created the Grammys set in Seoul since they were unable to travel to the U.S. for the show.
More disgruntled fans flooded Twitter with complaints about the loss, which was announced ahead of the show.
The hashtag #scammys went viral, and prior to the group’s performance, some wrote that a BTS Samsung Galaxy commercial was the most interesting thing about the Grammys.
Cultural studies professor Lee Gyu-tag of George Mason University Korea told The Korea Herald that the loss was disappointing, particularly considering the worldwide popularity of BTS.
“Their Grammy debut nomination itself was too late, as it should have come a year or two ago,” Lee said. “The belated nomination had already proved how closed the Recording Academy was.”