Now that the members of BTS have finally earned a Grammy nomination, what are the odds of the K-pop supergroup actually winning? “Dynamite” was the band’s first legitimate American smash, reaching #1 this summer. It also nabbed a nomination for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 2021 Grammys.
Let’s take a look at BTS’ history at the Grammys and how they earned their first nomination. Then, we’ll get to the important question and discuss their chances of actually taking home the Grammy on January 31, 2021.
History of BTS at the Grammy Awards
The South Korean boy band has been together since 2013. They first cracked the Billboard 200 album chart in America in 2015 for The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Pt. 2, and the dented the Hot 100 singles chart in 2017 for “DNA.”
In 2018, they took another step, scoring multiple Top 10 hits in the U.S. and collaborating with Nicki Minaj and Halsey. Fans in the BTS Army held out hope that the group would score some Grammy nominations in 2019, but they only appeared in the Best Recording Package category for Love Yourself: Tear. The nomination didn’t even go to BTS – it went to their art directors who designed the package. Still, BTS scored further recognition by appearing on the 2019 as presenters.
In 2020, the group performed at the Grammys for the first time, taking part in the unusual “Old Town Road” performance with Lil Nas X, Billy Ray Cyrus, Mason Ramsey, Diplo, and Young Thug. The performance was a bit odd because of the mish-mash of guest stars, but it was another opportunity for BTS to increase their public profile among U.S. music fans.
Despite not receiving any nominations in 2020, the group still held the Grammys as a career goal. Suga told Variety, “I grew up watching American award shows, so obviously we all know and I know the importance of the Grammys. It’s a dream anyone working in music has.”
BTS Finally Earn a Grammy Nomination in 2021
In 2020, BTS truly exploded in America, hitting #1 on the singles chart with “Dynamite.” BTS submitted their music for consideration in 7 categories for the 2021 Grammys. “Dynamite” was submitted for Record and Song of the Year, Best Music Video, and Pop Duo/Group Performance, while Map of the Soul: 7 was submitted for Album of the Year, Pop Vocal Album, and Best Engineered Album.
BTS watched the nominations with the rest of us, and their reaction showed how important the Grammy nomination was:
— 방탄소년단 (@BTS_twt) November 24, 2020
In the recent Esquire cover story by the fantastic Dave Holmes, BTS acknowledged that they really want a Grammy win. RM said, “I think the Grammys are the last part, like the final part of the whole American journey. So yeah, we’ll see.”
Although the boys in BTS were thrilled to get a nomination, many observers expressed disappointment that the best-selling band in the world only scored a single nomination. Several pundits and artists (including Halsey) mentioned BTS alongside snubbed acts like the Weeknd as evidence that the Grammys still aren’t properly rewarding artists of color, especially in non-traditional genres.
Will BTS Actually Win the Grammy for “Dynamite”? Our Prediction
Can BTS actually win the Grammy for “Dynamite?” If the fans could vote, BTS would be huge favorites. But the Grammys have an exclusive voting body, made up of roughly 13,000 professional musicians who compose the Recording Academy. BTS became members of the Academy in 2019 and are eligible to vote for themselves, so they’ve got at least 7 votes guaranteed!
While BTS are not the leading contenders to win, they definitely have a chance. The general consensus is that Taylor Swift and Bon Iver, both Recording Academy favorites, are most likely to win Best Pop Group/Duo Performance for their duet “Exile.” Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande also have a good chance for “Rain On Me.” BTS are right in the mix with those two.
The other two nominees, J Balvin’s “Un Dia” and Justin Bieber’s “Intentions,” aren’t expected to have much chance of winning. So it’s basically a three-song race for the Grammy.
It would be a historic moment to see a K-pop act win a major Grammy category, so we’ll all be watching with interest. The fact that this is BTS’ first Grammy nomination will work against them. Voting members of the Recording Academy tend to stick with artists who have already won before. Swift, Bon Iver, Gaga, and Grande have all taken home Grammys in the past.
Ultimately, we predict that Swift and Bon Iver will prevail in a tight race with Gaga/Grande and BTS. Based on the Recording Academy’s voting history, we expect “Exile” to edge out “Rain On Me” and “Dynamite.” However, it wouldn’t be a shock if “Dynamite” does win the award. So the BTS Army should still have hope.
Our Projected Odds in the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance Category
3/1 “Exile,” Taylor Swift & Bon Iver
4/1 “Dynamite,” BTS
4/1 “Rain On Me,” Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande
7/1 “Un Dia,” J Balvin, Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny, Tainy
10/1 “Intentions,” Justin Bieber featuring Quavo
BTS Could Be Back at the 2022 Grammy Awards!
The boys’ recent album Be and #3 single “Life Goes On” were both released after the deadline for the 2021 Grammy Awards, which means they’ll be eligible in 2022. So even if “Dynamite” doesn’t win in January, BTS fans might have another chance to get excited when the 2022 Grammy nominations are announced in the fall.
Do you think BTS have a shot to take home the Grammy Award? Leave a comment and let us know!