BTS just achieved a major career milestone. The South Korean boyband became the first K-pop act to receive a Grammy nomination. As Entertainment Tonight reports, BTS has been nominated for Best Recording Package for their album Love Yourself: Tear. The award is given to projects that have stellar visual branding and typically goes to the art director. However, it’s still a big achievement for BTS as it shows that their efforts to receive recognition in the American music industry are getting results.
BTS fans, collectively known as “Army,” expressed delight at the news of the nomination.
“BTS got nominated for a grammy for its album art let’s celebrate,” one fan tweeted alongside a GIF of the group performing.
While some seemed somewhat disappointed, many of them didn’t seem to mind that the nom was for visual packaging rather than music.
“I was pulled in initially by BTS’s visuals, and then I fell into their music,” wrote one Twitter user. “The Grammy’s are just following the typical stan progression.”
“Art director or not BTS name is out there now,” another wrote. “It’s really in the mouth of the Grammys. This ain’t whatever. This is the beginning of greater things. Appreciate and be grateful.”
— Soompi (@soompi) December 7, 2018
The nomination helps to cement BTS’s spot as the most successful K-pop act to cross over in the U.S. market. Their passionate fans made them the most tweeted musical performers in the U.S. in 2017, beating pop juggernauts like Rihanna and Justin Bieber, CNBC reports. Earlier this year, they performed at the American Music Awards, and Ellen Degeneres compared the fan reaction to the type of adoration that the Beatles would get in their heyday.
The group started in 2010 and was built around one member, Rap Monster, whose real name is Kim Nam-joon. After a meeting with Bang Si Hyuk, executive producer and CEO of their record label Big Hit Entertainment, the idea for BTS began to take shape.
“I was an underground rapper and only 16-years-old, a freshman at high school,” Rap Monster said in an interview with TIME Magazine. “Bang thought I had potential as a rapper and lyricist, and we went from there.”
Big Hit Entertainment held auditions for the other members of the group. Two of them told Billboard that they probably would have become farmers if they hadn’t joined.
Catchy pop tunes and Grammy-nominated visual branding aside, many say that a huge key to BTS’s success has been their willingness to tackle deep issues that resonate with their fans.
“BTS owes its popularity to its willingness to address social issues, mental health, and politics, despite being in a genre often painted as bubble gum,” Bloomberg wrote of the group. The esteemed business publication includes the group in their list of “people who defined business in 2018.” They are one of two musical acts on the list. The other is Taylor Swift.