BTS, The GRAMMY Awards, And The “Best New Artist” Debate

They could be nominated for “Best New Artist”, but should they be?

BTS are dreaming about winning a GRAMMY, but will 2021 finally be their year?

| Jeff Kravitz/

In 2019, BTS were entered to be nominated in three of the four big GRAMMY categories (“Song of the Year”, “Record of the Year”, and “Album of the Year”), along with “Best Pop Duo/Group Performance”,  “Best Music Video”, “Best Pop Vocal Album”, and “Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media”.

Despite their massive commercial success and critically acclaimed discography, BTS did not receive a single nomination for the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards. The 63rd Annual GRAMMY Awards could be a different story, thanks to the barrier-breaking success of “Dynamite”.

Earlier this week, “Dynamite” debuted at No.1 on the Billboard “Hot 100” chart, making BTS the first Korean act in history to do so. “Dynamite” also sold 265,000 digital copies in its first week, more than all 49 other songs on the “Digital Song Sales” chart combined. When asked about BTS’s next conquestRMJimin, and Suga mentioned the GRAMMYs. 

Like what Suga mentioned earlier – we want to go to the Grammy’s to show people that there are these sort of singers from other countries.

— Jimin at BTS’s “ONLINE GLOBAL MEDIA DAY” press conference

Among fans, journalists, and netizens this has rekindled the debate about the GRAMMYs’ ever-changing “Best New Artist” category. Currently, it is defined as more of a ‘Breakout Artist’ award rather than an award for new musicians.

Our Best New Artist category probably has the most complicated set of rules of any of our categories. Essentially, a “new artist” is defined for the GRAMMY process as any performing artist or established performing group who releases, during the eligibility year, the recording that first establishes the public identity of that artist or established group as a performer.

— The GRAMMY Awards official website

By definition, BTS could be nominated for “Best New Artist”, but the real question is: should they be? Many supporters believe that BTS should instead be nominated for an award for seasoned artists, such as “Album of the Year”.

Nominees for the 63rd Annual GRAMMY Awards will be announced later this year. What are your thoughts?

| GRAMMY Awards/
Source: GRAMMY Awards