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(LEAD) BTS lights up Grammys with stellar performance of 'Dynamite'

14:06 March 15, 2021

(LEAD: RECASTS headline, lead; UPDATES with details, photo from performance, minor edits)
By Lee Minji

SEOUL, March 15 (Yonhap) -- K-pop juggernauts BTS brightened up the Grammy awards with another striking performance of its megahit "Dynamite," writing history as the first Korean nominee to perform on the annual music show often dubbed "music's biggest night."

The seven-piece act -- Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V and Jungkook -- joined the 63rd Grammy Awards held in Los Angeles on Sunday (U.S. time) from Seoul through a performance recorded at a high-rise in the South Korean capital's financial and political district of Yeouido.

Wearing suits in warm hues of ivory, yellow, orange and black, the members performed the pop-disco number at stages adorned with the Grammys signature gramophone trophies and a red carpet before moving up a staircase to the top of the building.

BTS sung the finale of the up-tempo song in the outdoor space, with Seoul's night lights illuminating the septet dancing and singing on a round-shaped stage.

It marked the first Grammy performance by a Korean nominee and its third appearance on the show. The group first appeared at the 2019 Grammys as presenter and joined American rapper Lil Nas X the following year to perform his record hit "Old Town Road," with lines from the remix "Seoul Town Road."

In a statement released through their agency Big Hit Entertainment, the group said the experience was "a meaningful moment," saying it "will continue to move forward toward their next goal."

This photo, provided by Big Hit Entertainment, shows BTS on the stage for a performance of "Dynamite" during the 63rd Grammy Awards on March 14, 2021. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

BTS was nominated in the best pop duo/group category, a first for a K-pop and an Asian act, for its hit number "Dynamite."

Its first-ever bid to win a trophy, however, fell through as Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande took home the trophy with their collaboration "Rain On Me." Other contenders were Taylor Swift's "Exile" featuring Bon Iver, "Un Dia (One Day)" by J Balvin, Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny and Tainy, and Justin Bieber's "Intentions" featuring Quavo.

The group said the whole nomination process has been an "unbelievable" experience and thanked fans for supporting them throughout the journey.

"Thank you for supporting us, thanks to you we're going through this unbelievable experience. We are truly grateful and happy. We love you Army!" member Jimin shared on their official Twitter account, following the first leg of the annual music ceremony where the category winner was announced.

This photo, provided by Big Hit Entertainment, shows BTS taking part in a virtual red carpet event for the 63rd Grammy Awards held in Los Angeles on March 14, 2021 (U.S. time). (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Other members of the septet left messages on the group's Twitter account and the fan community Weverse, thanking fans and pledging to once again give their best this year.

"Let's get it going this year," wrote Suga, while Jungkook penned, "Thank you for being with us every moment and we'll make sure to return your love and support."

RM posted two photos of himself, asking fans to "watch out for the performance."

Army, the band's dedicated fandom, returned the love with encouraging comments on social media, sharing millions of tweets with hashtags like #BTSOurGreatestPrize and #LightItUpBTS. They voiced how proud they are of their favorite artist and promised to keep supporting them going forward.

This photo, provided by Big Hit Entertainment, shows BTS performing in "Music On A Mission," a virtual concert and fundraiser held on March 12, 2021 (U.S. time), ahead of the 63rd Grammy Awards. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

While the Grammys has a track record of being conservative toward boy bands and non-Western pop acts, the phenomenal success of "Dynamite" had raised hopes that BTS may become the first Korean and Asian pop act to win in the competitive category that was introduced in 2012.

The upbeat summer number that BTS sang in hope of cheering up listeners during the pandemic was a smash hit from the start. After writing history by becoming the first song by a Korean act to debut atop the Billboard Hot 100, it has stayed on the chart for 28 weeks.

The track, entirely sung in English, also helped the band make a splash on U.S. radio. Thanks to its stellar success, BTS went on to become the Global Recording Artist of the Year in 2020, with two of its 2020 albums "BTS: Map of the Soul 7" and "BE" sweeping the top two spots on the world's bestselling albums chart.

In an interview with the Grammys released ahead of the ceremony, the septet voiced hope on how they could "play a part in helping people be exposed to diverse music."

"We see movements in 'diversity' in the global music industry. We hope these changes expedite and keep moving forward. There are so many artists in Korea besides us who put out great music. And I'm sure there are even more on a global scale. Hopefully, we can play a part in helping people be exposed to diverse music and more musicians become more widely known," Suga said.

Jungkook also mentioned how a "win would be significant not only for us but for many who pursue diversity in music."

This photo, provided by Big Hit Entertainment, shows the members of BTS posing for photos during an online media day event in Seoul on Sept. 2, 2020. The band's "Dynamite" topped Billboard's main Hot 100 singles chart in the United States on Aug. 31. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Meanwhile, three-time Grammy nominee Richard O'Neill took home the trophy for best classical instrument solo with "Theofanidis: Concerto For Viola And Chamber Orchestra."

Widely known as Richard Yongjae O'Neill here, the violist with a Korean-born mother is known for introducing more Korean listeners to classic music.

Women swept the prizes for the top four general field categories. Billie Eilish won record of the year with "Everything I Wanted," Taylor Swift won album of the year with "Folklore," and H.E.R. won song of the year with "I Can't Breathe." Megan Thee Stallion won best new artist.

mlee@yna.co.kr
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