If there is any indication that Korean Pop Music, or K-Pop, has become an indelible portion of music that is being listened to in the US, then it is seen in the Best K-Pop category of MTV’s Video Music Awards (VMA’s), in the same fashion as the Best Latino Artist category has been part of the show since 2010 (barring absences in 2014-17). The VMA’s have only started awarding K-Pop acts last year, but it has been highly anticipated by fans, particularly of the first (2019) awardee: boy band BTS. As expected, the K-Pop juggernaut is a nominee again for 2020, with more categories besides.
Forbes reports that BTS has no less than three nominations for the upcoming 2020 MTV Video Music Awards, much to the rejoicing of their fandom “Army,” to be sure. They were among the nominees announced in Thursday of last week, July 30. Getting another nomination for the Best K-Pop VMA is a given already, but the fact that BTS is also in the running for two other “mainstream” categories is a surefire sign that the group stands as a virtual equal to the rest of the primarily American acts that stand to win an award.
Vying with BTS and their February-released song “On” for MTV’s Best K-Pop are Exo (“Obsession”), (G)I-dle (“Oh My God”), Monsta X (“Someone’s Someone”), Red Velvet (“Psycho”), and TXT (“9 and Three Quarters [Run Away]”). As far as nominees go the selection is formidable in the category. But BTS is also in the running for Best Pop (against 2019 collaborator Halsey, Taylor Swift, and a Lady Gaga-Arianda Grande duet, among others) and Best Choreography. For the third category the focus should be more on BigHit’s The Lab and Son Sung Deuk which choreographed the “On” MV; but really, BTS gets spotlight.
When BTS’ “On” got on the Billboard Hot 100 it reached the Number 4 spot, said to be the highest any K-Pop act ever got on the rankings. The feat is remarkable enough since the whole thing was happening during the strictest lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic. Speaking of which, the 2020 MTV VMAs will be held live this coming August 30 at NYC’s Barclays Center, the first event at that venue since the pandemic erupted. Even further, there will be performances in outside locations across New York’s boroughs in testament to their resilience. It is still a question though if BTS (or many nominees) could be there to receive their VMAs should they win.
Image courtesy of BTS Bomb