[Article] 170525 [Lee Moonwon's Showbiz Watch] BTS awarded at the BBMA, the US has changed

Boy group BTS won the Top Social Artist award at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards held on 22nd in Las Vegas, US. This category chose the winner based on the digital and album sales volume, number of radio plays, streaming, shows, the social participation rate, and other data. This category was created in 2011 for the first time and US Idol star Justin Bieber continued category as the winner until the winner of the category changed this year for the first time. However, the point we need to focus on more is the level of attention the US media are showing toward KPOP and not only the news about BTS's winning. The news about BTS awarded at the BBMA was covered by almost all pop music media and they reported this news to a great extent. The size of their fan base was clearly proved this time. In other words, BTS definitely solidified their position as the "Next Thing".

This is indeed a great achievement. Many KPOP artists including Wonder Girls, BoA, Se7en, Rain, and SNSD have tried and failed to advance into the US KPOP market but BTS has definitely switched on the green light. Then how should we try to view why and how BTS is the first group to succeed beating their great senior artists? Of course, the very first reason would be that they worked hard to achieve this but if you look from a greater point of view, we can't help but analyze that it took a great number of years for KPOP to "finally" reach the US.

Let's look at this point from a slightly different angle. From a more realistic point of view. What were the "elements" that changed the overall perspective the US market had for KPOP? To understand this, we need to look back at the article "What Does It Take for a K-Pop Band to Blow Up in South America?" written by the New York Times magazine. This article is rather a craze sketch with BTS in the center rather than a cause analysis. But we need to make a guess on why such prestigious magazine would describe the South America atmosphere at this point in time. Actually, the reason is simple. It's because the KPOP popularity in South America interlocks with its popularity in the US.

As we all know, US is a multiethnic state. But during the last 20 years, the ethnicity ratio has changed dramatically. According to the US Think Tank, the ethnicity ratio of US in 2012 was Caucasian 53%, Hispanic 24%, African Americans 14%, Asian 4%, Others 5%. African Americans were No. 2 just 2 years ago but the Hispanics have taken their place with an overwhelming difference. The growth is a more important factor. Hispanics have grown by 43% compared to 10 years before. Based on this, they predict the ratio of Hispanics in the US will grow to almost 30% by 2060.

(the next paragraphs talk more about Hispanics, KPOP craze, dramas...;;)

Original article here
Response +110

1. hmm.. journalist, thank you for the nice post but I think you are misunderstanding some parts so if you would let me explain about this one point- it took time for KPOP to "finally" reach the US but this doesn't mean that BTS is involved during that period. KPOP reached because BTS has raised an exceptional international fandom +470 -8

2. what drama? craze? ㅋㅋㅋ BTS captured the public with their own SNS as their foundation, Youtube, their musicality, perfect group choreography, and charms which only belong to BTS +378 -2

3. This article is ambiguous~ I have a feeling that you're trying to say BTS achieved this because the US has changed...? BTS has storytelling and this is why international fans relate with them and this wasn't built in just overnight~ +367 -2

4. I think it's quite funny how you try to state that this is the victory of KPOP, but you did write a proper article after thorough analyze. Honestly, BTS is just amazing rather than this being a KPOP craze. They have something in them that makes male and female fall in them when you watch them for once ㅠ seriously they have something that's different from other idols... +330 -2

5. but why are they still treated coldly in Korea? You said the US has changed by don't you want to know why the power of one's company is important in their home country +302 -3

6. I think this article is basically trying to say that BTS chose the right timing but to say so, BTS's case is too unusual and peerless. According to your theory, there should be a KPOP craze right now but honestly, I can't help but wonder what's the difference compared to now and 10 years ago. I've never seen a group like BTS who has such core fandom. I think that difference will surely show up as time passes +207 -0

7. It's not that KPOP did well... BTS did well... Present KPOP is transforming like J pop, they only create addictive hook songs... but BTS is a group that combines KPOP + their story + world music trend really well and most of all, they are successful because they are a hard working group... you can't compare them with kids who build their recognition by appearing on variety shows +197 -1

8. Journalist,  I think you need to research more about KPOP, Billboard and BTS. Please read the articles written by the US journalists. See how they talk about this great incident.. Korea is the only country that's clueless about this great achievement.... I think you have the wrong approach on this article.. I'm disappointed.. +192 -0

9. Of course, you could analyze BTS's overseas popularity in various angles; but it's too overreaching to say that BTS won their award at the BBMA because of KPOP craze and the change in the US. Personally, I think BTS chose to try the musical identity that didn't exist in KPOP until now and this made listeners relate with them and made everything possible +183 -0

10. Journalist, you're quite absurd ㅋ it's like you're trying to saying BTS just laid their spoon on a table that's been prepared by other people ㅋㅋㅋ I'm sure you will soon realize that the reason is different by looking at why these international fans fell in love with BTS.. if they were able to become popular with just perfect group choreography and things like that, I'm sure they'd be more famous already. BTS achieved this because other elements were combined together +167 -0

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