It was announced earlier this week that, for the second week in a row, BTS’s “Dynamite” has topped the Billboard Hot #100. They’d already made history in their first week, and a repeat only adds to their ongoing success. “Dynamite” is still getting radio play in North America and it’s not just BTS fans who know it now. I’ve been getting hilarious emails and messages on social media from people all like, “my mom/dad/grandma recognised “Dynamite” today when it played on the speakers!” LOL, I love how that’s the benchmark: when your family members know a song, you know it’s reached a certain saturation point.
Needless to say, BTS is going for a third week as they continue to push and promote “Dynamite” as much as they can overseas, especially in the American market with interviews and appearances. They performed on The Today Show this morning and they’ll be on America’s Got Talent next week the iHeart Music Festival a couple of days after that and then the following week, their new documentary film, Break The Silence opens in limited release. All of this is in service of several objectives:
First, to extend the “Dynamite” run, of course. But also, for those who are coming to BTS for the first time through “Dynamite”, it’s an opportunity to open themselves up to a whole new audience. And then there’s the Grammys. “Dynamite” was released prior to the eligibility deadline (August 31) for the 2021 Grammys. The next step is nomination consideration. Last year, Grammy nominations happened on November 20. The key is to be top of mind for the Recording Academy. And wouldn’t you know it, the Recording Academy just made an announcement today about the Grammy Museum:
Grammy Museum launching online streaming service with exclusive Billie Eilish, BTS interviews https://t.co/GiiUdZUz00— USA TODAY Life (@usatodaylife) September 10, 2020
Billie Eilish and BTS are exactly the kind of artists you want to publicise your new subscription streaming service. This is an old institution attempting to modernise. They need the youth. In BTS’s case, given that their fans buy up and sell out everything that they produce, the Record Academy wouldn’t mind some of that coin either.
BTS is campaigning for a Grammy nomination, not unlike the way other artists have done by working with the Recording Academy to secure recognition. Taylor Swift, for example, has courted the Recording Academy through her career. So the band isn’t doing anything that hasn’t already been a precedent with western artists. The difference, however, between BTS and western artists is that, well, the Recording Academy has used BTS before for clout, for the social media buzz from their fans – without actually respecting their art and even considering that they’re in the same game as the Taylor Swifts and the Billie Eilishes of the world. Will this time be different?
Here they are on The Today Show this morning with two performances: “Dynamite” and an older track, the fan favourite “Anpanman”. Both songs are light and fun and “Anpanman” in particular, the choreography, I love it so much. They’ve never released an official “Anpanman” dance practice video, at least not that I’ve seen (and ARMY, if it’s out there and I just haven’t been able to find it, send it over, because I have been looking!), the way they’ve done with so many of their other songs. I’ve always wondered why that is. And whether it’s because they’re archiving it for a special occasion. Over seven years, BTS has built what must be an extensive video library of rehearsal and other footage and while they’re not as selective and secretive about their archive as Beyoncé, there’s a lot of strategy behind what they put out and when and why. I think it should be clear now that when it comes to BTS, nothing is ever accidental. Final note: they are singing live here while hitting all the choreo.