BTS won Artist of the Year—as they should

BTS is the American Music Awards’ Artist of the Year. Grammys, take note

It’s official: BTS just won Artist of the Year for the 2021 American Music Awards.

The group took the stage by storm today, both dominating the awards and wooing the celebrity crowd. (Listen, who didn’t get a BTS selfie?) Aside from winning Artist of the Year, they also won Favorite Pop Duo or Group and Favorite Pop Song for “Butter.”

BTS getting Artist of the Year is a historic win, with them being the first Asian act ever to win the category. The idol group beat out big names like Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, and Drake for the award.

It’s not lost on many how momentous this event is: A native South Korean act won the American Music Awards. As RM said while accepting Favorite Pop Duo or Group, “It means to us even more because we’re actually a small boy band from Korea.” He followed up this sentiment when accepting the Artist of the Year award, saying, “Seven boys from Korea, united by a love for music. We met the love and support from all the ARMYs all over the world. This whole thing is a miracle. Seriously, we’ll never take this for granted. Thank you so much.”

Suga also took the mic for the latter award, delivering a speech in Korean. “We made our U.S. TV debut four years ago at the AMAs, and I had no idea we would be able to receive the Artist of the Year. I think it’s all thanks to ARMY, thank you ARMY!” Soompi translates.

It was great to see the boys be honored like this. “We’re just here to have a good time. With the ARMYs—with the actual people, not the AIs, not the robots,” leader RM said at a red carpet interview, alluding to critics who believe that their fans are made up of bots. (Because for some reason, it’s hard for them to grasp that an Asian act that doesn’t primarily sing in English can dominate the airwaves.)

It’s also great to see the industry honoring the diversity of music. Aside from BTS, Latin acts Bad Bunny and Becky G (who had a multilingual hit with BTS’ J-hope) also accepted their awards in their native languages. We stan.


Photo courtesy of The American Music Awards’ Instagram account.  

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