The Grammys - an outdated institution?


Disclaimer: The following is by no means a negative reflection on BTS or their goals for their musical careers, but rather my feelings on an antiquated system that has no bearing on their talent or their popularity, worldwide. 

While ARMY tentatively held their breath, shed tears, or tried not to climb the walls, awaiting the fate of this year's Grammys, I felt a bit more subdued. While Twitter went wild with excitement, I held mine in reserve because frankly, the Grammys turn me off. I have a more pragmatic outlook on it. Hollywood and their outdated institutions don’t impress me.

Don’t get me wrong; I can understand the allure of the nomination and the thrill of receiving an award, but does BTS need the vindication? Does success hinge on your acceptance into the fraternity? Frankly, I think the Grammys need BTS more than they need them. Let’s take a look…

The Grammy awards entered the playing field in 1959, and it took them twenty-one years to acknowledge the rock and roll category. Talk about an institution behind the times! Complaints about them have been constant and many argue that they’re self-serving and exclusionary to women and people of color. They’ve even be accused of internal corruption. So are the Grammys still relevant in 2021? 

They knew they had a good thing in theirs hands. After all, ARMY is a reckoning force with a devout and enthusiastic fan base of over 40 million worldwide. Tick, tick, tick—their viewership numbers (Nielsen ratings) would shoot to the moon. Scrumptious! So they held BTS in reserve, while they kept promising their fans that the group would appear NEXT, and this went on for hours. Keep ‘em at bay, and hold onto a captive audience. Finally, BTS’s recorded appearance grabbed the spotlight at midnight. It was a smart business plan, but everyone saw through the guise. Yes, we often save the best for last; however, in this case, it was purely for the numbers and not out of respect for them as entertainers. 

How did BTS fare against the other nominees in their category? In spite of “Dynamite” exploding onto the scene with the most-viewed YouTube music video in 24 hours (101 million views in one day, a Guinness Book world record), they still lost. So obviously rocking the charts is not an indicator of a potential win. So disappointed fans wondered; what determines the winner?

I recall that many of the greatest never received nominations for their excellence. And the lucky ones who did, well, they didn’t always walk away with the trophy. But, does it take away from their worth? Well, certainly not in the eyes of their adoring fans, because they didn’t need to prove their significance.   Still, I’d like to offer my condolences to BTS, but remind them that in our eyes they will always be number one. And should they win in the future, it will be an added plus in their column, however, their value as artists isn’t contingent on it.  

Namjoon offered a positive spin before the show. “So please don’t forget that, whether we get the Grammys or not, we already got what we wanted, and we got you, so that means we got everything.” And in the end, BTS garnered even more praise as they graciously accepted their loss. “We didn’t fail to win. We performed as the first (South) Korean artists’”, he added. "Everyone, you’ve worked hard staying all this time to be together with us! Thank you for cheering us on, and it’s thanks to you all that we’ve been able to have this unimaginably special experience. I want to thank you, truly, and I’m happy, ARMY ! I love you." Jimin cooed.

We love you too! Saranghae!  

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