Many artists want respect and admiration for their work, but those things can be tough to get when one is a K-pop artist trying to break into the American music industry. For years now, BTS has been promoting their music in the U.S., but radio plays and mainstream success still seem hard to come by.
However, things might be changing for BTS. The group is breaking records with their new song, and the members are even saying that they can “definitely feel” they are receiving more respect from Americans.
Fans have long complained about BTS not getting respect in the U.S.
The American music industry and general public are not known to be friendly to foreign artists, especially those that don’t sing in English. As a result, BTS does not always get the recognition and respect they deserve from Americans.
For example, fans have complained about the way American media outlets cover BTS. A lot of news articles about them are misinformed and seem to downplay their accomplishments.
In a thread on Reddit, a number of fans talked about the way K-pop is often either ignored in the U.S. or portrayed as a novelty act, with people not giving K-pop artists like BTS enough credit.
“I don’t think people in the US will ever look at K-pop as more as weird Korean boy/girl groups,” one fan wrote. “They’ll never achieve respect, they’re all spectacle. That’s all. There is no legitimacy to [their award show] nominations, they’re mere popularity votes pandering to rabid fans so as to get ad revenue for attracting rabid fans to TV broadcasts. [It’s] not based on respect.”
BTS is having a lot of success with their latest single ‘Dynamite’
Of course, this conflict with Americans has not stopped BTS from climbing their way to the top. On Aug. 21, BTS released their first English-language single, “Dynamite.” The song quickly broke all kinds of records on YouTube, Spotify, and iTunes within 24 hours.
Then, it was announced “Dynamite” had charted at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it BTS’s first single to achieve that feat.
BTS later performed “Dynamite” at the MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 31. The group had previously performed at the American Music Awards, the Billboard Music Awards, the Grammy Awards, so now BTS has been cemented in history as the first (and so far, only) K-pop act to have performed at all four major U.S. award shows.
BTS says they ‘definitely feel’ Americans are giving them more respect
BTS’s success in the U.S. does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon, and the members themselves admit to AP News that they can “definitely feel” Americans are giving them more respect than before.
“I think in the perspective of culture, I think it’s really important to be familiar,” leader RM says. “So first, we think … that for many Americans (they were) not familiar with (us) — we look different, we (sing) different, we got some different choreography, music videos, like everything, even lifestyle.”
He continues, “But I think as time goes by, we’re doing these shows and songs and concerts and awards, I think quite a lot of people in the American music market is getting, like, kind of close (to us). I think it’s very good and that’s what we wanted actually.”
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