People Are Angry BTS or “These Asians” Won at Billboard Awards

BTS became the first K-Pop to be nominated and win a Billboard Music Award!


The group took home the Top Social Artist award, which celebrates artists with a massive social media following. They would beat Justin Beiber, Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande, and Shawn Mendes for the award. Justin Beiber has won the prize every year since its introduction in 2011.

BTS’ win came from the support of their fanbase, which calls themselves “Army.” Votes were tallied based on Twitter and online voting at the Billboard Music Awards website, which allowed fans to vote multiple times a day. The voting hashtag for the group, #BTSBBMAS, was used over 300 million times since voting began on May 1st.

BTS’ win is seen as a sign of the in-roads the K-Pop industry has been making on a global scale. However, some music fans took to social media to dismiss BTS with racist remarks, asking how “these Asians” could win an American award (the BMAs are NOT restricted to American artists).


BTS’s win also sparked a conversation about why Asian representation in entertainment is important.


And other fans just wanted to celebrate their group’s victory.


BTS has become a fixture on social media since their debut in 2014, but they have been receiving American recognization since their 2016 album Wings. They have topped the Billboards Social 50 chart  (which tracks an artist’s social media presence) for 25 weeks, released the highest charted K-pop album on the Billboard 200, and performed to sold-out audiences in Los Angeles and New York City.

Majored in Music @Duke, but realized that being a Jazz singer wasn't a real job. Now I spend my days watching anime and writing about the music industry. Glad to be in the new round of GB hires. Look forward to my coverage.
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