Will BTS ‘Butter’ up the Grammys after ‘Dynamite’ was snubbed for Record of the Year?

BTS might be on the cusp of a huge Grammys windfall. It didn’t quite happen in 2021 despite debuting at number-one last summer with their first fully English-language single, “Dynamite.” But a few more number-one hits since then have proved they’re not a passing fad. And their second English single, “Butter,” could break them into the Record of the Year race where they couldn’t before.

“Dynamite” did get BTS on the board: they earned a nomination for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, a first for the band and a first for any K-pop act. However, they lost that nomination to Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande‘s collaboration “Rain on Me,” and they didn’t make the cut in any other categories.

This year could be different, though. Since “Dynamite” dropped less than a year ago, BTS has topped the Hot 100 three more times: as featured artists on a remix of Jawsh 685 and Jason Derulo‘s “Savage Love (Laxed — Siren Beat),” then the Korean-language “Life Goes On” (the first such song to top the chart), and now “Butter,” which spent its first two weeks on top. That makes BTS one of the fastest acts ever to accumulate their first four number-one hits.

They also released an album, “Be,” that topped the Billboard 200 and received critical acclaim. The last piece of the puzzle that could get them on the board in the top categories at the Grammys is the elimination of the nomination review committees. After an academy-wide preliminary vote, those small, secret committees made the final decisions about who would be nominated. That voting process prompted criticism from artists and from former academy CEO Deborah Dugan.

The committees didn’t rule on pop categories, though, where BTS got their nomination. Does that mean it was the committee that kept them out of Record of the Year, or might they just not have gotten enough votes in that category in the first place. It’s impossible to say for sure what with the committees being secret and anonymous. But they have had a tendency to snub some big hits that seemed like surefire nominees in recent years like Ed Sheeran‘s “Shape of You” and The Weeknd‘s “Blinding Lights.”

There might also be some snobbery in the way; the recording academy doesn’t usually take boy bands seriously. But they have been nominated in the past, as evidenced by the Backstreet Boys‘ Record of the Year (“I Want it That Way”) and Album of the Year (“Millennium”) nominations in 2000, and NSYNC‘s Record nom for “Bye Bye Bye” in 2001. So with the committees defunct and critics and audiences both on BTS’s side, there might be nothing standing in their way of top nominations this time around. Smooth like butter.

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