South Korean band BTS made history on Sunday night as it became the first K-pop group to perform one of its own songs at the Grammy Awards.
Jumping across (what appeared to be) the Grammy stage at the Los Angeles Staples Center the groups lead the audience on a chase backstage, up the utility stairs and ending their electric performance on a rooftop surrounded by spotlights. But the big reveal, they weren’t in California at all.
“Did you see that, they were in Seoul, Korea the whole time,” said Grammy host Trevor Noah. “They literally recreated that whole set over there because they couldn’t be here, but they wanted to be here. So they rebuilt here over there. There should be an award just for that.”
Competing against Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift, BTS was also nominated for best pop duo/group performance for its first all-English song, “Dynamite.” It’s the first Korean pop act to receive a nod from the Recording Academy. The 1970s-inspired upbeat disco bop was released last August. The band said it debuted the tune “as soon as possible” in order to energize and excite fans that might have been struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s dedicated to all the people who feel like they’ve fallen down while running a marathon,” Suga said. “Even if you’re going through tough times, let’s do what we can in our places, and find freedom and happiness through dance and music.”
BTS also performed at MusiCares’ virtual fundraiser on Friday, which honored the music industry and raised money for those hit hardest by the pandemic. The Recording Academy’s charitable wing distributed more than $22 million in coronavirus relief in the past year alone. In addition to BTS, H.E.R., John Legend, Haim and Jhene Aiko also performed at the event.