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BTS Dominated the South Korean Melon Awards
It’s been an epic week, on top of an epic month, in an already epic year for Esquire cover stars BTS. On Friday, the band swept all the major categories at South Korea’s Melon Music Awards. The sweep comes immediately after the band’s newest single, “Life Goes On,” became the first Korean song to top the Billboard Hot 100 and their album Be took over the number one spot on the Billboard 200.
Quick explainer: Melon is South Korea’s leading online music store and streaming service. The company has hosted an annual awards show since 2009. Awards are based off of a hybrid system which takes into consideration digital sales, online voting, and judges’ scores. So if the Grammys, People’s Choice Awards and the Billboard awards had a baby it’d be the Melon awards.
This is the second year in a row that BTS has swept all the major categories, which include Artist of the Year, Album of the Year and Song of the Year. It’s a remarkable winning streak, even for a band is perpetually on a winning streak. It also means that BTS won awards for both albums they released in 2020. Map of the Soul:7 won Album of the Year, and “Dynamite” the lead single from the recently released Be was voted Song of the Year.
BTS celebrated their record-smashing 2020 output with an epic 17-minute extravaganza featuring hits from both Map of the Soul:7 and Be. And despite the absence of an in-person audience, the Bangtan Boys turned in a performance that was chock full of drama, emotion, physicality, and even a splash of silliness. If you’re new to BTS and are yet to experience their magic, check out the performance above.
Abigail Covington is a journalist and cultural critic based in Brooklyn, New York but originally from North Carolina, whose work has appeared in Slate, The Nation, Oxford American, and Pitchfork
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