On May 21, 2017, swarms of people – both fans and celebrities – were gathered in Las Vegas to attend the Annual Billboard Music Awards, otherwise known as the BBMAs. Celebrities such as the Chainsmokers and Halsey were present, but one group stood out from the rest: Bangtan Boys, or BTS.
BTS arrived to Las Vegas to accept their award from the BBMAs for Top Social Artist. They were the second Korean act ever to be nominated for a BBMA (the first being Psy) and the first to ever win an award. According to Koreaboo, they received over 300 million votes, becoming the first ever act to pass 300,000,000 votes for a fan voted award. Both fans as well as Koreans were extremely proud of their achievement, with major news sources in Korea reporting on their win.
BTS themselves gave a press conference after the overwhelming response they received from the media as well as the public. Their leader, Kim Namjoon said that while they were very grateful for the response they had received, they had no intention of making any American advancements as they were first and foremost, “Korean artists.”
“While I am personally not a fan of BTS, as a Korean and as a Asian I am proud of the exposure they are giving for Asians,” Karen Kim, a junior at West Torrance High stated. “Asian representation in Hollywood is extremely minimal, but thanks to artists such as BTS, people are becoming more aware of the cultures around the world.”