K-pop Singled Out By US Music Market: Recognition or Restraint?

Between Billboard’s introduction of Okay-pop classes and Grammys failing to appoint Okay-pop artists, questions have been raised

On November 14, an article from 10Asia tried to reply the query of the US’s music market’s response to Okay-pop. This query is stemmed from the truth that Billboard has launched varied classes just for Okay-pop, while Grammy hardly ever ever nominates Okay-pop artists (with Okay-pop receiving no nominations this yr). 

bts thumbnail

For 4 years in a row since 2019, BTS has acquired Grammy nominations, nonetheless, the world-famous group has by no means managed to safe their very own trophy. Now within the newest listing of nominees for Grammys, Okay-pop artists are lacking altogether. 

With these information to contemplate, 10Asia posed the query of whether or not Billboard’s introduction of separate Okay-pop classes is a real effort to acknowledge the distinctive qualities of this style or, conversely, if it unintentionally acts as a type of discrimination by separating Okay-pop from mainstream genres in prestigious world music awards. This debate touches on broader points concerning the illustration and integration of Okay-pop inside the world music award system.


As talked about earlier, this yr, BTS didn’t obtain any nominations for the 66th Grammy Awards (scheduled for February 2024), regardless that all of the group members – at present centered on particular person actions, together with army service obligations and different commitments – submitted entries in varied Grammy classes. Particularly, Jin submitted the one “The Astronaut” for Finest Pop Solo Efficiency and Finest Music Video; RM submitted the solo album “Indigo” for Finest Pop Vocal Album and the observe “Wild Flower” for Finest Pop Duo/Group Efficiency and Finest Music Video. In the meantime, SUGA aimed for the classes of Finest Rap Album, Finest Rap Efficiency, and Finest Music Video with the solo album “D-Day” and the title observe “Haegeum”; J-Hope strived for Finest Pop Duo/Group Efficiency and Finest Music Video with “On The Avenue”, and V tried for Finest Pop Vocal Album along with his solo album “Layover”, in addition to Finest Pop Solo Efficiency and Finest Music Video with “Gradual Dancing.”

Previously, BTS had been nominated within the Finest Pop Duo/Group Efficiency class from 2020 to 2022, so expectations for his or her nomination this yr had been excessive because of their particular person achievements. As an illustration, Jungkook set a report for the best first-week gross sales for a solo Okay-pop artist within the U.S. along with his debut solo album “Golden”. V’s solo album “Layover” entered the primary “Billboard 200” chart at quantity two, surpassing 100,000 models within the first week within the U.S. The frustration of not receiving nominations is, due to this fact, extra vital.


Criticism is rising surrounding what’s perceived as favoritism on the Grammy Awards, particularly after BTS didn’t win for the third consecutive time regardless of being nominated. Generally known as one of many main music awards, together with the American Music Awards and the Billboard Music Awards, the Grammy Awards are praised for his or her emphasis on musical high quality. Nevertheless, this prestigious award is at present going through accusations of favoring English-speaking artists, ensuing within the exclusion of Okay-pop artists this yr. Such actions are seen as reinforcing a “barrier” within the business, limiting the acknowledgment of the worldwide musical expertise of Okay-pop.

Then again, Billboard appears to have a distinct method than the Grammys, as evidenced by the creation of particular Okay-pop classes, together with Prime International Okay-pop Artist, Prime International Okay-pop Album, Prime International Okay-pop Track, and Prime Okay-pop Touring Artist. BTS members Jimin, Jungkook, and SUGA, together with NCT, BLACKPINK, TWICE, and TXT, had been nominated in all 4 of those classes. Regardless of issues about unique contracts in South Korea, the rookie group FIFTY FIFTY, with vital world on-line presence, was nominated for Prime Duo/Group and Prime International Okay-pop Track. This demonstrates the popularity and affect of Okay-pop within the world music market, emphasizing that Okay-pop has been acknowledged as a dominant pattern even within the U.S., the middle of the worldwide music business.

Nevertheless, there’s additionally criticism of Billboard having separate classes for Okay-pop. Some argue that that is Billboard’s “double commonplace” in coping with Okay-pop. Particularly, they imagine that the U.S. music award is trying to restrict the affect of Okay-pop by confining artists to a separate “Okay-pop style,” doubtlessly hindering their integration into mainstream music markets. In consequence, there’s concern that categorizing Okay-pop individually from English-language songs might impede open competitors.

bts thumbnail

The American Music Awards, after introducing Okay-pop classes final yr, witnessed BTS profitable each Duo or Group – Pop/Rock and Favourite Okay-pop Artist in 2022. Earlier than that, they’d received Artist of the 12 months, Duo or Group – Pop/Rock, and Track Pop/Rock in 2021.

In keeping with some Korean analysts, this example displays a fancy motivation inside the U.S. music business concerning Okay-pop, balancing between recognition and restraint. With South Korea’s rising gentle energy, there are additionally issues that the middle of the worldwide music market, at present within the U.S., would possibly shift to South Korea, the birthplace of Okay-pop. It’s a scenario the place an award must be given however is being hesitatingly withheld. Clearly, this could imply Okay-pop as an entire has been singled out by the US’s music market. 

Supply: 10Asia through Daum, K14

Check Also

ITZY’s New Concept Accused of Copying BLACKPINK and aespa

The idea for ITZY’s upcoming album, “BORN TO BE”, is being in comparison with BLACKPINK …