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BTS takes the stage for their Grammy moment

Jan 28,2020
Rapper Lil Nas X and boy band BTS perform onstage during the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards on Jan. 26 in Los Angeles. [YONHAP/AP]
K-pop superstars BTS has marked another first - this time, becoming the first Korean act to perform on the Grammy stage. On Sunday evening in Los Angeles - Monday morning in Korea - the group appeared alongside rapper Lil Nas X during his performance at the 62nd Grammy Awards. BTS also presented the award for R&B Album Of the Year. During the second part of Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” performance, the seven boys showed up and joined the rapper for their rendition of the hit song, “Seoul Town Road.”

However, the group’s appearance was very brief, disappointing many of the band’s fans who were already upset for BTS not receiving a single Grammy nomination this year.

During the red carpet event prior to the awards ceremony, the members of BTS expressed that their goal for the next Grammy Awards is to be nominated and announced that they’ll be kicking off a world tour to promote their new album “Map of the Soul” starting at Seoul’s Olympic Stadium on April 11.

The Grammy performances on Sunday evening were mostly centered on one theme - honoring and celebrating local icons Kobe Bryant and Nipsey Hussle.

The Grammys in fact kicked off with a performance in honor of Bryant, who died hours before the awards began. Later in the show, Hussle’s collaborators and friends, including DJ Khaled, John Legend, Meek Mill, Kirk Franklin, Roddy Ricch and YG, gave an all-star tribute to the man who died last year.

Hussle also posthumously won his first pair of Grammys.

Filmmaker Ava DuVernay introduced the performance, which featured band players, background dancers and Legend wearing traditional Ethiopian and Eritrean clothing in honor of Hussle’s African roots. Mill performed a new song called “Letter to Nipsey” while others joined together for “Higher,” which won best rap/sung performance.

“We all love him. We all miss him. It’s terrible that we had to lose him so early,” Legend said. “We’ve seen some tragedy today and last year […] let’s hold each tight.”

During the pre-ceremony, Hussle’s “Racks in the Middle” picked up best rap performance.

The show - which took place at the Staples Center, Bryant’s stomping grounds - kicked off with a touching and emotional cappella performance of “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” by host Alicia Keys and Boyz II Men.

“Here we are together on music’s biggest night celebrating the artists that do it best, but to be honest with you we are all feeling crazy sadness right now,” Keys said as she entered the stage, adding that “Los Angeles, America and the world-wide world lost a hero.”

She said the audience was “heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built.”

“Right now Kobe and his daughter Gianna […] are in our spirits, they’re in our hearts, they’re in prayers, they’re in this building,” she added. “Take a moment and hold them inside of you and share our strength and our support with their families.”

Before the show officially honored Bryant, Lizzo performed the songs “Truth Hurts” and “Cuz I Love You,” who said at the top of the show: “Tonight is for Kobe.”

Lizzo won three honors, including best pop solo performance for “Truth Hurts” and two R&B awards.

As for the awards, teen sensation Billie Eilish was in the spotlight.

She won all four top prizes - album, song, record of the year and best new artist. Including the awards her songwriter and producer brother Finneas received, the musical family took home a total of 11 awards.

Together, they also won best pop vocal album for “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?,” while Finneas’ individual honors included producer of the year (non-classical) and best engineered album (non-classical).

“This is my first Grammys. I never thought this would happen in my whole life,” Eilish said. “I genuinely wanna say I am so grateful and I only wanna say that I am so grateful.”

Finneas added that they “just make music in a bedroom together and we still do that.”

“This is to all the kids who are making music in the bedroom today - you’re going to get one of these,” Finneas said.

BY YIM SEUNG-HYE, AP [sharon@joongang.co.kr]


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