BTS salutes K-pop heroes for paving way for Billboard victory

South Korean idol group BTS poses for the camera at a press conference on May 29, 2017, held at the Lotte Hotel in central Seoul. (Yonhap)

SEOUL, May 29 (Yonhap) — K-pop group BTS, the second-ever South Korean artist to win at the Billboard Music Awards, on Monday thanked former Korean pop legends for paving the way for K-pop to become a global phenomenon.

“We believe we won the award thanks to senior musicians opening the way for K-pop. We will work hard to help out junior artists,” member Jin said at a press conference held at the Lotte Hotel in central Seoul.

On May 21, BTS won the Top Social Artist award at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The seven-member group beat Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande and Shawn Mendes, becoming the second South Korean artist to win a Billboard award after Psy won the Top Streaming Song with “Gangnam Style” in 2013.

Jimin also thanked the fans for their support.

“The Top Social Artist award is an award that was gifted to us by the fans. We thank ARMY for allowing us to be part of the prestigious event,” the member said, referring to BTS’ global fan community.

The winner was chosen based on album and digital song sales, streaming, radio airplay, touring and social engagement for one year starting March 18, 2016, as well as the result of a global online vote by fans, the awards organizer said.

Member J-Hope said he still couldn’t relate to the fact that his band won a Billboard award.

“We were nominated along with artists that were our idols, and we won. I still can’t believe it and wonder if this is true.”

“Billboard told us that the company was keeping a close eye on us. The award show organizers told us that (BTS) is an artist with huge potential,” an official at Big Hit Entertainment said.

Four albums by the group, including “Spring Day” and “You Never Walk Alone,” cracked the Billboard 200, an astonishing achievement for a K-pop group that sings in Korean and rarely promotes its albums in America.


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