BTS win Artist of the Year at the American Music Awards, a first for Asia, four years after their debut performance at AMAs

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BTS, Coldplay collab My Universe, Butter was recognised

In 2017, BTS performed for the first time at the American Music Awards (AMAs). Four years later, the K-pop boy band made history by winning artist of the year at the prestigious US awards show.

BTS took home the award on Sunday evening in the United States after a whirlwind year for the band, who scored hit after hit, including Butter and the Coldplay collab My Universe, both of which they performed at the AMAs.

The history-making South Korean septetare the first Asian act to take home the title at the AMAs since the category was launched in 1996. (Bruno Mars, who is of Asian descent though born in the US, has also won the title.)

This year’s socially distanced AMAs ceremony in Los Angeles comes just ahead of the announcement on November 23 of nominations for the upcoming Grammy Awards, set to be held in January. BTS are expected to receive multiple nominations.

BTS beat out Ariana Grande, Drake, Olivia Rodrigo, The Weeknd, and reigning AMAs Artist of the Year title holder Taylor Swift.

“Four years ago, we had [ …] our first time ever TV live performance at this stage at the AMAs, it was DNA,” said BTS’ RM in the band’s acceptance speech. “We were too excited and nervous at the time. It’s been a long and amazing ride since then but nobody could have ever bet on the odds of us standing here receiving this award. Except you all, [BTS’s fandom] Army. Except y’all.”

Along with Artist of the Year, BTS were recognised as the favourite duo or group pop artist in 2021, and Butter was recognised as the favourite song in the pop genre.

Recognition for BTS at the AMAs comes after nearly a decade of blood, sweat and tears for the group, who debuted in 2013 under Big Hit Entertainment, now Big Hit Music and part of the larger Hybe Corp. They continue to make waves through their engaging music, dynamic performances, and relatable messaging shared through their lyrics, social media and various other platforms, including speeches at the United Nations, and have won fans throughout the world.

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