Does BTS’s ‘Butter’ Stand A Better Shot At Scoring More Grammy Love Than ‘Dynamite’ Did?
Eligibility for the 2022 Grammy Awards doesn’t close until the end of September, but that’s not much time for new smashes and full-lengths to appear that stand a good chance of earning nominations in the biggest categories. By now, most of the titles that will end up as possible winners in the most-watched fields have been released, and the chances that the biggest act to ever emerge from South Korea will finally score a nod in what many describe as the most prestigious field at the ceremony seem better than ever before.
BTS’s name has been thrown around for years as a possible nominee for Record of the Year, as they have landed at least one major hit single in each eligibility period for some time now, but sadly, they haven’t ever been included in the category. In fact, the band has never landed in the top four verticals—but that could change in just a few months.
At present, there don’t seem to be many songs that appear to be “guaranteed” a Record of the Year nomination, which means the field is relatively open. Of course, no piece of music is assured a Grammy nomination until the names are called out, but typically, there are a number of relatively safe bets regarding which tunes and albums will secure love from the Recording Academy. At this point, BTS’s recent global smash may have reached a point where it may be unavoidable to voters.
BTS’s “Butter” stands as the longest-running No. 1 hit of not just 2021 in the U.S., but the track with the most weeks spent atop the Hot 100 in this Grammy eligibility period. The cut is also far and away one of the bestselling, and it’s still performing brilliantly when looking at purchases and radio play, all of which are keeping it in the minds (and ears) of millions. Of course, the Grammys aren’t meant to be a barometer of commercial success, though it’s common to see many of the biggest tracks and full-lengths collect the most nominations every year.
Now, the success equals a Grammy nomination argument is imperfect, and it doesn’t always work out this way—just ask The Weeknd. Last time around, his single “Blinding Lights” was named by almost every predictor as a shoo-in for a Record of the Year nomination, and many claimed it should win. Sadly, the cut was passed over in every category, and despite releasing the biggest song and album of the year, The Weeknd was shut out entirely. These snubs do take place from time to time, but that will certainly go down as one of the worst ever.
BTS may have released the biggest hit of the year, but they’re not Grammy favorites, and there is still a very real chance that either “Butter” will only earn a nod in the pop field, or that it could be ignored entirely. In the past decade or two, the Recording Academy has demonstrated that it is taking some forms of pop less seriously than in the past, especially those releases coming from vocal groups, such as boy bands and girl groups. Many of the most successful names that fit under those descriptors from the past several years—Little Mix, Fifth Harmony, One Direction, to name just a few—never earned a Grammy nomination.
BTS landed their first nod at the Grammys last year, but fans, and the band, are always looking for more. A nomination at the 2022 ceremony would double their total count, and inclusion in any of the big four categories would show that they are finally being recognized by the American music industry as not just hitmakers, but top-tier musicians and artists. It’s impossible to predict with absolute certainty that BTS will appear in any of those verticals, but a chance to compete for Record of the Year seems more likely to happen this time around than ever before for the South Korean powerhouses.