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A historic week proves K-pop groups BTS, Blackpink gaining new fans in the U.S.

BTS

Views from the Edge

As a music fan with eclectic tastes, I’m still in awe of the amazing success the K-pop genre is making in the American music scene.


Is America ready to scream and swoon to sounds of infectious pop songs sung in Korean?


If this week is any indication, America — not the xenophobic, fear mongering America of Donald Trump — has already accepted the South Korean-based groups.


The Billboard Music Awards nominations were announced last week and history was made in the top social artist category with three K-pop bands receiving nods.

BTS, EXO and GOT7, who all have fiercely loyal fandoms, are up for the award.


It’s the third time BTS has been nominated for the award, having won it the previous two years. In addition, the 7-member boy group was nominated for the top duo/group award this year.

Last Friday, Blackpink  marked a first of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. The following day,  BTS broke a YouTube record and performed on “SNL


For two weeks running Blackpink and BTS broke YouTube’s record for most views in a 24-hour period. First, Blackpink, broke the YouTube record for its video for Kill This Love with 56.7 million views, surpassing Arianna Grande’s Thank U Next video.


That record was shortlived, because BTS broke that record with their video Boy With Luv, garnering over 78 million views.


K-pop fans — if anything — are fiercely loyal and plugged in to social media in a big way.


Blackpink’s performance on the main stage at Coachella Friday night wowwed the fans with their total professionalism, sexy choreography and catchy beats. Apparently, the words didn’t matter. They’ll perform again this coming Friday at the two-weekend music festival in the California Central Valley farming community of Coachella.


Wearing sparkly dresses, Jennie, Rosé, Jisoo and Lisa shimmered under the colorful lights, performing their signature choreography. Absolutely in control of the audience, they even had the crowd do the Mexican Wave at one point.


Kill This Love also got one of the biggest responses of the night, with the horn-filled chorus echoing across the desert, reports Billboard. “The stage pulsed red as smoke swirled around the women, and background dancers wearing military-inspired outfits added to the epic number. Above all, the crowd yelling ‘BLACKPINK in your area!’ in unison was undeniably special,” said Billboard.

BTS’ highly anticipated appearance on Saturday Night LIve drew lines for tickets a week before the show was to air with fans camping out all week.

The group’s high-energy dance moves and pitch-perfect vocals as they performed Boy With Luv and Mic Drop, drew screams and applause from the SNL audience and lit up social media.


Even guest host Emma Stone admitted on Jimmy Fallon‘s late night talk show that she let out an involuntary scream as she watched the group during rehearsals.


A little disturbing though, was the fact the group used backup singers to fill in the gaps as the group danced through their routines not bothering to bring their individual mikes up to their mouths.


In today’s music scene, performance and The Beat is everything. Lyrics — in Korean — doesn’t matter — ask the American fans who sing along, not even knowing what they’re saying. Astounding.
The phenomenon of K-pop needs no translation.

“Coming all the way from South Korea, we didn’t know what to expect,” Blackpink’s Rosé told the Coachella audience. “Obviously, we, you guys and us, are totally from different worlds, but tonight, I think (that) music brings us as one.” 


* Blackpink’s Coachella concert marks the first of their many performances in the U.S. The group kicks off their tour on (April 17) Wednesday night, headlining a show at the Forum in Inglewood, California. Blackpink will have one more performance at Coachella on April 19 followed by a concert at  Arena in Rosemont, Ill, April 24, then the FirstOntario Centre on April 27. For tickets, go to individual venues or click here.* BTS will next perform in concert at The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. May 5 & 6; then onto Soldier’s Field in Chicago for a May 11 & 12 concerts. For tickets, go to individual venues or click here.

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