In a revealing interview that recently surfaced, BTS leader RM shed light on the distinct treatment the group received during their debut appearance at the Billboard Music Awards (BBMAs) in 2017, attributing the differential treatment to the fervor and presence of their dedicated fanbase, ARMY.
The interview, which was conducted in 2021 was recently released by ArchiveK, delved into the pivotal moments of BTS’ journey to international acclaim, specifically recalling their first BBMAs experience four years prior.With Suga absent from activities at that time due to shoulder surgery, the remaining six members reflected on the significance of their maiden nomination and victory at one of the Big Three major music awards in the United States.

[아카이브K 오리지널] #035. 방탄소년단 2편, 기적같은 순간들과 진화하는 K-POP

The 2017 BBMAs marked BTS’ first recognition at an American award show, where they clinched the Top Social Artist Award, surpassing industry heavyweight Justin Bieber. This historic win served as a landmark moment in their career trajectory, opening doors to subsequent accolades in the American music scene.
At the time, K-Pop had yet to achieve the global recognition it enjoys today, and despite BTS burgeoning global popularity, they were relatively new faces in the American industry. However, RM disclosed that their reception at the award show was notably influenced by the presence of their ardent fanbase, ARMY.
RM vividly recalled the moment the group stepped onto the magenta carpet, greeted by the resounding cheers of approximately 400-500 fans gathered at the venue. The boisterous support garnered attention for BTS, and even though they were not yet familiar faces to the American audience, RM noted that they were treated “carefully” due to the evident strength of their local fanbase. Expressing gratitude to ARMY, RM shared, “They really treated us a little better. I was really, really scared when I went to the red carpet for the first event. Thanks to the ARMYs who came there, I felt so, so relieved.”
RM went on to reveal that the enthusiastic presence of ARMYs also had a profound impact on the interviewers at the event, who, intrigued by the unprecedented fandom, displayed heightened interest in learning more about BTS.
Inside the venue, ARMYs continued to diligently cheer for BTS, creating an atmosphere of unwavering support. Even when BTS received the award, RM highlighted that the standing ovations from the audience, despite their limited knowledge about the group at the time, showcased the influence of ARMYs. Many American celebrities approached BTS for pictures, drawn by the fervent cheers of the fanbase, creating an engaging dynamic between the Korean group and the American entertainment industry.

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