BTS Makes History As First-Ever Best K-Pop Winners At 2019 MTV VMAs

Oh, my, my, my. 

Seven-member South Korean boy band BTS (Bangtan Sonyeondan, or Bulletproof Boy Scouts in English) won their first MTV VMA at the 2019 ceremony on Monday, August 26. 

The group, who were blazing the box office earlier this month with the release of their documentary-style film Bring the Soul: The Movie, scored the MTV Video Music Award for Best K-pop for their unbelievably popular track "Boy With Luv," off their most recent EP Map of the Soul: Persona

Featuring "Nightmare" singer Halsey, "Boy With Luv" has climbed to a staggering 523 million views on YouTube — and for good reason. With bright visuals, choreography that would make anyone want to get up and dance themselves, hum-worthy melodies, incredible art direction, and a fun feature from Halsey, "Boy With Luv" smashed the record for 24-hour views on YouTube when it debuted in April 2019.

BTS weren't in attendance at this year's MTV VMAs to take home their Moon Man statue, but Zara Larsson, who collaborated with BTS members V and J-Hope for their recent track "A Brand New Day," announced their win. 

The Best K-pop category is a fresh one for MTV, and has received some backlash from fans — as no K-pop nominees (including EXO, TXT, NCT 127, Monsta X, and Blackpink) were up for top-tier VMAs like Artist of the Year or Video of the Year. (BTS was, however, up for Best Collaboration — again for "Boy With Luv" with Halsey — and "Boy With Luv" received nods for Best Choreography and Best Art Design.) Many found fault with the creation of the category, as BTS has either met or exceeded western nominees in sales, streams, social media presence, and more — leading fans to view the Best K-pop category as something of a double standard.

In any case, BTS are history-makers with the first Best K-pop win at the MTV VMAs, and their stars are only going to shine brighter and brighter as time passes. The group has already touched down in North America twice — once during their 2017 Wings Tour and again during the 2018-2019 Love Yourself World Tour — and has picked up a massive, devoted international fanbase since debuting in 2013. BTS is the first group since The Beatles to hit with three number-one albums in one year, became the first Korean group to debut at number one on the Billboard Artist 100 chart, and even spoke at the United Nations 73rd General Assembly after partnering with UNICEF for their anti-violence Love Yourself campaign, which promotes self-acceptance and aims to protect young people from violence. Thus far, the Love Yourself campaign has generated 2.4 billion South Korean won — the equivalent of $1.97 million USD.