BTS is reportedly running for the 65th Grammy Awards.
The band has thrown its hat into the upcoming Grammy race, set to take place in February 2023, taking its final shot at snagging an award there before the bandmates go into a long group break.
Citing reports from inside the US music industry, Yonhap News Agency on Wednesday reported that four songs from BTS including collaboration tracks were submitted as entries for the 65th Grammy Awards.
The septet's "Yet To Come," which was revealed as the title song of its anthology album "Proof" in June, was the only song released exclusively under BTS' name among the four entries. The other three are "My Universe," the act's collaborative single with British band Coldplay from last year, Charlie Puth's "Left and Right," featuring BTS member Jungkook, and Benny Blanco's "Bad Decision," featuring American rapper Snoop Dogg and BTS' Jin, Jimin, V and Jungkook.
It's not clear whether BTS submitted the entries for all four songs, but "Yet To Come" and the three collaborative songs will vie for nominations in two of the awards show's top four "general field" categories: record of the year and song of the year.
The songs have also been submitted for best pop duo or group performance. BTS nabbed nominations in this category twice before, last year with "Butter" and in the previous year with "Dynamite."
Charlie Puth's "Left and Right" and Benny Blanco's "Bad Decision" have also been submitted for best music video.
The nominees and winners of the awards are determined by eligible voting members of the Recording Academy, the American organization of music experts that administer the Grammys. Nominees have been determined through the first round of voting conducted between Oct. 13-23, and the final list of nominees will be made on Nov. 15. Final voting will run from Dec. 14 to Jan. 4, 2023, and the winners will be revealed at the 65th annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 5, 2023.
Since its debut in 2013, BTS made history when it earned its first-ever Grammy nomination in 2020 with its megahit pop tune "Dynamite." The act scored its second nomination with "Butter" in the same category the following year, but left the ceremony empty-handed in both years. The band made its first foray into the US awards show as an award presenter for the 61st edition in 2018 and a performer in 2019.
Experts in general forecast a pessimistic outlook on BTS' chances for this year's Grammys.
"The prospects of BTS winning or getting nominated to the general categories are quite low, especially as this year's Grammy is seeing some strong candidates. Their song 'Yet To Come' is from a compilation album, which was more like an event release, and the bandmates did not take part in the composition of the other three songs, so it's likely those songs weren't submitted by BTS," pop music critic Kim Do-heon told the Korea Herald.
Critic Jung Min-jae had similar views, but added that BTS' entry into the Grammys race for the third year in a row may hold significance.
"BTS has not released new songs or albums that stood out in terms of their musicality, nor was there any new song that garnered exceptional success commercially like 'Dynamite' and 'Butter,'" Jung said.
"In the US, musicians submit songs to the Grammys even if the songs aren't likely to win. They usually submit new releases unless there is a special circumstance such as boycotting the Grammys or the like. Although its prospects are low, it goes to show that BTS is now an active member of the American music scene," Jung added.
Culture critic Kim Heon-sik weighed in by saying that "My Universe" is likely to be nominated for best pop duo or group, but said it was unlikely to win.
"The pop duo or group category was made to spotlight collaborations of musicians, so there's a fairly high possibility that 'My Universe' will be nominated, but it's not a category for idol bands. And BTS will not be attending the show as performers with Jin enlisting this year, so its prospects are not so bright."
This year will be the K-pop septet's last entry at the Grammys for a while, as the bandmates are set to carry out their mandatory military duty starting with Jin this year. All able-bodied men are required to serve the military for around two years, according to South Korean law. Big Hit Music, the septet's label, recently announced BTS members will be enlisting in order according to their plans. The act's eldest member Jin is obliged to start his service within this year.
On a brighter note, experts say that it won't be the act's last attempt to snag a Grammy.
"Even when Jin is done with his military duty, he will only be in his early thirties, and most of the other bandmates will be in their mid to late twenties. So BTS itself will still be a young band then. If the members come together to release good music, I expect the military gap will hardly affect their reputations. Their solo music may also play as new strengths, and they say they will continue making group music, so the possibility (for a Grammy) remains," critic Kim Do-heon said.
Kim Heon-sik stressed there is no need to obsess over the US award ceremony at the moment.
"Recently, they said during their Busan concert that they will be making music for thirty years. K-pop idol music always had a weakness of lasting only around seven years. So BTS is taking on a new challenge right now. Jin will release his solo single soon, and the other bandmates will also pursue their solo careers. If they could establish their own brand as musicians and boost their musicality, tackling the Grammys may be a matter of time," Kim said.