Recently, Kpop has regained international attention when BTS (Bangtan Sonyeondan) won Top Social Artist at the Billboard Music Awards 2017. To be honest, their nomination came as a surprise to me but their win was not as surprising. Firstly, the award is based on social media trend through which any international Kpop fan can participate. Secondly, any Kpop fan would know the true power of Kpop fandoms. Kpop fans are extremely devoted if not obsessed with their favorite bands and they would do anything. Moreover, Kpop fandoms always support each other when a Kpop act has the chance to compete at the international level. Although I do not identify myself as an ARMY (BTS’ fandom name), I am still very happy that a Kpop group is being recognized by Western media. BTS really deserved the award as they are loved by so many because of their talents and commitment. If you have not already Googled BTS, you should definitely do it now!

CNN also did an interview my favorite Kpop group of all time, SHINee, who had a US tour and recently celebrated their 9th anniversary! As a global media network, CNN has a lot of influence on the global public and it is great that SHINee is being mentioned in such a prominent media outlet. I’m really happy that they have stayed together for this long. Some of the members have had solo projects but they did not drift apart. This year they will be in Thailand in June for their world tour. Unfortunately, they are not coming to the UK and I cannot just fly back to Bangkok. For some reason, I have absolutely no luck with these things. I have never been in the right country at the right time. I am determined that one day I will go to their concert!

As a fan of Kpop, it is a pleasure to see Kpop groups being recognized internationally, especially by the Western/American media. These recognitions highlight that there are Asian acts that are popular internationally. Unfortunately, there is also news that racist remarks have been directed towards BTS by those who did not recognize them. I hope more Kpop acts will be recognized in the future and that people would become more educated about the variety of music and performers that are popular internationally.

 

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