Everything BTS Has Ever Worn to the Grammys
My heart? Melted. My sanity? Gone. My bias? Grammy-nominated.
Grammy night is already feeling bittersweet for BTS fans. 2021 was the South Korean mega-group's first nomination and will soon be their first solo performance. Though BTS lost their trophy for "Best Pop Duo/Group'' to Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande in the non-televised ceremony, fans flooded Twitter with messages of love and support for RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook. Many of the posts echoed the words of BTS's leader, RM, from an interview last week with USA Today: "There are so many blessings we could've gotten for these eight years, but I guess for the whole journey the best luck we ever had is that we all have you guys all over the world," the rapper, real name Kim Namjoon, said. "So please don't forget that, whether we the Grammy or not, we already got what we wanted, and we got you, so that means we got everything."
Nothing but respect for my president.
With Kim Namjoon's words lifting our spirits, let's celebrate all the glorious times our Bangtan Boys lit up the Grammys like dynamite.
2021 Grammys Red Carpet: Louis Vuitton
For their Grammy red carpet debut as nominated artists, BTS chose a united front, all wearing outfits from Virgil Abloh's Fall 2021 Louis Vuitton line. (ARMY will remember the January video of BTS being hand delivered their invites to the virtual fashion week show in the form of custom coffees and designer balsam planes.) The collection was sweetened by touches of wholesome beauty — like RM's stuffed animal creature clinging to his hoodie strings and J-Hope's exuberant flower corsage — just like BTS.
Before the show got started, RM blessed our feeds with a selfie to remind us to, "Watch out for the performance!"
And Jimin quickly followed up with a selca too…
...and finally Jin with a perfectly relatable caption: "I've done makeup, so I need to take a picture."
2021 Grammys Performance
By the time the Grammys performance rolled around, we had already seen 'Dynamite' live dozens of times. There was the airport mo-town version, the first class version, the acapella version featuring The Roots and Jimmy Fallon, not one but two Christmas performances (the second gave us a new iconic Suga line, "I can't believe they made me a snowman"), a tiny desk version, an unplugged one, a retro New-York-City-in-the-'70s, an amusement park version (filmed in the "American Adventure" themed section of South Korea's Everland), the Mnet K-POP performance, the Melon Music Awards, the roller rink, a fan version, 7-different solo versions...
The point: expectations were high and options had been fairly exhausted.
Layer that with the tough mood of the evening: ARMY's collective frustration about the way BTS is consistently embraced on the global awards circuit and lauded with critical and commercial success, but steadfastly sidelined by the American Grammys.
So what did BTS do? The Bangtan Boys did what they always do — outperform everyone else on the stage.
BTS wore brightly colored suits — the perfect, candy-colored visual to accompany the equally sweet song — and climbed as high as they could, to the roof of a Seoul skyscraper to literally set the night alight.
The performance was a triumph. Truly. A can't-take-that-away-from-us reminder that 'Dynamite' might not have won a Grammy, but it will forever remain the best-selling, most downloaded pop duo/group song of 2020 anyways. It will go down in history as a pop legend; the musical equivalent of a dose of serotonin that got us singing and dancing and shimmying with joy in a year where good days were all but extinct.
2020 Grammys Red Carpet: Bottega Veneta Minimalism
When BTS hit the red carpet for their second Grammys appearance in 2020, you could practically hear the collective gasp from ARMY around the world. They looked beautiful and ethereal (as always), but the outfits were shocking in their minimalism.
On the Grammys red carpet, musicians are allowed to eschew the tasteful glamour of, say, an Oscars red carpet for the full-blown Dionysus-vibes of rock stardom.
Remember: 2020's red carpet included the sartorial masterpieces of Lil Nas X's hot pink Versace bondage cowboy, Billy Porter's motorized fringe veil, and Ariana Grande's not-one-but-two (!!) Cinderella puff ball gowns. Against all that, BTS stood out with their understatement. The sleekly tailored Bottega Veneta menswear in muted tones they wore was minimalism at its most perfect. It was a masterful style move and a reminder that Bangtan will always surprise you.
2020 Grammys Performance: Saint Laurent Maximalism
Later in the show, Bangtan shared the stage with several artists to perform a medley of Old Town Road remixes with Lil Nas X. They ditched their chic red carpet minimalism and brought back the maximalist style they're known for, this time in head-to-toe Yves Saint Laurent.
The result? A cacophony of textures, colors, and aesthetics. Namjoon's distressed denim and cool guys shades, Jin's black-on-black brocade tux, Yoongi's striped bomber jacket made out of snakeskin, J-Hope's siren-red suede and oversized butterfly brooch, Jimin's studded suede, Taehyung's graphic black and white patterned shirt and headband with a jacquard robe draped over his elbows, and Jungkook's black leather jacket and t-shirt — none of it should work together, but it (somehow) does.
BTS's looks should have clashed with each other — especially crammed up on a tiny, revolving stage alongside Lil Nas X's metallic cowboy, Gucci-logoed outfit by Harlem legend Dapper Dan — but they worked. In fact, the seven very different fits served as a metaphor for BTS's music and success in general: there's harmony in their differences. Whatever that magic blend of personalities and styles and strengths and weaknesses — that unexplainable OT7 potion — is exactly what makes BTS so damn good.
2019 Grammys Red Carpet: Custom Korean Tuxedos
For their very first Grammys in 2019, BTS hit the American red carpet in tuxedos — classic American blacktie fashion, right? Think again. Just like the sly wordplay in their lyrics, the for-ARMY-only hidden gems in their music videos, Bangtan's fashion choices are also full of deeper meanings when you look closely. The idols made a subtle statement about hometown pride by wearing tuxes created by two South Korean designers: Jin, V, Jungkook, Jimin, Suga, and RM's suits were designed by JayBaek Couture and J-Hope wore Kim Seo Ryong's creation.
And because BTS breaks barriers as easily as they break records, I should mention that the idols were presenting the award for Best R&B Album that year — the first Kpop group to ever present a Grammy in the awards' 60+ year history.