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Asia Minute: K-Pop Takes its First Billboard Music Award

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

If you’re a fan of Hawaiian music, you already know the results of this year’s Na H?k? Hanohano awards. And if you follow pop music, you’re probably familiar with the highlights of the Billboard Music Awards. Both took place over this past weekend, but one of them involved a surprise from an Asian country. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.


A small bit of recent history from the musical entertainment world: for the first time ever, a K-pop band has won a Billboard Music Award.

K-pop—as in Korean pop music.

It’s a boy band called “BTS” or the “Bangtan Boys” – or the loosely-translated “Bulletproof Boy Scouts.”

The seven-member group won as “top social artists” claiming nearly ten million followers on social media and beating out Justin Bieber, among others.

K-pop has proven to be a popular South Korean export, but the trade flows are now also going the other way.

Korea’s Joong Ang Daily reports a new trend in the K-pop world: band members coming from outside Korea.

“EXP Edition” is a group put together in New York.

The boy band’s members include an American, a Croatian, a Portuguese and a Japanese-American—but no Koreans.

Nearly half the members of the girl group called “Twice” come from Taiwan or Japan. A third group includes an American and a Thai.

As for “EXP Edition,” the group sings in Korean of course, and the Joong-Ang Daily reports they dress “in Korean fashion” – apparently referring to their very carefully coordinated outfits.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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