The nominee list for this year's Billboard Music Awards alone was a star-studded roster of one incredible artist after another. The the performance lineup wasn't too shabby either, including artists like Ariana Grande, John Legend, Khalid, and Dua Lipa. But BTS' 2018 Billboard Music Awards performance stood out, and for good reason. The band made history as the first K-pop band ever to perform at the annual show.
This year marks the second time the band has attended the BBMAs; last year, they won the award for Top Social Artist. BTS was nominated for the same award again this year, along with Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato, Shawn Mendes, and Ariana Grande. But this is the first time the band is performing at the show, and it's a big deal not just a first for them, but for the world of K-pop in general.
The band announced the big news via social media on April 24. "We are so excited to be back at the @BBMAs and this time we're PERFORMING!" wrote BTS on Instagram. The band also informed its fans via Twitter: "Look out for our second appearance or - say what?- FIRST PERFORMANCE at the @BBMAs!"
BTS came out with a bang for their first time performing on the BBMA stage, and it sure didn't disappoint the ARMY. The septet put out a high-energy performance, complete with their signature, exacting choreography and ultra-stylish look.
The Billboard performance came at an opportune moment for the seven-member K-Pop band. BTS released its third album, Love Yourself: Tear, on Friday, May 18, and used their first BBMA performance to debut "Fake Love" off the new album. In an interview with Billboard, BTS talked about the inspiration behind its latest release. One of the band members, RM, told the magazine,
We're trying to say that, in love ... when you're not true to yourself, the love won't last. 'Cause love is complex and we always have the dark sides and the sad sides, right? Sometimes we can't be honest or we can't be real for that. But if we keep that, we'll lose it.
Though the band released a teaser for "Fake Love" ahead of the BBMAs, the BTS performance at the awards show was the world premiere of the song.
BTS was also recently included in the Billboard's own roundup of the top 100 boy-band songs of all time, with their songs "DNA" and "Blood, Sweat & Tears" making the cut.
In an interview with Billboard leading up to their BBMA performance, band member RM gave fans a hint about what to expect about the choreography, saying,
There's an old saying: See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. We put that old saying in the main part of our choreography. ... Like always, it's gonna be [more] powerful than ever.
Much to the dismay of eager ARMY members (their fan base), they wouldn't give away all the juicy details about what their choreography would actually look like at the awards show. Fans would just have to wait and see what the boy-band had up its sleeve for Sunday.
And they delivered. The boy-band's new song, as well as its performance, got serious praise on Twitter.
Oh, and people didn't miss the opportunity to praise Jungkook's shirt-slip, revealing his ridiculously chiseled abs.
Setting aside the fact that the band won its second BBMA award, it's clear after Sunday's showing that BTS is here to make its presence known in the Western music world. They hopefully won't be the last K-pop superstars we get to see at the BBMAs, but they set the bar high for the any of their peers hoping to follow in their footsteps.