The path to the 2020 Video Music Awards for the South Korean band BTS has been paved with gold. By the time the septet released their first English single, "Dynamite," they had already topped the Billboard 200 album chart four times, while their 2018 album Love Yourself: Tear was the first Korean-language album to hit No. 1 stateside. Last year, they even took home two VMAs. The plain fact is, BTS is a global force, capturing the adoration of fans worldwide with their catchy charisma and cinematic concepts, which have even verged on mythological.
Their debut VMA performance solidified that. The seven Bangtan Boys — Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook — appeared dancing in suits before a number of iconic New York locations. Filmed via green screen from South Korea, they blended in seamlessly before the Brooklyn Bridge, amidst the bright lights of Times Square, and, finally, before the city's full skyline. In an appropriately explosive finale, a show of fireworks illuminated the night sky, with BTS grooving majestically in the foreground.
The vocals delivered on "Dynamite" captured a wide range of expression, fluctuating between members' soaring falsettos and others' low-voiced baritones. "I am kind of in charge of English here, so in many parts of this song, you can hear me singing in the background with a low voice," RM told MTV News ahead of the performance, to which J-Hope added, "The singing in 'Dynamite,' it wasn't easy, because the song is high-pitched."
Nonetheless, the group made the performance seem effortless, delivering flawless, fast-paced choreography. That same aptitude earned the group two awards at last year's show (and even more nominations). This year, they've already won Best K-Pop and Best Group, and they are also are up for Best Pop, Best K-pop, and Best Choreography — all for "On."