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BTS Becomes First South Korean Group to Reach No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100

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South Korean boy band BTS made history again with their new single “Dynamite” debuting atop the Billboard chart.

What We Know:

  • “Dynamite” is the group’s first No. 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 and BTS is the first all-South Korean act to reach the top of the chart. Their previous single “On” peaked at No. 4 in March. The best any other South Korean act has done on the Billboard chart was Psy’s “Gangnam Style” in 2012, which made it to the No. 2 position at the time.
  • The Billboard Hot 100 chart combines radio airplay, sales data, and U.S. streaming. “Dynamite” achieved 33.9 million U.S. streams and sold 300,000 units in its first week. According to Billboard, that’s the biggest digital sales week since September 2017 when Taylor Swift released “Look What You Made Me Do”. The music video for “Dynamite” also broke YouTube’s record for most views within the first 24 hours, becoming the first video on the site to amass 100 million views in its first day.

  • Continuing their great year, BTS also had a great night at the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards. The group won in all four categories for which they were nominated: Best Group, Best Pop, Best K-Pop, and Best Choreography. BTS also got to perform “Dynamite,” marking the song’s first stage performance and the group’s first performance at the VMAs.
  • BTS is comprised of seven members: Jimin, Jungkook, Suga, Jin, RM, V, and J-Hope. The boys debuted together in 2013 under Big Hit Entertainment and have paved the way for K-Pop groups to find mainstream success in the U.S. In 2019, they became the first artist to score three No. 1 albums in the same year since The Beatles. South Korean President Moon Jae-in even congratulated the group for their success with “Dynamite.”

Along with reaching No. 1 on the Hot 100 chart, BTS has had four albums reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, making them the only Asian act to have a No. 1 album and No. 1 single in the U.S.

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Sagar is a Digital Intern at UnmutedCo. He graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor's degree in Trumpet Performance and Economics. Sagar writes for Black News Alerts and the BNA Daily Podcast. He also produces the BossFM Morning Show.

Headlines

Top Nominee The Weeknd to Perform at Billboard Music Awards

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The announcement that The Weeknd will perform at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards came on Monday.

What We Know:

  • The announcement is the first of a daily countdown of performers leading up to May 23rd. That is the day when the Billboard Music Awards (BMA) airs, live from Los Angeles. The BMAs are honors given out annually by Billboard. Billboard is a publication and music popularity chart covering the music business.
  • The awards show has been held annually since 1990 but went on hiatus in 2006. The awards returned in 2011 and have taken place in May ever since. It includes award categories such as the Artist Achievement Award, Century Award, Millenium Award, and Icon Award. The artist the currently holds the record for most BMAs won is Drake, with 27 total awards.
  • The Weeknd has won eight Billboard Music Awards himself. This year The Weeknd is nominated in 16 categories. Some of the categories include top artists and top Hot 100 artists. The Weeknd is the second artist in history to have three No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 in three different years from one album.
  • It was also recently revealed that P!nk would be receiving this year’s Icon Award and will also perform. The BMAs celebrate music’s greatest achievements, with finalists determined by their placement on Billboard charts. Album/Digital song sales, streaming, radio airplay, and social engagement are all tracked by Billboard in determining winners. This year’s awards are based on the period of March 21st, 2020, through April 3rd, 2021.

The 2021 Billboard Music Awards are produced by Dick Clark Productions, which is owned by MRC Media.

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Entertainment

Kid Cudi Pays Tribute to Kurt Cobain with Floral Dress for SNL Debut

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The performance took place days after the 27th anniversary of the Nirvana singer’s death.

What We Know:

  • Rapper Scott Mescudi, a.k.a. Kid Cudi, performed songs from his latest album, Man on the Moon III: The Chosen, on this week’s Saturday Night Live episode. In both of his performances, “Tequila Shots” and “Sad People,” he paid tribute to lost celebrities.
  • While singing “Tequila Shots,” Cudi wore a fuzzy olive-green cardigan. It was similar to one Kurt Cobain sported during Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged in New York months before his death in 1994. Underneath the cardigan, he donned a white shirt with a headshot of late SNL comedian Chris Farley, who passed away in 1997.
  • When Cudi performed “Sad People,” he changed into a spaghetti-strap floral-print dress. This was another tribute to Cobain, as he wore similar apparel on the cover of “The Face” in 1993.
  • Many fans praised Cudi for his attire and performance. They were happy that he was spreading awareness about suicide and prevention on SNL. Cobain committed suicide at the age of 27. Cudi has also struggled with mental health issues. In 2016, he registered himself into rehab for “depression and suicidal urges.”  He made the statement on Facebook and signed the post with this real name. He described himself as “a damaged human swimming in a pool of emotions every day of my life” on the social media page. Additionally, he said his depression and anxiety ruled his life for as long as he could remember. He emphasized he would no longer hold himself back. His openness sparked a national conversation on Black men’s mental health.
  • Cudi mentioned on Twitter that Off White CEO Virgil Abloh designed the dress for him. Furthermore, he mentioned that he wanted to commemorate Cobain somehow in the outfit.

In a follow-up tweet, Cudi announced he is collaborating with Off White. He also stated the dress he wore on SNL would be included in the collection. Cudi is continuing Cobain’s legacy of advocacy and acceptance to ensure no one else succumbs to their battle with mental illness.

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The Weekend Donates $1M to Hunger Relief Efforts in Ethiopia

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The musician announced the huge donation as part of an effort to combat the ongoing instability between the Ethiopian government and the country’s Tigray region.

What We Know:

  • The Grammy-award-winning artist announced Sunday he would donate $1 million that would provide 2 million meals to the Ethiopian people. The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, was born in Canada as the son of two Ethiopian immigrants. He grew up speaking the native language, maintaining a connection to his parent’s home.

 

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A post shared by The Weeknd (@theweeknd)

  • The crisis in Ethiopia stems from the Tigray region, the northernmost in the country. The region is home to most of the nations’ 7 million ethnic Tigrayans, who hold significant power within the government. In November, the region launched an attack on a military base, prompting a response from the government, which ultimately set off the conflict.
  • To date, millions of people have been displaced from the conflict. The ongoing fighting has led to a humanitarian crisis, with thousands of refugees fleeing to neighboring countries. The Ethiopian government has been accused of human rights abuses by “indiscriminately shelling” multiple towns and cities across Tigray.
  • This is not the first time The Weeknd has made humanitarian efforts; in 2020, the singer made several large donations. In June, he donated a million dollars to Covid-19 relief for frontline workers. That same month he donated $500,000 to racial justice groups, including Black Lives Matter. Then in August, The Weekend donated $300,000 to Lebanon to assist those affected by the Beirut explosion, according to Variety.

The Weeknd most recently made headlines for vowing to boycott the Grammys after his chart-topping album After Hours did not receive a single nomination. Earlier this year, the singer headlined the Super Bowl LV Halftime Show.

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