In a press conference for BTS‘s new album, BE, the group’s leader RM shared just how meaningful the GRAMMY Awards are to him.

Although the packaging design for BTS’s album Love Yourself: Tear was nominated at the 2019 GRAMMY Awards, the group is yet to receive its own Grammy nomination. Despite that, they already have an impressive history with the GRAMMYs.

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| Big Hit Entertainment

In 2019, they attended the 61st GRAMMY Awards as presenters. They were later invited to become members of the Recording Academy (the institution behind the GRAMMYs) in honor of their contributions to music.

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| GRAMMY.com

Then, in 2020, they became the first act to ever perform at the prestigious award show, joining Lil Nas X and several other artists for a performance of “Old Town Road”.

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| GRAMMY.com

So naturally, RM says the BTS members have thought about the meaning of the GRAMMY Awards a lot among themselves.

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| PICKCON/YouTube

I have actually asked myself a lot about the meaning of the GRAMMYs. We have also talked to each other about this.

— RM

Though BTS’s professional relationships with the GRAMMYs only began a few years ago, RM revealed their personal connect with the awards dates back much further. When they were trainees, RM and the rest of BTS frequently watched one of the award show’s most legendary rap performances.

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Trainee-era RM

In 2009, T.I., Kanye West, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, and M.I.A. banded together for a performance of “Swagger Like Us”. At the press conference, RM noted details that stuck with him—the monochrome production and the suits they wore, for example.

For me, one of the most memorable performances is the stage of T.I, the rapper who performed in 2009… this performance literally shocked me.

— RM

To this day, the GRAMMYs stage has stuck with RM. He went on to explain that his motivation behind wanting BTS to be “world-famous pop artists” is influenced by the music he listened to as a teenager and a trainee, and stages like T.I.’s that introduced him to new sounds. From that moment on, he’d often search for more videos of GRAMMYs Awards performances on YouTube.

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From that time, I started to perceive that the GRAMMYs is the best awarding event.

— RM

Back when trainee RM saw that performance, BTS’s success was nothing but a dream. But watching such incredible artists have him a “huge insight” while he was still dreaming and striving to “grow up as an artist“.

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These are the things that made me dream of GRAMMY awards.

— RM