By Ashley Cruz

SOURCE: Official BTS Twitter account
BTS entered the 2020 with another award sweep, winning two Daesangs (Grand Prizes) at the 34th Golden Disc Awards (GDA) held at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, South Korea.

The two-day award ceremony took place on Jan. 4 for digital songs and Jan. 5 for physical albums. “Vagabond” star Lee Seung-gi hosted on both days. “Queendom” hosted Lee Da-hee hosted on Day 1 and “Parasite” actress Park So-dam hosted on Day 2.

BTS took home the “Digital Song of the Year” (Digital Song Daesang) for their record-breaking hit “Boy With Luv” from the “Map of the Soul: Persona” album. Accepting the award in their stead was BigHit Entertainment CEO, Bang Si-hyuk, who read a letter from the band thanking their devoted ARMYs for loving their music and promising to continuously make music in 2020 and beyond.

GDA also honored Bang as “Producer of the Year,” which was presented by BigHit rookie group Tomorrow X Together on stage.

Staying true to the BigHit slogan, “Music and Artist for Healing,” Bang took the chance to make an important call to the industry to work together in providing an environment for artists where they can live as humans.

“We need to work so as to have our beloved artists enjoy happy lives as humans first and foremost, before as artists. Humans are to be respected simply for being human, and they shine bright,” he said.

BTS attended the second day of the ceremony and walked the red carpet in Givenchy. In a short interview, rapper-producer Suga teased about their upcoming album and concert tour, while rapper-dancer j-hope shared his thoughts on receiving a Daesang the night before.

“I want to express my heart of thanks to all the ARMYs. To all the producers who made such great music for us, Bang Si-hyuk PD-nim, PDogg PD-nim, all our producer hyung nims, thank you so much.”

Apart from the performances, one of the highlights was when Pengsoo, a penguin mascot created by the Educational Broadcasting System in Korea, met and danced with BTS.

Before the Daesang winner was announced, BTS performed a five-song set starting with the preppy “Boy With Luv” followed by their older hits “Intro: Skool Luv Affair” performed by the three rappers, Suga, j-Hope and RM, and “Dimple” by Jin, Jimin, Jungkook and V.

The dreamy stage of “Mikrokosmos” turned the event into another BTS concert, which ended with the intense performance of “Dionysus.” Fans who were tuned in started looking for comeback clues, prompting more theories about the next album.

Ending the night with a bang was the announcement of “Album of the Year” (Album Daesang), which went to BTS, making them the first artists in GDA history to win both Daesangs of the year.

With a criteria of 60% album sales and 40% judges’ scores, BTS garnered a score of 99.2 out of 100. The album “Map of the Soul: Persona” set the highest sales record of over 3.6 million units in Korea, making it the best-selling album in the history of GAON chart.

In addition, 49 out of 50 judges selected BTS as the Daesang recipient. The panel was composed of music journalists, critics and producers.

RM sincerely dedicated the win to fans. “For me, this is the last award ceremony of the 2010s, and the first award ceremony of the 2020s. It’s those of you who have watched over us that have given us this great honor. Thank you,” he said.

Just like what their CEO did, the leader of BTS used his platform to speak about fairness in the industry and to not take advantage of artists who only want to create sincere music and good fortune.

“In the 2020s, it would be good if their fairness, effort, and sincerity would be able to reach those of you here and the public watching over them in a way that is just, without bias, and not in vain,” he said. “And it would be good if the wrongful things of the 2010s is put to an end in the 2010s, and that 2020 would be a better year, a better age.”

This was not the first time that BTS used their influence and voice to talk about justice in the music industry. Last year at the Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA), Jin urged artists not to feel down despite the unfair practices in the industry.

Other awards in their bag are two Bonsangs (Digital Song and Physical Album Main Prizes), “Fans Choice K-pop Star” and “Tik Tok Popularity Award,” making BTS the only artist with the most Daesangs.

Given a good start in 2020, no doubt that they are in for a bigger comeback this year.

Missed their performances at the 2019 GDA? Watch them here:

Speech translation credit: wisha (@doyou_bangtan)