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BTS looks to a Grammy nomination after scoring their first Billboard #1 single

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BTS looks to a Grammy nomination after scoring their first Billboard #1 single | Thaiger

After scoring South Korea’s first-ever #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, K-pop supergroup BTS now says it’s set its sights on a standalone performance at next year’s Grammy Awards, perhaps even a nomination or an award. BTS (Bangtan Sonyeondan) are RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook, and have fought over their 7 years together to now become the most recognised pop band in the world, weaponising social media and taking a non-traditional approach to reaching out to the world with their music.

They’ve been prolific with their highly produced video clips and equally prolific sharing of their rehearsals and back-stage moments, along with band fights and personal insights, providing a completely 3 dimensional version of the artists, beyond the polished performances and slick dance moves.

Since debuting in 2013 debut, the 7 member band has put K-Pop on the global pop music map and then taken their music to the dizzying heights of the world’s leading charts and a slew of sold out stadium concerts and awards. This week it landed the Number One spot on the coveted Billboard Hot 100 chart with the summer bop ‘Dynamite’, their first all-English language single that’s been lapped up by mainstream US pop fans.

The YouTube video of ‘Dynamite’ has already racked up 288 million views, and was the highest ever ranking debut in history, eclipsing fellow K-Pop stars Blackpink. The success of Dynamite raises hopes of a gong at next year’s Grammys. Earlier this year the band performed alongside rapper Lil Nas X, but have never been nominated for an award in the Grammy universe.

Band leader and rapper RM (Kim Nam-joon) said that the Billboard achievement still didn’t “feel real”, lamenting being unable to celebrate it with fans (known as ‘Army’) as the Covid-19 pandemic prompted them to cancel their sold-out world tour.

“The Grammys is the place that all artists would dream of, and we’re hoping that we will be able to stage our own performance, secure nominations and if possible, win an award. All the performances and concerts we had always held have now become a dream. But we still want to do an outdoor show some day, inviting many people and throwing a festival at a big square.”

‘Dynamite’ notched 33.9 million US streams and 300,000 sales in its first week, according to Nielsen Music data. BTS also scored the biggest digital sales week in nearly 3 years.

While the group’s introspective 2018 album ‘Love Yourself: Tear’ was aimed at showing fans how the young stars dealt with and overcame doubts and fears, the new single was designed to give energy to fans who might be grappling with coronavirus gloom, the band said. Their current album has also taken on darker tones with hit singles Black Swan and On revealing some of the dark sides of fame.

“Everyone should join hands to help fight the pandemic, in which lifting people’s spirits is vital. What we should and can do is to give a bit of comfort and refresh them, that’s another goal of ours,” said Jimin.

BTS performed live at this week’s VMAs where they picked up 4 awards, adding to their growing list of western pop music gongs…

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    Mike

    Sunday, September 6, 2020 at 9:15 am

    BTS are utter crap. Total and utter crap.

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Entertainment

Sex toys popular in Thailand despite conservative laws

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Sex toys popular in Thailand despite conservative laws | Thaiger
PHOTO: In Thailand, sex toys are very popular and very illegal.

While Thailand is a conservative country with conservative laws, the underground sex trade and sex toy economy is a thriving not-so-well-kept secret. Thailand is famous for its LGBTQ acceptance and red-light districts, but many don’t realise that most drugs, gambling, soliciting for prostitution, sex toys, and even vaping are against Thai law.

The customs department confiscated more than 4000 sex toys just last year, and owning or selling these toys carries a 60,000 baht fine or up to 3 years in jail. The strict laws are in place to align with the traditional Buddhist Thai society but seem very contrary to the underground sex industry Thailand is known for.

The need for sexual privacy rights and relaxed laws governing sex has been gaining popularity for years with the juxtaposition of strict laws and hedonism creating a very profitable black market. Bangkok’s red-light district is estimated to be worth US $6.4 billion, and in districts like Soi Cowboy, Nana, Patpong and Silom, sex trade and sex toys are sold openly even though it violates the law. The sex industry is thought to comprise up to 10% of Thailand’s gross domestic product. Then there’s Walking Street in Pattaya, Bangla Road in Phuket, etc, etc.

Still, Thailand is a Buddhist country with traditionally conservative values so laws are unlikely to change anytime soon. Even sex education in Thailand is geared towards the negative consequences of sex and not open to sexual rights or embracing sexuality, according to a UNICEF report in 2016. Those who oppose decriminalising sex toys and the sex industry believe that embracing it legally would lead to a rash of sex-related crimes.

Others argue that decriminalisation would be liberating and empower women by reducing the stigma of being sexually free. It would allow a modernized view on sexual well-being. It would also likely reduce teen pregnancy rates, by removing the negativity towards those who need or use contraceptive.

Nisarat Jongwisan has been fighting for the destigmatisation and legalisation of sex toys since 2018 when she appeared on a TV program speaking out against the Ministry of Culture. She now intends to use the Thai parliamentary mechanism for creating a petition and gathering 50,000 signatures, which would allow her to submit a bill to the parliament for a vote.

With strict laws, the black market will continue to grow. While sex toys and the sex trade can be criminalized, sexual desires are not easily quashed, and people will find ways to satisfy them. Without any regulation, black markets can profit freely, selling sex toys with no concern over fair pricing or quality control. The global sex toy industry sold nearly US $34 billion dollars last year, and with continued lockdown and the closures of entertainment venues, these sales are set to only increase, even in the face of Thailand’s conservative laws.

SOURCE: Vice

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Is this the next big change in pop music? The winners of the IFPI Global Recording Artist of the Year Award, BTS

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Is this the next big change in pop music? The winners of the IFPI Global Recording Artist of the Year Award, BTS | Thaiger

2020 IFPI Global Recording Artist of the Year Award. In the past 8 years the IFPI Global Recording Artist of the Year Award has been given to Ed Sheeran, Adele, One Direction, and Taylor Swift and Drake. BTS are backed up by ARMY, their huge fanbase.

The power of ARMY. The IFPI represents the recorded music industry worldwide. It’s not a Grammy or a popularity vote. The award is calculated according to an artist’s or group’s worldwide performance across digital and physical music formats during the past year. Everything from streams to vinyl, CDs and downloads…. and covers their entire body of work. The award was announced last week at the culmination of the IFPI Global Artist Chart, which counted down the top 10 best-selling artists of the past year.

And it’s certainly been a great year for music… not so much for going to live concerts but we’ve certainly had a lot more time to listen to our favourite artists and stream their clips on YouTube.

The group that won this year, based on their pure sales, actually came second in 2018 and 7th in 2019, so it isn’t some statistical blip on the music radar.

The win also represents somewhat of a quantum shift in world music… the sort of thing that only happens once in a generation. Rather than the popular cross-over style shift represented by the George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue in 1924, the brith of rock with Bill Haley in 1955 or the rise of British pop in the 1960s, personified by The Beatles, this year’s IFPI signals another generational milestone in tastes, method, world reach and engagement with fans.

In all the right-hand turns of the popular music genre, there has usually been a technological breakthrough that has accompanied them, or at least been a key aspect of their success.

In the case of the the Great American Songbook, the foundations of the pop music genre, it was the recorded record and the start of radio-as-entertainment in the 1920s that provided a method to reach a huge audience with the new sounds and tunes for the first time.

Then it was the 7” single that made music cheaper and easier to play, that revolutionised the radio music formats of the 1960s and provided the perfect vehicle of the British pop revolution to spread around the world.

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Tourism

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

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Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO | Thaiger

There was the original Covid-19 outbreak and lockdowns back in April and May in 2020, then again just before Christmas and New Year when the new clusters emerged in Samut Sakhon and the eastern coastal provinces, Patong’s nightlife was quiet enough, almost non-existent.

Now when the restrictions are lifted, Nimz will take you through Phuket’s famous nightlife spot Bangla Road, Patong Beach and Phuket Town. It’s quiet, but there are still clubs open and operating and ready to welcome you.

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