Monday, May 22, 2017

Asians & Asian Americans at the Billboard Music Awards

The Korean K-Pop group won Top Social Artist award.

A K-Pop group was named  the Top Social Artist award at the Billboard Music Awards last Sunday, and almost everybody on Asian internet sites starts talking about Asians getting noticed by the music industry. 

I don't want to take anything away from BTS accomplishment thus becoming the first K-Pop crew to ever win a Billboard award. They beat out some heavyweights including Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande, and Shawn Mendes.

BTS has a huge international following but are almost unknown in the U.S. and they were the fifrst K-Pop group to win the Billboard award.

Zayn Malik, former member of One Edition.
However, they were not the only other Asians or Asian/Americans at the awards show as some other writers seemed to infer. In fact,  Vanessa Hudgens, a Filipina/American, was in the middle of things during the entire show as the co-host. 

Zayn Malik, whose parents are from Pakistan, won the Billboard Music Award for Top New Artist. He was unable to attend the Las Vegas event, he tweeted, because he was working on a new set of songs.

Bruno Mars, another Filipino/American, was nominated in three categories. He livestreamed a smooth, sexy performance of "Versace on the Floor" from London where he was in concert.

Is that old debate of "Who is an Asian?" cropping up again? Is it because that Hudgens, Mars and Malik are not east Asian that they were were rendered invisible to the commentators?

Certainly, there could/should be more Asian/Americans up there on stage, but let's not forget to give credit to those who are paving the way for others to follow them.

Vanessa Hudgens with her co-host Ludicris.

Last Sunday, it was particularly difficult not to notice Hudgens, who used the emcee gig to remind everyone of the singing capabilities this young woman, a product of the Disney machine that keeps churning out stars. Hudgens made everyoen forget about the cancellation of her television series Powerless.

The former High School Musical star opened the show by taking co-host Ludacris' challenge to show off her her Nicki Minaj rhyme skills after the Monsta herself wrecked the stage with a killer medley. Then she switched gears and did a more than adequate job doing Celine Dion's "The Power of Love" crushing the soaring notes.

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