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EXCLUSIVEAsian version of Grammy Awards likely to be held in Korea: source

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K-pop boy band BTS appears at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards in Las Vegas, April 3, 2022. AP-Yonhap

K-pop boy band BTS appears at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards in Las Vegas, April 3, 2022. AP-Yonhap

By Dong Sun-hwa, Pyo Kyung-min

An Asian rendition of the Grammy Awards — one of the world's most prestigious music awards organized by the Recording Academy — is likely to be held in Korea, a source familiar with the matter recently told The Korea Times on condition of anonymity.

According to the source, the Recording Academy could pick either Korea or Japan as the venue for the upcoming "Asian Grammy." Recording Academy President Panos Panay and CEO Harvey Mason Jr. recently visited Korea to discuss the issue with several music and technology industry insiders, as well as municipal government officials, the source added.

If the show takes place in Korea, three cities are being considered as potential venues: Seoul, Incheon, and Hanam in Gyeonggi Province.

Panay and Mason are known to have met leaders of K-pop powerhouses HYBE and YG Entertainment, entertainment business giants including Kakao Entertainment and CJ ENM, tech companies such as Naver and KT, as well as local governments of the three cities.

Most officials from the aforementioned companies and the municipalities confirmed that there were meetings between Panay, Mason and their top officials, but declined to provide details.

"We can confirm that there was a meeting, but cannot disclose what was discussed," an official at one of the companies said.

Another official said, "Holding an award ceremony in Korea will 'meet each other's needs' because Grammy seeks expansion to Korean and Asian markets, while Korea's entertainment industry will benefit from Grammy's established reputation."

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in 2023, Mason said the Recording Academy has been on a global journey to amplify its presence around the world.

"We've been going to every corner of the world to learn and understand what's happening and where we might be able to be helpful or in service," he noted. "We're going places to try and understand how we can collaborate, how we can be a part of their music ecosystem."

Launched in 1958, the Grammy Awards recognizes outstanding achievements in the music industry, prioritizing artistic integrity over commercial success. In Korea, boy band BTS, represented by HYBE, is the only K-pop group to ever earn a Grammy nomination.

Dong Sun-hwa
Pyo Kyung-min


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