SB19 makes history as first Filipino act nominated in Billboard Music Awards

FIVE-member Pinoy pop (P-pop) boy band SB19 has just made history as the first Filipino group and Southeast Asian act to be nominated in the 2021 Billboard Music Awards (BBMA). The grouo made it to the Top Social Artist category, which was launched in 2011.

The homegrown act — comprised of Pablo (formerly known as Sejun), Josh, Justin, Ken and Stell — is competiting with top global superstars Ariana Grande and K-Pop groups BTS, Blackpink and Seventeen for the title.

Reacting to the nomination released late Thursday night, the group happily took to their social media accounts and posted, “WE MADE IT, A’TIN! We are nominated for Top Social Artist of this year’s Billboard Music Awards!”

P-Pop Group SB19 is nominated for the Top Social Artist category of this year’s Billboard Music Awards. PHOTO FROM TWITTER/SB19

“A’tin” is SB19’s nickname for their huge fanbase.

“We are so grateful for your love and support. We wouldn’t have come this far without all of you. A’TIN ‘TO! Iwawagayway ang WATAWAT!” they added.

The BBMA’s Top Social Artist and Top Collaboration categories are fan-voted as noted by the award giving body: “Billboard Music Awards finalists and winners are based on key fan interactions with music, including album and digital song sales, streaming, radio airplay, and social engagement, tracked by Billboard and its data partners, including MRC Data. Fan-voted categories include Top Social Artist and Top Collaboration.”

Trained by ShowBT Philippines since 2016 — a subsidiary of ShowBT Group in Korea — SB19 first made waves in the American music magazine and website back in November 2020 as the first Filipino group featured in Billboard’s Next Big Sound Chart, as well as the first Southeast Asian act to enter the Top 10 of Billboard Social 50 weekly and year-end charts.

The group made their local debut on October 26, 2018 with their first single, “Tilaluha.” However, it was not until the release of their second single “Go Up” on July 19, 2019 when they started gaining traction.

On March 9, 2020, they officially released their third single “Alab (Burning)” under new record label Sony Music Philippines.

This year, they dropped the single “What?” on March 9, 2021 as part of their upcoming sophomore album. Presently, the song’s music video has amassed 8.7 million views on YouTube.

Meanwhile, the 2021 Billboard Music Awards program will air live on May 23, 8 p.m. ET (May 24, 8 a.m., Manila time) from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.