The BTS Phenomenon
“Kim Namjoon! Kim Seokjin! Min Yoongi! Jung Hoseok! Park Jimin! Kim Taehyung! Jeon Jungkook! BTS! Kim Namjoon! Kim Seokjin! Min Yoongi! Jung Hoseok! Park Jimin! Kim Taehyung! Jeon Jungkook! BTS!”
Words that once were foreign to me, I now know to be all 7 names of the Korean pop sensation chanted before nearly every song by one of the largest fan bases I have ever witnessed. After attending their concert in Fort Worth, TX with my little sister for her birthday, I realized that there was much I needed to learn about this music sensation taking over every chart. At the time, the most I knew about anything K-Entertainment was that every star or group is part of one of the several entertainment companies, and has to go through rigorous - bordering on harsh and torturous - training. And not everyone makes it through to debut. But after attending their concert - which was visually and vocally stunning and one of the most amazing performance events I have ever witnessed - I realized something was different about this group. From the way they carried themselves, to the way the treated each other to the stories behind their training and their music, it didn’t seem forced. If anything it seemed natural, and there was a level of humility and humbleness that is severely lacking in many other major music scenes.
*Any facts or figures in the discussion below are from either BTS’ wikipedia page or Billboard chart articles from earlier this year - trust me with the amount of momentum this band has gained in the past year alone it is not difficult to find any and all information about this band.
June 13, 2013 is a historic date for every ARMY member, as this is the date that BTS officially debuted. Named fully Bangtan Sonyeondan (or in english, the Bulletproof Boy Scouts), BTS became their international handle, saving many international fans the headache of trying to pronounce the full name. Made up of 7 members, this is one of the smaller groups to come out of the Korean Entertainment sector - which is probably bizarre sounding to anyone outside of Asia. Made up of four vocalists - Jin, Jungkook, Taehyung, and Jimin - and three rappers - J-Hope, RM, and Suga -, this group tackles almost every music genre and has been successful at every turn; no matter who tries to take them down or stand in their way.
Though this group is not your typical K-Pop band, however. To start - and much to their credit, BTS writes and produces all their own music. Each of the seven members has their fair share of writing credits throughout their discography, with rappers Suga and Rap Monster gaining their own notoriety as producers in their own right - with Suga winning a producer award at the Melon Music Awards 2017. The group has also co-written the majority of their songs with Korean producer Pdogg and Slow Rabbit to create their distinct hip-hop-infused dance style.
BTS has broken many records and have made K-Pop history. Here is an extract from a Billboard article discussing 10 facts you may not know about BTS:
“It seems like each new release from the group sets BTS up for something bigger and better. Wings proved that once again when it became the highest-charting and best-selling K-pop album in the U.S., as BTS jumped bounds ahead of previous Billboard 200-charting K-pop acts. The group outsold albums by 2NE1 and EXO, who held the ranking in 2014 and 2015, respectively. BTS also stood apart from the previous acts for being the only Billboard 200-charting Korean act not backed by one of the Big Three: South Korea’s largest entertainment agencies (YG Entertainment, SM Entertainment, and JYP Entertainment). BTS’ wide reach also extended to the Social 50, where they took the top slot for the first time. Wings is also notable for appearing at No. 19 on Billboard's Canadian Albums chart and No. 1 on the World Albums chart.”
And the accolades go on and on. Especially now that many are calling them the next Beatles.
US Debut and International ARMY
BTS became a hit the minute they stepped foot in America; winning the Billboard Music Award in 2017 for Top Social Artist without even performing at the event or during their time in the states at the time. In 2018 however, they performed at several music award shows gaining massive views and crazy recognition from those who were unaware of their existence and from international fans who couldn’t believe BTS was in the states. The sheer power of their fans came again when BTS won the BMA for Top Social Artist again in 2018, which was received by the incredibly thankful and humble group - thanking their fans (ARMY) for all the support and love throughout the years.
Where can they go from here?
Is it possible for this boy band juggernaut to reach any higher? Though I am new to the whole BTS craze, it is clear by the fan base, music, and overall comradery as a group; that they have no plans of slowing down anytime soon.
So all I have to say is this: Fighting, BTS!