BTS, otherwise known as Bangtan Boys is a renowned South Korean all-male band formed in 2010 and active since 2013 under the management of Big Hit Entertainment. The seven-member group is made up of the following singers:
- Kim Nam Joon (RM)
- Min Yoon-gi (Suga)
- Kim Seok-jin (Jin)
- Jung Ho-seok (J-Hope)
- Jeon Jung-kook (Jungkook)
- Park Ji-Min (Jimin)
- Kim Tae-hyung (V)
All seven artists mentioned above co-produce and co-write most of BTS songs.
Meaning of “BTS”
The name of the band is derived from the Korean expression “Bangtan Sonyeondan”, which literally means “Bulletproof Boy Scouts”. Band member J-Hope has explained that the name implies their aspiration to block out all forms of stereotypes, expectations and criticisms that are aimed at adolescents like bullets.
The K-pop band would later in July 2017 announce that BTS also stands for “Beyond the Scene”.
What genre is BTS?
The group first became known as a hip hop group, but has over the years evolved in their style of music to include other genres namely R&B, K-pop, EDM among others. The lyrical content of their songs have also attracted a huge fan base mainly because it is often centered around pertinent issues. Some of the common themes the Bangtan Boys often explore in their lyrics include the following:
- Mental health
- Youth troubles
- Loving oneself
The group debuted in 2013 with a single album titled “2 Cool 4 Skool”, followed by their debut studio album “Dark & Wild”, which was released in August 2014 in Korean language. In the same year, the group released their first Japanese-language studio album titled “Wake Up”.
“Wings” (2016) was BTS’ second Korean language studio album, and it became the first of their albums to sell more than one million copies in South Korea.
Beginning from 2017, the band has achieved major feats including being the leaders of the Korean Wave in the US. At the same time, they have became successful on the global market and breaking several sales records. Following the release of their single, “Mic Drop”, they became the first Korean music act to receive an RIAA certification. They also became the first act from Korea to top the US Billboard 200 charts with their 2018 studio album “Love Yourself: Tear”.
Within the space of two years they had earned four number one albums in the United States – a feat only The Beatles had achieved. Breaking the record for all Korean acts in 2020, the group became the first to hit number one on the Billboard Global 200 charts with the single “Dynamite“, as well as the first to reach number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 with their remix of “Savage Love”.
Between 2017 and 2019, they were listed among Time Magazine’s list of the “25 Most Influential people on the Internet”, while in 2019; the magazine included them in their list of the “100 most influential people in the world”. In 2018 and 2020, Forbes Korea judged them the most influential Korean celebrities, as they ranked 43rd in the 2019 Forbes Celebrity 100 list of the world’s top earning celebrities.
As of 2020, the band is recognized as South Korea’s best selling artist with more than 20 million sold albums. That same year, their album “Map of the Soul: 7” became the best selling album in the entire history of South Korea.
Even more Accomplishments
BTS’ “Love Yourself World Tour” made them the first non-English speaking and first Asian act to sell out Wembley Stadium. In April 2018, the band became the first Asian music act to garner over 5 billion streams on Spotify. Still in 2018, BTS became the first non-English speaking artist to enter the Global Artist Chart, and appeared in Bloomberg Market’s list of “50 most influential worldwide”.
As of 2020, BTS has received numerous international awards for their work including the following:
- 4 Korean Music Awards
- 4 Billboard Music Awards
- 6 MTV Video Music Awards
- 13 Gaon Chart Music Awards
- 14 Seoul Music Awards
- 20 Golden Disc Awards
- 23 Melon Music Awards
- 24 Mnet Asian Music Awards
- 4 American Music Awards
They have garnered thirteen Guinness World Records as of 2020 and spent more than 200 weeks on the Billboard Social 50 charts at number one. In 2017, the boy band launched the Love Myself anti-violence campaign in partnership with UNICEF. This saw them address the United Nations’ 73rd and 75th General Assemblies.
Following the initiative, they became the youngest persons to receive the South Korean President’s Order of Cultural Merit due to their immense contribution to spreading Korean language and culture. The group was in 2019, invited by the Recording Academy to be a part of its members and Grammy Award voters, in honor of their impactful contributions to music.
Following Big Hit Entertainment’s IPO debut on the stock market on October 15, 2020, the group’s management company became valued at almost 10 trillion won ($US 8.5bn). This earned them a spot on the all-time 10 debuts on South Korea’s stock market. With an initial trading price of 270,000 won ($253), on the Seoul stock exchange, the company’s stocks rose to at least 160% lifting the price to about 351,000 won ($305). The group’s manager and Big Hit CEO, Bang Si-Hyuk is as of October 2020 worth at least $1.4 billion. BTS members, on the other hand, who own about 68,500 shares are already multi-millionaires with an equivalent of an $8 million stake.
The band, as of 2019, is said to have been worth over $4.65 billion to the South Korean economy each year. Their collective net worth according to The Wealth Record was $100 million.
Musical Acts that Influenced BTS
The band members have cited the likes of Eminem, Nas, Post Malone, Drake, Charlie Puth and Queen as their major musical influences.
BTS is a seven-member boy band hailing from South Korea. But more importantly, as of the onset of the third decade of the 21st century, they are the most-successful musical act in the entire world. Indeed their dominance on music charts marks a new era in history where for the first time ever South Korea – not the US, UK or some other European nation – is the most-popular musical country in the world. And in addition to dropping tracks in their native language, they also come out with entire albums for Japanese markets and occasionally release songs in English. Moreover as the years have progressed, some of the individual members have been gradually embarking on solo careers, often in collaboration with artists from other parts of the world.
More Interesting Facts about BTS
Throughout the history of South Korean history, no act has been as successful as BTS.
In 2019, the group was placed in Time magazine’s list of the world most influential people.
In 2019, studies showed that almost 10% of foreign tourists that visit South Korea do so because of BTS.
Top BTS Songs
The band has released several hit songs since their inception; notable among them being the following:
- “Your Eyes Tell“
- “Stay Gold“
- “Winter Bear“
- “All Night“
- “Boy with Luv“
- “Dream Glow“
- “A Brand New Day“
- “Fake Love“
- “Waste it on Me“
- “Film Out“
More about the Members of BTS
Below are brief facts about each member of BTS:
Kim Nam Joon (RM)
South Korean rapper, Kim Nam-Joon has earned incredible global success as the leader of BTS. Kim is globally recognized by the pseudonym, RM. He officially began his career in the entertainment industy back in 2010.
He released his debut solo mixtape titled RM in 2015, followed by a second mixtape titled Mono in 2018. Mono became the highest charting album (reaching number 26) by a Korean solo artist on the Billboard 200 charts.
At age 16, he got signed to Big Hit Entertainment, joining as one of the earliest members of BTS. He is credited with writing and producing several tracks on BTS’s albums.
He co-wrote Glam’s debut single titled Party (XXO).
Kim became the recipient of the Hwagwan Order of Cultural Merit in 2018. He has collaborated with a number of major artists including the following:
- Lil Nas X
- Warren G
- Fall Out Boy
RM learned to speak English more fluently by watching the popular series, Friends. He ranked among the top 1% of students in his country for his university entrance examination with an IQ of 148.
His interest in hip-hop grew after listening to Epik High and Eminem.
Min Yoon-gi (Suga)
Min Yoon-gi gained international stardom as a member of BTS, in 2013. Recognized by his pseudonyms, Suga and Agust D, he is notable for his enormous songwriting contributions to BTS. He also produces a lot of the group’s material.
According to the Korea Music Copyright Association, as of 2021, he has written and produced over a hundred songs in his career.
His maiden solo mixtape entitled Agust D came out in August, 2016. The mixtape peaked at number three on the Billboard World Album Chart in 2018.
His second solo mixtape is titled D-2. The aforementioned mixtape came out in 2020. It was a mega global hit. For example, it peaked at number two on the ARIA album chart. Furthermore, it reached the seventh position on the UK albums chart. The project also peaked at number 11 on the Billboard 200 chart.
He was a recipient of the hot trend award at the Melon music awards in 2017. The award was for producing the hit song, “Wine”. The song reached number two on the Gaon music chart and was among the best-selling songs in South Korea in 2017.
Kim Seok-jin (Jin)
Kim Seok-jin is the full name of South Korean singer and songwriter, popularly known as Jin. He became a member of the k-pop boy band BTS, in June 2013. His unique falsetto voice and his capability to sing with wide ranges of emotions made him distinct among the members of BTS.
As of 2020, he had released three solo songs that were included on the albums of BTS. His first solo song, Awake, was released in 2016 as part of BTS’ album Wings. The song peaked at six on the Billboard World Digital Singles Chart and was number 31 on the Gaon music chart.
He released his second solo song titled Epiphany in 2018. Epiphany was a huge commercial success and it peaked at number 4 on the Billboard World Digital songs chart and at number 5 on South Korea’s k-pop hot 100 chart.
In 2020, he released his third solo song Moon, which was included in BTS’ album, Map of the Soul:7. The song reached number two on the Billboard World Digital singles chart and topped the Gaon digital chart in 2020.
In October 2018, his contributions to Korean music and culture earned him the Hwagwan Order of Cultural Merit award.
Jung Ho-seok (J-Hope)
Jung Ho-Seok, is the real name of South Korean rapper, popularly known by his stage name J-Hope. His successful career as a rapper, dancer, record producer, and songwriter began in 2013. This was when he debuted as a core member of BTS. He derived his stage name, J-Hope, from his self-acclaimed role as the hope of BTS and his passion to bring hope through music to their fans.
On March 1, 2018, he released his debut solo mixtape, ‘Hope World’. It peaked at number 38 on the Billboard 200 chart, making him the top ranked solo Korean artist on the chart in March 2018.
He became the first BTS member to have a solo song on the Billboard hot 100 chart, after his hit single, Chicken Noodle Soup, released in September 2019, peaked at number 81 on the chart. He is also the sixth Korean Artist to rank on the Hot 100 chart.
In November 2020, he donated ₩100 million to the covid-19 pandemic fund of South Korea, to support parents and children experiencing economic difficulties. He believes in philanthropy and is a member of the Green Noble club. This isa group in South Korea that recognizes donors to raise funds for Child Fund Korea.
Jeon Jung-kook (Jungkook)
South Korean vocalist and songwriter, Jeon Jung-kook has earned incredible success in his career, being the youngest among K-pop boy band, BTS. Popularly known by his stage name Jungkook, he began his career in 2013 with BTS.
As of 2020, he had three solo songs to his credit under BTS. His debut solo song titled Begin, was a pop track and it was released in 2016 and was included in BTS’ album Wings. Euphoria, his second solo was released in 2018. The song peaked at number 5 on the Billboard bubbling under hot 100 chart.
His third solo track, My time, was released in 2020, as part of BTS’ album Map of the Soul:7. The song is one of the longest charting songs by a solo K-pop singer, on the Billboard World Digital Song Sales chart, having spent 61 weeks on the chart. It also peaked at number 84 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
According to Google, he was the most searched K-pop male artist in 2019 and 2020 on their mid-year chart. In March 2021, he broke the all-time V live record for the most real time viewers. He achieved this feat when over 22 million viewers watched his solo live broadcast.
Park Ji-Min (Jimin)
Park Ji-min is the full name of South Korean singer and dancer, popularly known as Jimin. He began his professional career in 2013 when he became an official part of BTS. He is considered the best dancer in the BTS group as he has received many praises for the brilliant, smooth and elegant dance moves he exhibits on stage.
His first solo song titled Lie came out in 2016. The song was included as the second song on BTS’ hit studio album, Wings.
Serendipity, his second solo song was released in 2017. In May 2019, the music video of Serendipity surpassed 100 million views on YouTube. This made him the first BTS member to reach that many views, with a solo music video.
At the 2018 Melon Music Awards, he performed a solo dance of the Korean traditional fan dance, Buchaechum. He performed the dance so well that he was honored with a plaque of appreciation from the Cultural Conservation Society of South Korea.
He has a very large social media fan base, and in 2018, he was the eighth most-tweeted musician and ninth most-tweeted celebrity in the world.
Kim Tae-hyung (V)
South Korean vocalist, Kim Tae-hyung, began his career in the music industry with BTS, on June 13, 2013.
His solo song, Singularity, was released in May 2018 as the trailer of BTS’ third studio album, Love Yourself: Tear. The song peaked at number 28 on Billboard’s critics list of the “Top 50 BTS songs”.
He released another solo song titled, Scenery, in 2019, through the SoundCloud page of BTS. It broke the daily streaming record nine times for a song on SoundCloud in 2019.
He has made several soundtracks for South Korean series including, Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth and Itaewon Class. His song Sweet Night, debuted at number 2 on the Billboard Digital Song Sales chart in 2020. It was also the highest ranked debut song for a Korean solo artist on the chart in 2020.
Aside from music, he has a successful career in acting. As an actor, he landed his first acting role in 2016. This was in the historical drama series, Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth.