BTS

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
  • Coming-of-age
  • Individualism
  • Loss
  • Youth troubles
  • Loving oneself

Debut

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.

BTS’ Accomplishments

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.

BTS’ worth

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.

Summary

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:  

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