BTS is a seven-member Korean pop group that was formed in 2013 by Big Hit Entertainment. The group consists of Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook. Each member has unique talents, including singing, rapping, and dancing. BTS is known for their meaningful lyrics, impressive choreography, and their ability to connect with their fans, also known as “ARMY.”
BTS’s early years were marked by struggle and hard work. The group trained for several years before debuting, and even faced financial difficulties at times. However, they persevered and continued to work hard, honing their skills and building a strong fan base.
BTS’s debut album, “2 Cool 4 Skool,” was released in June 2013. While it did not initially receive much attention, it laid the foundation for the group’s future success.
In 2014, BTS released their second album, “Skool Luv Affair,” which helped to solidify their position as one of Korea’s top idol groups. The album’s lead single, “Boy In Luv,” earned the group their first music show win on SBS MTV’s “The Show.”
BTS’s rise to fame truly began with the release of their third album, “The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Pt. 1,” in 2015. The album’s lead single, “I Need U,” became a massive hit and won the group their first-ever daesang, or grand prize, at the Melon Music Awards. The group followed up with the release of “The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Pt. 2” later that year, which further solidified their status as a top K-pop group.
In 2016, BTS released their second full-length album, “Wings.” The album was a commercial and critical success, debuting at number one on the Billboard World Albums chart and earning the group their first music show win on Mnet’s “M Countdown” with the lead single, “Blood Sweat & Tears.” “Wings” was also the first Korean album to chart on the Billboard 200, peaking at number 26.
BTS continued their success with the release of their fifth EP, “Love Yourself: Her,” in 2017. The album’s lead single, “DNA,” became a global phenomenon and charted in multiple countries around the world. The group’s popularity skyrocketed, and they soon became known as a global phenomenon. The album went on to win Album of the Year at the 2017 Mnet Asian Music Awards and Best Pop at the 2018 Korean Music Awards.
In 2018, BTS released their third full-length album, “Love Yourself: Tear,” which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, making BTS the first Korean act to achieve this feat. The album’s lead single, “Fake Love,” won the group their first-ever Billboard Music Award for Top Social Artist. BTS’s popularity continued to grow in the following years, as they released multiple chart-topping albums, collaborated with high-profile artists, and embarked on successful world tours.
With the release of their album “Map of the Soul: Persona” and its follow-up “Map of the Soul: 7,” BTS continued to push the boundaries of K-pop and establish themselves as a global phenomenon.
Their world tour, which was unfortunately cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, attracted millions of fans and grossed over $200 million, cementing BTS’s position as one of the most popular and influential groups in the world of music.
November 2020 gave us the release of “Be”, showcasing BTS’s versatility and artistry as they delved into themes of self-reflection and resilience in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The album, which was largely produced by the members themselves, featured hit singles like “Dynamite”, “Butter” and “Life Goes On,” and debuted at #1 on the US Billboard 200, making BTS the first group to have five consecutive #1 debuts. The “Be” era also included memorable performances, such as their Tiny Desk Concert for NPR and their MTV Unplugged set, which further cemented BTS’s reputation as one of the most dynamic and innovative groups in the music industry.
BTS’s achievements are numerous and impressive. They have won hundreds of awards, including dozens of daesangs. Some of their most notable accomplishments include:
- Winning Album of the Year at the 2018 and 2020 Billboard Music Awards for “Love Yourself: Tear” and “Map of the Soul: 7,” respectively.
- Winning the Top Social Artist award at the Billboard Music Awards for four consecutive years (2017-2020).
- Being the first Korean act to perform at the American Music Awards and the Grammy Awards.
- Achieving a perfect all-kill on the charts with their single “Dynamite” in 2020.
- Winning four daesangs at the 2020 Mnet Asian Music Awards, including Album of the Year and Artist of the Year.
- Winning Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 2021 Grammy Awards for their single “Dynamite.”
BTS’s impact on the music industry cannot be understated. They have broken down barriers and paved the way for Korean pop music to be recognized on a global scale. With each new release, they continue to push boundaries and inspire fans all around the world.
Everything happened so quickly. Following the June release of their anthology album, BTS invited fans to a prerecorded dinner. Amidst an appetizing-appearing spread of steak, seafood, and side dishes, the boys declared they were going to take a hiatus from group music-making to work on individual projects. In retrospect, the news wasn’t shocking because BTS had been living and creating music together for the last ten years, so it was probably time for them to take a break and discover their own unique sounds and narratives. However, there was a brief period of panic following the announcement due to the news of BTS’s break: The management company for BTS, Hybe, saw its stock plummet, leading many analysts to surmise that the “hiatus” might indicate that BTS would not return as a group.
The announcement caused many fans to identify themselves as military wives with a spouse away to serve was hinted at throughout the dinner: BTS is taking a three-year break to finish their obligatory duty. Following their October performance to support Busan’s 2030 World Expo bid, the band declared their desire to progressively serve in the armed forces until their anticipated reunion in 2025. (Korean men must start their 18-month duty by the time they are 28, but due to their cultural accomplishments, BTS was given a two-year extension.) The first person to enlist was Jin, who celebrated turning thirty in December of 2022.
The majority of men in South Korea are forced to serve at least an 18-month army term since the country and its neighbor, North Korea, are still officially at war.
There had long been discussion about whether BTS—possibly the most well-known cultural export from South Korea—would also have to serve. In October of 2022, BigHit Music, the group’s HYBE-owned record label, declared that all seven BTS members would fulfill the military commitment, with Jin, the oldest, being the first to serve in December 2022.