Do you know BTS? If you don’t, you’re probably living under a rock as they’re just the biggest boy band in the world!
The K-Pop group-turned-mega sensation has been on and behind the scenes since they debuted with their song, “We Are Bulletproof Pt.2” in 2013. The group has seven members including Kim Namjoon (RM), Kim Seokjin (JIN), Min Yoongi (Suga), Jung Hoseok (J-Hope), Park Jimin (Jimin), Kim Taehyung (V), and Jeon Jungkook (Jungkook).
The group started off with little success within the K-pop industry when they first debuted, as they came from a smaller music company in South Korea called Big Hit Entertainment (also now known as HYBE), which made it difficult to compete against K-Pop groups from bigger music companies with more money and resources like SM Entertainment or JYP Entertainment.
Despite that, they grew a steady and loyal fanbase (known as ARMY) due to numerous reasons: the group wrote their own music, which was unheard of at the time of their debut, they wrote about societal issues in South Korea and also spread messages about the importance of loving yourself — oh, and also their music and performances rocked.
“We came together with a common dream to write, dance and produce music that reflects our musical backgrounds as well as our life values of acceptance, vulnerability and being successful,” said BTS’s leader, RM, in a 2017 interview with Time.
And despite their humble beginnings, the group soon became internationally loved after they were nominated and won a Billboard Music Award for Top Social Artist in 2017 — the first K-Pop group to ever be nominated for such an award. They soon crossed into the global music market, leading the Korean Wave into the United States and have continued to break numerous sales records.
Recently, Bang Si-Hyuk, founder and co-CEO of Big Hit Entertainment, discussed BTS’ success in an interview with Time in March 2022 when he and the band were the publication’s cover stars (again), “But what I can say is that BTS’ success in the U.S. market was achieved by a formula different from the American mainstream formula. Loyalty built through direct contact with fans had a lot to do with that.”
Scroll through our gallery to see BTS’ transformation from debut days to becoming the biggest boy band in the world.
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