If you’ve never heard of the Korean pop band BTS you must be living under a rock. BTS, short for the Bangtan Boys, is a 7-member pop group from Seoul, South Korea that has taken the world by storm over the past several years.
The boys – Suga, RM, J-Hope, V, Jin, Jungkook, and Jimin – all have different roles and positions within the group itself. Some only rap, while others do the vocal tracks.
The members write much of their own music. V graduated from a Korean Arts High School and went on to take online classes at Global Cyber University while training to be a K-Pop star.
RM (He previously went by ‘Rap Monster’) is considered the group leader and taught himself fluent English by watching Friends on Netflix one summer. He also has a solo career, but mostly focuses on the group.
They have been on Ellen, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and performed their hit song Boy With Luv featuring Halsey at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards. The song has seen significant airtime over US radio, rare for a Korean song.
Their single ‘MIC Drop (Steve Aoki Remix)’ also got US airtime, and was widely recognized as one of the top songs of 2017.
Their Love Yourself world tour (Named after the album) had 15 shows in North America, with 42 shows total. The fans call themselves the ARMY, and a single ticket on resale could cost you over $1,000. Their performances sold out within minutes – the show at Wembley Stadium sold 90,000 seats in under 90 minutes.
In 2018 the group was named the most influential celebrities in Korea by Forbes magazine, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Times also named them one of the 100 most influential people of 2019.
What is surprising, however, is that Forbes suggests BTS is worth over $4.5 billion to the South Korean economy, and one in every thirteen foreign tourists are drawn to the country because of them. That is staggering.
BTS has spoken out on issues normally considered taboo in the music scene, including addressing self-confidence and mental health issues that are often swept under the rug.
In a culture that is so focused on looking perfect that a common graduation gift is plastic surgery, they are using their fame to make big changes.
Big things are expected from the group in the coming years, as these boys show no signs of slowing.