BTS (Korean: 방탄소년단; Japanese: 防弾少年团; also known as Bangtan Boys and Beyond the Scene) is a seven-member boy band under Big Hit Entertainment. They made their debut with "No More Dream" from their first single 2 Cool 4 Skool on June 13, 2013.
- RM (formerly Rap Monster) - leader, main rapper
- Jin (진) - vocalist, visual
- Suga (슈가) - lead rapper
- J-Hope (제이홉) - main dancer, lead rapper, sub-vocalist
- Jimin (지민) - main dancer, lead vocalist
- V (뷔) - vocalist, 2nd visual
- Jungkook (정국) - main vocalist, lead dancer, sub-rapper, maknae
BTS first came to prominence after winning Big Hit's "Hit It" auditions in 2010 and 2011, establishing their final lineup in 2012. In the time leading up to their debut album, the group members began engaging with fans through social media outlets like Twitter, video blogs as well as releasing songs via their YouTube page.
Prior to joining the group, RM was an established underground artist having released several tracks. Suga was also an established underground rapper, and Jin was a university student. J-Hope had been a member of a street dance team called NEURON and was an active participant in the underground dance scene. Preceding his addition to BTS, Jimin was a student at Busan High School of Arts, but later transferred to Korea Arts High School. Although Jungkook was in high demand by several talent agencies, he decided to join BTS after hearing RM perform.
2013: Debut with "2 Cool 4 Skool", O!RUL8,2?
The group debuted on June 13, 2013 with the release of their debut single album 2 Cool 4 Skool with "No More Dream" as the title track. A music video for the track "We Are Bulletproof Pt.2" was released in July.
On September 11, they released their first mini-album O!RUL8,2? with "N.O" as the title track.
2014: Skool Luv Affair, Dark & Wild, and Japanese debut
Their second mini-album Skool Luv Affair was released on February 14 with "Boy in Luv" as the title track. A repackage was later released on May 14 and the group used "Miss Right" for their follow-up promotions.
BTS made their Japanese debut by releasing the best album 2 Cool 4 Skool / O!RUL8,2? which consists of Japanese versions of songs from their first two releases in Korea. Dark & Wild, their first full-length album, was released on August 20.
2015–2016: The Most Beautiful Moment in Life trilogy and expanding popularity
The group released their third mini-album The Most Beautiful Moment In Life, Pt. 1 on April 29, 2015. Their title track "I Need U" was performed on various music shows, finally winning first place on SBS's The Show on May 5, their first music show award since their debut. "Dope" was used for follow-up promotions in June.
On March 17, 2015, the group's leader RM (then known as Rap Monster) released his first solo mixtape, the eponymous RM, for free on the streaming service SoundCloud. The mixtape was ranked 48th on the "50 Best Hip Hop Albums of 2015" list published by Spin Magazine.
Their fourth mini-album The Most Beautiful Moment In Life, Pt. 2 was released on November 30, 2015. The group completed their trilogy with the release of the special album The Most Beautiful Moment In Life: Young Forever on May 2, 2016.
The group has an extremely large social media presence and was noted by Forbes magazine as the most retweeted artist in March 2016. Following this, Twitter released a K-pop themed emoji featuring the group ahead of their Asia tour.
2016: Youth and Wings
On September 6, BTS released their second Japanese album Youth.
Later in September, their agency announced that the group would be releasing their second Korean full-length album Wings on October 10. Pre-orders for the album exceeded 500,000 copies. Upon its released, their album's title track, "Blood Sweat & Tears," achieved an all-kill on the music charts. BTS included solo tracks for the first time in their Wings album. The accompanying music video reached 6 million views within a day, beating the previous record.
The album also debuted at #26 on the US Billboard 200 charts, marking it as the highest charting K-pop album ever and was the group's third entry onto the chart, another first for a K-pop artist in the US market. They also set the record for best album sales week for a K-Pop group the album selling 16,000 units.
2017: You Never Walk Alone, Love Yourself: Her, and international recognition
BTS released a repackage of Wings titled You Never Walk Alone on February 13. The title track "Spring Day" swept the Korea music charts, achieving another all-kill for the group. In the United States, the track became the first song by a K-Pop group to break into the top 10 on the iTunes songs chart, and marked the first BTS appearance on the US's Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart at #15.
On April 10, BTS was the first K-pop group to be nominated for a Billboard Music Award (BBMAs). The group won "Top Social Artist" at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards on May 21, beating such noteworthy artists as Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez and Shawn Mendes. In their awards acceptance speech, the group said: "We still cannot believe we’re standing here on this stage at the Billboard Music Awards…Most importantly, this award belongs to the every people all around the world that shine the love and light on us by the million and make BTS proud." The group was also named "Best Dressed Boy Band" at the awards by Vogue Magazine.
On July 5, Big Hit Entertainment and BTS revealed a new logo for the band in a video released on the official YouTube channel. This video was accompanied by the announcement that in addition to being known as Bangtan Sonyeondan or Bulletproof Boy Scouts, their acronym would also stand for "Beyond The Scene" as part of their new brand identity.
On September 8, BTS released their fifth mini album titled Love Yourself: Her. The album debuted at number one in Korea on the Gaon Album Chart while its title track "DNA" debuted at number two on the Gaon Digital Chart. Internationally, BTS broke the record for most No. 1 spots held on iTunes Album Charts by a K-Pop group, with the album ranking No. 1 on the charts in 73 countries as of September 18. The album also debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200 album chart, making it the highest charting K-pop album of all time, and the first K-pop album in the top 10 of the chart. The album became the group’s fifth entry on the Billboard 200 chart, breaking their previous record set earlier the same year of four entries on the chart. BTS remains the only K-pop group to have three or more entries on the Billboard 200.
Both of the top two spots on the Billboard Social 50 Chart were held by K-Pop groups for the first time in Billboard history, with BTS holding the No. 1 spot, and EXO holding the No. 2 spot for the ranking dated September 23, 2017.
On a special Naver V Live broadcast on September 18 to celebrate their comeback with Love Yourself: Her, the group announced their goal of making it onto the Billboard Hot 100 chart. "DNA" entered the Billboard HOT 100 at No. 85 for the week of October 7, becoming BTS' first entry on the HOT 100 and achieving this goal for the group.
At the American Music Awards (AMAs) hosted on November 19, BTS performed "DNA" in their first American music award show performance, making them the first K-pop group ever to be invited to perform on the show. Following the performance, Guinness World Records announced that BTS will be included their 2018 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records for having the world's most Twitter engagements and specifically for most Twitter engagements by a music group. BTS was also named by Twitter to be the most tweeted-about artist of 2017, and ranked 1st worldwide in yearly social media engagements with 502 million likes and retweets.
The group released a remix version of "Mic Drop" by producer Steve Aoki featuring rapper Desiigner on November 24, titled "MIC Drop (Steve Aoki Remix)". The single debuted at No. 28 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it the highest-charting entry by a K-pop group on the chart. The song also debuted at No. 1 on the US iTunes chart, breaking their previous record for the highest-charting song for a K-pop group, which was set by "DNA" reaching No. 4 on the chart. This also made BTS the first K-pop group to reach the No. 1 spot on the Apple download service.
On December 12, BTS was represented on six of the Billboard "Year End" Charts. The group ranked No. 1 on the "World Albums Artists" chart, No. 2 on the "World Albums" chart, No. 1 on the "Social 50 Artists" chart, No. 2 on the "Top Artists – Duo/Group" chart, and No. 32 on the "Independent Albums" chart. They also ranked as No. 10 on the "Top Artists" chart and are the only K-pop artists to have made the list.
2018–present: Face Yourself
On January 9, iHeartRadio announced that BTS was nominated for two iHeartRadio Music Awards in the categories of "Best Boy Band" and "Best Fan Army". Both categories are determined by popular vote through social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Soompi announced their 13th Annual Soompi Awards on January 23, in which BTS is nominated for eight awards: Artist of the Year, Album of the Year (for You Never Walk Alone), Best Male Group, Music Video of the Year (for "Spring Day"), Song of the Year and Best Choreography (for "DNA"), Best Collaboration for ("MIC Drop (Steve Aoki Remix)"), and Twitter Best Fandom. In addition, BTS member V is nominated for Best Idol Actor for his work on the K-drama Hwarang.
On February 3, BTS' single "MIC Drop (Steve Aoki Remix)" was certified gold (500,000 units) by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), becoming the first Korean group to have ever earned an RIAA certification.
On February 5, it was announced that BTS was nominated for four Korean Music Awards. Their nominations included "Song of the Year" for their single "DNA", "Best Pop Album" for Love Yourself: Her, "Best Pop Song" for "DNA", and for "Musician of the Year". This was the group's first nomination for any Korean Music Awards. K-pop acts are rarely in consideration for the awards show, which recognizes "excellence in music" and significant achievements made by artists over the year. BTS is the only K-pop group to have been nominated in more than two categories for the same year.
On February 11, sales for Love Yourself: Her surpassed 1.58 million, the highest sales recorded for an album in Gaon Chart history.
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) announced on February 12, 2018 that "DNA" was certified Gold for earning 500,000 units as of February 9. BTS previously became the first Korean group to ever earn certification by the RIAA with "MIC Drop (Steve Aoki Remix)", and are now the only Korean group to hold more than one certification.
On February 14, BTS won two Gaon Chart Music Awards: "Album of the Year - 1st Quarter" for You Never Walk Alone, and "Album of the Year - 3rd Quarter" for Love Yourself: Her. The group's frequent producer, Pdogg, also won the award for "Composer/Lyricist of the Year".
For the February 17 issue, Billboard Magazine featured BTS as their cover artist. This is the first time BTS has covered a U.S. magazine, and also the first time Billboard Magazine has released individual covers for members of a band.
Suga's mixtape, Agust D, was released unannounced on Spotify and iTunes worldwide for the first time on February 22, over 2 years since its original release. Within 24 hours, the album reached No. 1 on the worldwide iTunes charts and the iTunes Pop Charts. The following week, the album debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard World Albums chart dated March 3, 2018.
On February 28, BTS won "Musician of the Year" at the Korean Music Awards, making the group the first K-Pop group to have received the award.
On March 2, J-Hope released his first solo mixtape titled Hope World for free download on Google Drive, streaming on Spotify and SoundCloud, and for purchase on iTunes. The accompanying music video for the title track, "Daydream," reached 1 million likes in 1 hour 43 minutes, making it the fastest Korean video to reach the benchmark. With 73 No. 1 spots on the iTunes chart worldwide by the end of its first day, Hope World tied with the previous BTS release, Love Yourself: Her, for the most No. 1 spots held by a Korean album on iTunes within the first 24 hours. As of March 5, the album remained at No. 1 on the iTunes Worldwide Charts, marking 5 days at No. 1 and breaking the record for the longest-charting Korean album at No. 1 on the chart previously held by Love Yourself: Her. The album debuted at No. 63 on the Billboard 200 Chart, making J-Hope the highest-charting solo K-pop act in Billboard 200 history. J-Hope also debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard Emerging Artists chart, where fellow band mates RM and Suga (as Agust D) both previously peaked at No. 46.
The music video for "DNA" reached 300 million views on March 6, 2017, making it only one of 3 K-pop videos to reach the benchmark and the fastest video to do so to date. The video reached 300 million views in 5 months and 16 days, breaking the previous record of 13 months and 28 days by "TT" by TWICE. On March 11, the music video for "Fire" reached 300 million views, making it the 4th K-pop video to reach the benchmark and making BTS the only K-pop artist to have 2 videos achieve the accomplishment.
On March 11, BTS won both the "Best Fan Army" and "Best Boy Band" awards at the 2018 iHeartRadio Awards held in California, although the group declined to attend the event due to a busy schedule as they prepare for their upcoming album release later this year.
Awards and nominations
- Main article: List of awards and nominations received by BTS
- Main article: List of records set and broken by BTS
Recognition and honors
BTS was named "Best Dressed Boy Band" at the Billboard Music Awards by Vogue Magazine in May of 2017.
BTS was named one of the "Top 25 Most Influential People on the Internet" by Time Magazine in June 2017, based on "their global impact on social media and their overall ability to drive news."
On December 30, 2017, fashion website Polyvore named BTS their "Top Male Fashion Icons of the Year" for 2017.
For their March 2018 issue, J-14 Magazine named BTS the winner of their 2017 Teen Icon Award for "Iconic International Star" as determined by fan vote.
Big Hit Entertainment received an award at the 2018 iF Design Awards in Germany on February 8, 2018, in the Corporate Identity/Branding category under Communication Design, for their redesigned logo and brand identity for BTS. The iF Design Award is considered one of the world's top three design awards.
TIME Magazine named BTS No. 1 on their list of "Best K-Pop Artists" published on February 9, 2018. The list called BTS "music’s biggest social media phenomena" and recognized their "upbeat onstage energy and their distinctive personalities."
- O!RUL8,2? (2013)
- Skool Luv Affair (2014)
- Skool Luv Affair Special Addition (repackage) (2014)
- The Most Beautiful Moment In Life, Pt. 1 (2015)
- The Most Beautiful Moment In Life, Pt. 2 (2015)
- Love Yourself: Her (2017)
- 2 Cool 4 Skool (2013)
- "With Seoul" (2017)
- "No More Dream (Japanese Ver.)" (2014)
- "Boy in Luv (Japanese Ver.)" (2014)
- "Danger (Japanese Ver.)" (2014)
- "For You" (2015)
- "I Need U (Japanese Ver.)" (2015)
- "Run (Japanese Ver.)" (2015)
- "Blood Sweat & Tears" (2017)
- "MIC Drop/DNA/Crystal Snow" (2017)
- Their official fan club name is called A.R.M.Y. (stylized as ARMY), which stands for "Adorable Representative M.C. for Youth."
- The literal translation of their Korean name (방탄소년단, or Bangtan Sonyeondan) in English is "Bulletproof Boy Scouts."
- Main article: BTS/Gallery