BTS: Boyband Takes the World by Storm

by The Cowl Editor on October 18, 2018

Arts & Entertainment

Bringing K-Pop to Mainstream America

by: Sara Conway ’21 A&E Staff

Energetic chants filled the Citi Field stadium on the night of Oct. 6: “Kim Namjoon! Kim Seokjin! Min Yoongi! Jung Hoseok! Park Jimin! Kim Taehyung! Jeon Jungkook!” These are the names of the seven members of the hit K-Pop group, BTS. 

The boy band was formed by Big Hit Entertainment, an entertainment company based in South Korea, starting with Kim Namjoon (RM), the leader of the group. BTS consists of three rappers: Suga, J-Hope, and RM, as well as four vocalists: Jungkook, the main vocalist, Jimin, V, and Jin. 

The seven released their debut album in 2013, becoming popular within the K-Pop genre for their dance choreography and have since attracted a dedicated fanbase, called ARMY. 

BTS (above) at the 2017 American Music Awards, where they won their first AMA for Favorite Social Artist.

It was in 2015, however, that BTS broke into the Billboard 200 with their album, The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Pt. 2. Their last three albums of the Love Yourself series all made it into the top 10 of the Billboard charts. Their two 2018 albums, Love Yourself: Tear, released in May, and Love Yourself: Answer, released in August, both peaked at number one. 

BTS kicked off their sold out Love Yourself World Tour in Seoul before coming to the United States. In New York, BTS was the first K-pop group to perform a stadium show at the historic Citi Field which holds over 40,000 seats.  

The group recently started the European leg of their tour, stopping first in London. The first leg of the tour concludes with BTS in Paris, giving the group a well-deserved break from the nonstop performances, as the Asian segment of the world tour picks up again in mid-November. 

The success of BTS is not only seen in the magnitude of its tour schedule but also through the notable lauds they received in recent years. Through the Billboard Music Award for Top Social Artist, a fan-voted category, ARMY demonstrated the extent of its power, ending the six-year streak of Justin Bieber. BTS won the award in 2017, when they performed, and in 2018. 

During the 2017 American Music Awards, the group performed their hit song, “DNA,” marking their major break into American households. About a week ago, while in London, BTS won the Favorite Social Artist award for the 2018 AMAs. As their success continues, BTS is quickly becoming a household name and many predict that they will not be slowing down anytime soon.