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BTS (also known as Bangtan Boys) have been one of the biggest groups in the world for a number of years now. Even while they’re on hiatus, the band continues to have a dedicated fanbase who continue to sing their praises and pay tribute to them online. The band, consisting of Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook, have been one of the biggest boy bands, since they burst onto the global scene in the late 2010s.
While their career began with Korean music, the group has performed on international TV shows, including many in the United States. They’ve also taken part in popular programs like the Grammy Awards. They’ve also collaborated with English-speaking artists like Coldplay and Lil Nas X.
The group is currently on hold, but members have been at work on their solo projects, and fans have been tuning in to see what each of the members does on their own. The band are also the subject of the new Disney+ docuseries BTS Monuments: Beyond the Star, which premiered on the streaming service on Wednesday, December 20.
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BTS Formed in 2010
Like many K-pop outfits, BTS was formed by a South Korean entertainment company. Big Hit Entertainment wanted to form the group around rapper RM, and after a series of auditions, they brought the talent together who became BTS. The group was notable as the company allowed each member to share their feelings on the music, as well as showcase their personalities. In 2013, the group debuted their first album 2 Cool 4 Skool. Since then, they’ve released nine albums with the most recent being 2020’s Be.
They Are on Hiatus as Members Complete Mandatory Military Enlistment
In the band’s home country South Korea, all men must complete military service before they turn 28 years old. It was decided that the group would still need to complete the service in 2019. Occasionally there are exemptions and deferments for athletes and celebrities, but Jin was the first member to enlist when he turned 30, per CBS News. Their agency announced that each member would focus on solo albums, and the band would get back together in 2025 after each member had completed their military service.
J-Hope, V, and Suga have all also enlisted for service.
Each Member Except Jin Has Dropped Solo Albums
With Jin as the first member to enlist for service, he’s only released a handful of solo singles, but his bandmates have all dropped solo records. J-Hope was the first to release a solo album with July 2022’s Jack in the Box. He was followed by RM with Indigo in December of that year. Jimin dropped his solo record Face in March 2023, followed by Suga with D-Day in April, and V’s Layover in September. Jungkook has been the most recent member to release a solo record with November’s Golden.
The Group Have Been Embraced by Politicians
Besides the music world, the group has been embraced by political leaders across the globe. South Korean President Moon Jae-In appointed the band as a “special presidential envoy for future generations and culture,” according to The New York Times. Following the president’s appointment, BTS gave a speech at the United Nations ahead of their 2021 General Assembly. They promoted the COVID-19 vaccine and spoke about young people’s impact during the pandemic.
It’s not just local leaders who have had BTS help get their message out. President Joe Biden also met with the boy band to help speak out against anti-Asian hate in the United States in June 2022. “People care a lot about what you say, and what you are doing is good for all people. It’s not just your good talent. It’s the message you are communicating. It matters,” the president said in a statement.
They’ve Popularized K-Pop Worldwide
While K-pop has always had its own fans, BTS helped spread the genre to a wider global audience. They had many milestones, including being the first K-pop group to perform at the Grammy Awards. They also have the highest charting Korean song on the Hot 100 Billboard Chart (“Life Goes On”) and the highest charting non-English song. They’re also the first Korean group to get Gold and Platinum records in the United States.