INTRODUCTION TO BTS
BTS (방탄소년단; Bangtan Sonyeondan; Beyond The Scene) is a 7-member, South Korean boy group that debuted on June 13, 2013 under Big Hit Entertainment. The members are RM, Jin, SUGA, j-hope, Jimin, V, and Jung Kook. The Korean name Bangtan Sonyeondan translates to “Bulletproof Boy Scouts.” It is explained by member j-hope that the group signifies the desire to block out stereotypes, criticisms, and expectations that are aimed at adolescents like bullets. They later embraced another brand identity Beyond The Scene in July, 2017, extending the meaning behind the name to: “growing youth, BTS, who is going beyond the realities they face as they move forward in life, chasing their dreams.”
As of April 2020, BTS has achieved four #1 albums in the United States (three of which were attained in the span of a year, becoming the first band since the Beatles in 1995-96 to do so). They have also had two #1 albums in the United Kingdom, multiple songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, a sold-out worldwide stadium tour, multiple RIAA certifications for singles and albums, as well as over 9 billion total streams of their discography on Spotify. In 2019, they broke the record for most viewed video on YouTube in under 24 hours, with their music video Boy With Luv (Feat. Halsey). On top of that, they have the highest sales ever for an album on the Gaon Music Chart in addition to having over 20 million total album sales since their debut. Their latest album, MAP OF THE SOUL: 7, has earned them #1 spot in the world’s ten largest music markets. They are also the artist with the most Twitter engagements and have been the most tweeted about celebrities since 2017.
In late 2017, BTS teamed up with UNICEF, launching a global campaign (#ENDviolence, #BTSLoveMyself) against violence. This campaign aims to instill hope in children and teens around the world and to make the world a better place for youth through their music. As of November 2019, the initiative had raised over 2.5 billion KRW.
In October 2018, the members of BTS were awarded the 5th Hwagwan Order of Cultural Merit by South Korean President Moon Jae-In, for “outstanding meritorious services in the fields of culture and art in the interest of promoting the national culture and national development.” Furthermore, in 2019, the members were officially invited to join the Recording Academy as voting members.