Photo courtesy of Big Hit Entertainment
There’s a new invasion of the music industry, and it’s not the British.
BTS, also known as Bangtan Boys or Beyond the Scene, is a South Korean male pop group that made headlines in May for winning the Billboard Music Award for Top Social Artist. They were the first Korean group to be nominated for and win a Billboard Music Award.
Formed in 2013 by Big Hit Entertainment, BTS consists of seven members. Rap Monster, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook work together to create the distinct style and personality that gathers love and support from their devoted fanbase, ARMY.
Releasing hit after hit, the popularity of BTS has grown. They’ve moved from a group housed by an unknown entertainment agency to being one of the biggest groups in K-Pop.
The group’s popularity reached a new peak in April when Billboard nominated them for the Top Social Artist Award. The nomination made them the first-ever Korean group to be nominated for such an award. The fan-voted award, previously held consecutively by Justin Bieber since 2011, proved to be the ultimate test of strength of BTS’ fanbase.
Going against popular Western artists like Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Shawn Mendes and Ariana Grande, ARMY voted as soon as polls opened. The fanbase garnered a record-breaking 300 million votes on Twitter for BTS, according to K-Pop entertainment website Soompi.
“We still cannot believe that we’re standing here on this stage at the Billboard Music Awards,” Rap Monster, the leader of BTS said.
Their win at the Billboard Music Awards in May was not a one-time test to their popularity. BTS’ most recent comeback on Sept. 18 with the mini-album, Love Yourself: Her, broke more records. BTS was the first K-Pop group to acquire more than 1 million units sold in pre-sales and the first to have their music video for lead single “DNA” to achieve 21 million views on YouTube within 24 hours.
Their newest mini-album has not only proven their popularity in Korea but also in the United States.
BTS is the first Korean act to enter the top 10 of the Billboard 200 chart, according to Billboard. They debuted at No. 7 with Love Yourself: Her. The group also made their entry to the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart at No. 37 with “DNA.”
BTS’ recent Billboard Music Awards win and record-breaking successes are testament to the group’s growing worldwide popularity and the possibility of a new outside invasion in the music industry.
“We won the Top Social Artist Award thanks to the dedication from our ARMYs around the world,” Rap Monster said in an interview with Billboard. “Our honor and gratitude goes directly to them.”
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