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BTS: From Ordinary K-pop Band to Global Icon

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BTS. A popular boy band from Korea. The world also knows them by the name of Bangtan Boys. Except for music, they are also popular in the world for their social work. I was unknown to K pop music and the K industry until one of my friends introduced me to BTS music and their stories.

Formation of BTS and Why they are called BTS:

BTS (Bulletproof Boy Scout) is a brainchild of Korean entertainment company Big Hit Entertainment Co. Ltd. Bang Si-Hyuk established Big hit in 2005. The formation of BTS as a band started in 2010 and they debuted in 2013 as seven members. The group of seven people having a unique taste, thinking, and lifestyle makes them a perfect rainbow.

In Korean BTS name expression meaning is “Bangtan Sonyeondan”. Bangtan literally meaning is resistant to the bullet. BTS group aim is to break all the stereotypes, block all the criticism which is unhealthy for the youth and people.

Brief Introduction to BTS members:

Kim Namjoon: Better known by his stage name as RM, Rap Mon, or Rap Monster. He is the leader of BTS. He also writes, composes, and produces the songs. According to Gallup Korea Survey, he is ranked 11th as the most preferred idol of the year 2019.

Kim Seokjin: Better known as Jin. He is the eldest member and vocalist of the group. Known in the group for his ethereal beauty, charisma, dad jokes, and food cooking and eating.

Min Yoongi: Better known by his stage name SUGA, and Agust D. He is the second eldest member of the group. Like RM, he is also a songwriter, rapper, and record producer. The name SUGA means shooting guard the position he played in basketball when he was in school.

Jung Ho-Seok: Better known by his stage name J-hope. As RM always says, J-hope is the hope of a group that radiates positive and bright energy. He is a rapper, songwriter, record producer, and one of the best dancers in the group.

Park Jim-in: His stage name is Jim-in. He is a vocalist, dancer, and songwriter. Jimin is famous for his exceptional dance capabilities among the member of the group and in K-pop. He studied contemporary dance in school. According to Gallup Korea Survey, he ranked 1st as the most preferred idol of the year 2018.

Kim Taehyung: Better known by his stage name V. He is a singer, songwriter, dancer, and actor. He is the vocalist of the group and always gets praised for his deep, husky voice. He made his acting debut on the KBS drama “Hwarang” in 2016.

Jeon- Jung kook: Better known by his stage name Jung kook. He is the youngest member of the group. Jungkook joined the Big hit as a trainee at the age of 14. He is a singer, songwriter, dancer, and vocalist of the group. According to the survey conducted by Gallup Korea, Jung kook ranked as the third most-loved celebrity of the year 2019.

Why BTS is a Global icon:

The ruling of BTS on the world has not happened in one day. They worked hard for it. Success does not come easily. The same is the story behind their success it includes many sleepless nights, hard work, and rejections. After so many rejections, also they never left hard work and hopes. They started in a small room when they didn’t have enough money for a living, but they didn’t lose hopes and reached the place where they are a global icon for the world. Their rise didn’t affect their modesty, love for their fans, and commitment toward their cause of guiding the youth toward a better future and life. They show the world you can touch the sky but, you should not forget your ground.

Reasons:

  1. BTS shows the world that music possesses the strength to deform lives in a better form. They expressed the social issues to the world through music by proving that music matters. BTS’s first collection “2 COOL 4 SKOOL saw great progress after the release. The album title song “No more dream” delivered the social pressures teenager facing in Korea.
  2. BTS played a massive part in spreading awareness of mental health, depression, and suicide. In 2019, BTS started an online community “Speak for yourself with the help from BTS’’ on the mental health day. They asked fans to join, share their suffering, and express how BTS has supported them. Also, BTS delivered an impressive message “Life Goes on, let’s live on” during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
  3. BTS joined hands with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to start the campaign “Love Myself” which aims to stop violence towards children and teens around the world. They desire to form the world a better place through music.
  4. BTS always displays their true to a world without coating themselves in perfection. They show the world their flaws, hardships, struggles, and insecurities. They show the world we are not perfect; we have flaws, but we know how to deal with our flaws instead of living a miserable life of the polished image.
  5. BTS writes their songs themselves by studying and research. They actively take part and share their suggestions in every song making. Big-hit has never bound them in slave contracts of what they should do and what they shouldn’t do. They have written many songs on issues related to self-acceptance, self-love, and many dark social issues.
  6. BTS called its fandom A.R.M.Y. which literally meaning is Adorable Representatives M. C for Youth. And they always treat the army as their family and representative in the world.
  7. BTS always treats their fandom like a family. Group has nearly 27 million followers more than Beyonce and Hitmaker Ed Sheeran. Their ages range from young to the 60s. As an Army spokesperson said. “We are dynamic when we are moving together.”
  8. BTS fans are their advocate. They really work as an army for the BTS in making them global. BTS takes the internet world as their battleground and their fans act as an army in translating, producing subtitles of their Korean acts, songs, interviews into English which connects BTS with their non-Korean fans.
  9. BTS always supported LGTQB right and always speak about that on various forums.
  10. BTS donates 1 million dollars to the “Black Lives Matter Movement” and made a statement against racial discrimination. And in 24 hours their fans match that donation.
  11. BTS actively takes part in the donation and charity works.’’SUGA donates worth 19000 dollar beef in an orphanage on the behalf of ARMY on his birthday.’’

There are plenty of reasons that make them global icons. But the key question: ‘’Is BTS able to maintain their fandom, stardom, and success outside Korea? There is a lot of competition in the market, other bands are also innovating and reaching success internationally. K-pop is transforming and BTS has raised the bar for all K-pop. But I hope if BTS continues to work with the same passion and struggle, they can rule in Korea and in the world for a longer time and maybe forever.

We come together to write, dance, and promote music that reflects our musical background and our life values of acceptance, vulnerability, and being successful.

— BTS leader Kim Namjoon said in an interview with “Time” in 2017.