BTS have been taking US media by storm over the past month where they were the “surprise” win for the Top Social Artist on May 21st at the Billboard Awards. However, a quick look at their following on social media shows that really, their win is not as shocking as it may seem.
BTS debuted in 2013 and since have become one of the most popular K-pop groups, despite not being from one of the “Big 3” in Korea. 2016 was an incredible year for the group, winning their first two Daesang awards in Korea for Best Artist and Best Album for their second release, Wings. Listed by Forbes as the most retweeted artist in March 2016, BTS continue to raise their standard for what they achieve musically, but still maintain a relationship with their fans.
309 MILLION VIEWS
Noted for their incredible music videos, BTS has amassed over 309 million views with only THREE releases in the last seven months. Commonly in K-pop, artists sing, rap, and do choreography for all of their singles. BTS’s latest comeback for their extended release, You Will Never Walk Alone, featured the contemporary track “Spring Day” and underdog anthem, “Not Today.” Their quick, hard-hitting choreography is mesmerizing to watch as they sing and rap powerful verses.
With any artist in the world, it’s uncommon to find singers that contribute lyrically to all of their tracks. Rap Monster, a member of BTS’s rap line (unsurprisingly), is credited on almost every song alongside Suga and J-Hope. The other members Jimin, Jin, Jungkook, and V have also had important roles in the recording and writing process. Not only have they been singing and rapping hit after hit, but they’ve been the ones writing them.
Their songs captivate audiences interested in hip-hop and pop, whether or not they speak Korean. As their fans grow, BTS has grown with them. Their recent releases have continued to transform as the popular music scene in Korea shifts. BTS has come a long way from their hit “We Are Bulletproof,” where they touch upon the pressure against them and people who don’t believe they could become famous. Their ability to reflect about their feelings and the world resonates with their fans. Due to their constant work and dedication, they have become a band that will never be forgotten by K-pop fans.
Their influence on social media is unquestionable. Best said by their leader, Rap Monster, in a recent interview with Yahoo, “The world is getting smaller and smaller and we are one of the groups that have most benefitted from the new media. Music is a universal language so, thanks to the fans for always translating our tweets and messages. So, I think this is the right time for K-pop.” Their fans support for them is incredible: they tweeted over 300 million hashtags for the boys to win. With support from the US media, I have no doubt that their ARMY (as they like to call them) will support the boys in all of their future endeavors, both domestically in Korea and internationally.
Congratulations to the boys and their ARMY for the win! You guys earned it!
Tweet me @livfitzsimons about what you think about the win and what’s next for BTS and let us know in the comments below!