BTS is a South Korean boy band made up of seven members. BTS stands for Bangtan Sonyeondan, which means “Bulletproof Boy Scouts” in Korean. Many fans also call them the “Bangtan Boys.” In honor of their new album, Map of the Soul: Persona, and sold-out stadium tour, Prowl compiled a list of fun facts about this K-Pop (Korean Pop) group. ARMYs, test your knowledge and see if you know BTS as well as you think. For readers who haven’t heard of BTS, continue reading to catch up on the Bangtan Boys and find out what ARMY is.
The members’ stage names are: (top, left to right) Suga, Jung-Kook, Jimin, J-Hope. (bottom, left to right) Jin, Rap Monster (RM), V. via GIPHY
1. BTS Started on the Right Foot (or Show)
BTS debuted on M Countdown on June 13, 2013. M Countdown is a huge deal for new K-Pop artists because anyone who is (or will be) anyone performs at M Countdown. The live show is broadcasted from Seoul, South Korea to countries like China, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, the U.S. and more. This performance gave BTS a lot of exposure in the K-Pop world, and put them on the map.
2. BTS has an ARMY
Do you remember the thousands of loud fans screaming at the 2017 American Music Awards? If not, below is a video to remind you of the chants and cheers from the crowd. That was ARMY, BTS’ official fan group. ARMY stands for Adorable Representative M.C. for Youth. The name ARMY was chosen because the fans are close to BTS and will always protect them, just like a real army with its country.
Video Courtesy of @samantha_alaimo ‘s Instagram.
3. A Lot of Firsts
BTS has become the first K-Pop group to do a lot of things in the U.S. BTS was one of the first K-Pop groups to perform live at the AMA’s. BTS is the first K-Pop group to perform on Saturday Night Live, and perform, present, and win at the Billboard Music Awards. BTS is also the first K-Pop group to have an album debut at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Top 200 Chart. Their album, Love Yourself: Tear, bumped Post Malone’s Beerbongs & Bentleys into second place in 2018. BTS was also nominated for Best Recording Package at the 2019 Grammy Awards.
4. BTS is Redefining K-Pop
In Korea, there are three top entertainment companies known as “The Big 3” that produce the most successful artists and make the most money. When BTS entered the game, their company, BigHit Entertainment, was a nobody. Thanks to BTS, however, BigHit surpassed all three companies in 2017 with a net profit of $22.7 million, $6.6 million more than their closest competitor, JYP. The other companies are focused on developing “idols” – they create an image and sound for each group and the group is required to stick to that image. BigHit is different. The owner, Bang Si-hyuk, wants his artists to express themselves in their music. Because of this, BTS has focused on being genuine and sharing their real struggles. This authenticity contributed to their global success.
5. One of Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2019
BTS is one of 16 artists chosen as Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2019. BTS is among many other famous artists, like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Ariana Grande, and Glenn Close. Time shared, “The YouTube views within 24 hours for their music video ‘Fake Love’ almost surpassed Taylor Swift’s and Psy’s all-time records – no small feat.” BTS uses their platform to speak about mental health and other social issues, including a collaboration with the United Nations.
6. BTS works with the United Nations
In 2017, BTS joined the Korean Committee and started the “Love Myself” campaign for UNICEF. The campaign partners with UNICEF’s #ENDviolence program to protect young people all around the world from violence. BTS used this campaign to push their message that, “true love first begins with loving myself.” BTS released the “Love Yourself” trilogy of albums to encourage fans to “love and speak themselves.” A portion of album sales is donated to the campaign.
7. They’ve Collaborated with Some of Your Favorite Stars
BTS has worked with plenty of American artists. Their song “Best of Me” was produced by The Chainsmokers’ Andrew Taggart. One of the members RM (Rap Monster) was featured on Fall Out Boy’s “Champion” remix. BTS released two versions of their song “Idol,” one featuring Nicki Minaj. BTS has worked with Steve Aoki on multiple occasions. Aoki remixed their single “Mic Drop,” which had a version that featured Desiigner, “The Truth Untold,” and BTS is featured on his song “Waste It On Me.” BTS’ most recent single “Boy With Luv” featuring Halsey was just released on April 12.
8. BTS and the Beatles
BTS has spent plenty of time on top of the charts. In under 11 months, BTS’ albums Love Yourself: Tear, Love Yourself: Answer, and Map of the Soul: Persona all placed No. 1 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums chart. Map of the Soul: Persona dropped to the No. 3 spot after spending two weeks on top of the charts. The last time a group logged No. 1’s in such a short span of time was The Beatles from 1995 to 1996 with Anthology 1, Anthology 2, and Anthology 3. The only difference? It took the Beatles 11 months and a week to get three albums at No. 1; it took BTS 10 months and three weeks.
9. Retweeted more than Obama
While Twitter does not make an official list of the most retweeted tweets, the news and media are aware of an unofficial list. The list contains 30 of the most retweeted tweets. There are currently only four accounts that have more than tweet on the list. Hillary Clinton, Harry Styles, and El Rubius each have two of the most retweeted tweets. Barack Obama has three. BTS has four.
— 방탄소년단 (@BTS_twt) July 23, 2018
BTS’ most retweeted tweet: J-Hope doing the #InMyFeelings Challenge.
10. Only One Member Speaks English
Rap Monster, better known as RM, is the leader of BTS, and the only member who speaks English fluently. RM has stated in many interviews, like this one on Ellen, that he learned English by watching the entire American sitcom “Friends” three times: first with Korean subtitles, next with English subtitles, then with no subtitles. He said he felt like a victim at the time because his mother made him watch the show. Now, however, he’s grateful that he can speak English. The rest of the members have said that they regret not paying attention in their English classes, especially as they try to learn it now for their English-speaking audiences.