BTS taking a break: How did the K-pop band conquer the world?

On the ninth anniversary of its creation, K-pop mega group BTS announced that they are going on break. Fans of K-pop all over the world were shocked to learn of the news.

BTS is the most popular group in their genre, and the news sent its label’s stock price plummeting on the Seoul stock exchange.

BTS has sold over 32 million records worldwide, making them one of Korea’s most successful cultural exports.

The members of the band have stated that they are “exhausted” and would like to concentrate on their own projects.

Band member RM tearfully confessed that they “don’t know what brand they are” while chatting around a table laden with alcohol and beer.

“I’ve always thought BTS was different from other groups,” he said, “but the problem with K-pop and the entire star system’ is that you don’t have time to mature.”

“We aren’t breaking up,” bandmate Suga clarified. “For the time being, we’re just living apart.”

The band’s label, HYBE, indicated that the members of the band will continue to collaborate, but on “parallel individual and team projects” in response to the steep decline in share prices.

Regardless, the news has sent shockwaves throughout the K-pop community.

How did BTS become the most popular Korean boy band on the planet?

J-Hope, Jimin, Jin, Jungkook, RM, Suga, and V were all chosen through auditions or recruitment when BTS first debuted in 2013.

The septet had been constantly training for their debut since 2010, despite their unexpected entrance.

The members rapped in Korean and English in a series of videos released in late 2012, which was the first time the public heard them.

They didn’t immediately become celebrities with the publication of their first single, ‘No More Dream,’ but they quickly rose to prominence in their native South Korea between 2013 and 2017.

With a change to more confessional lyrics and social media transparency, tracks like ‘I Need U’ and ‘Dope’ drew in a large number of domestic admirers while also beginning to acquire a worldwide following.

With a repackaged version of their album ‘Wings,’ now titled ‘You Never Walk Alone,’ they made a significant international breakthrough in 2017. BTS became the first K-pop group to perform at the American Music Awards celebration as a result of their chart success in the United States.

BTS’s most successful album to date, ‘Love Yourself: Tear,’ debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, making it the first K-pop album to do so.

With the 2020 hit ‘Dynamite,’ which was performed entirely in English, they were the first South Korean group to top the American singles chart.

With ‘Dynamite’ attracting more than 101.1 billion views within 24 hours of its debut, BTS has become the most streamed group on Spotify in history.

BTS is a popular Korean pop group

Despite the fact that they appear to be little more than a boyband, the group has played a significant role in shaping how South Korea has been perceived internationally in the last decade.

BTS was given the opportunity to speak at the United Nations in 2018. RM advised listeners to be themselves and “speak up” regardless of ethnicity, gender, or identity while speaking at the launch of a UNICEF campaign for young people.

To condemn anti-Asian bigotry, the organisation met with US President Joe Biden in June 2022. More than 300,000 people saw their presentation in the White House briefing room on the White House YouTube channel.

They’ve won 12 Billboard Music Awards, nine American Music Awards, and nine MTV Video Music Awards, among other honours.

They are one of the few bands since the Beatles to have four number one albums in the United States in the span of two years.

In an era when K-pop has taken over international music, BTS has emerged as the dominant K-pop band.

Brits are the biggest K-pop lovers in Europe, with the UK ranking 11th in the globe in terms of streaming. Between 2019 and 2020, K-pop streams in France increased by 13%.

Korean craze

In Korean, ‘Hallyu’ or ‘Korean wave’ has played a role in BTS’s rise to prominence. It’s the name given to the South Korean government’s concentrated endeavour to increase cultural and media exports.

BTS’s success comes on the heels of Bong Joon-film ho’s ‘Parasite’ sweeping the honours at Cannes in 2019 and the Oscars in 2020, ‘Squid Game’ bringing in record numbers of viewers to Netflix last year, and other K-pop bands such as Blackpink achieving international popularity.

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Although this isn’t the first time BTS has declared a hiatus (they did it in 2019 and 2021), J-Hope insists the group “needs a change” and wants to “open a new chapter” with this announcement.

The band’s future has yet to be officially announced, but with the label stating that they will work on different projects, fans are already speculating about solo careers a la One Direction.

Joining the army and breaking up with your partner?

It’s also possible that the break was prompted by the members’ obligation to serve in the military.

Men under 30 in South Korea are required to serve in the military for two years. Jin, the group’s oldest member, is 29 years old and must enlist in the military next year or face prison.

Although occasional exceptions to the conscription law are granted in South Korea, they are often granted to athletes rather than pop stars.

Hwang Hee, South Korea’s Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, urged that the rule be altered.

Hee added, “It’s time to build a framework for combining popular culture-art figures as art personnel.”

“The system has been properly handled to allow people who have elevated national prestige based on their excellent skills more opportunity to contribute to the country, and there is no reason why the popular arts and cultural sphere should be excluded.”

And there hasn’t been any indication that the members are against the rule.

“Military service is a natural course for me as a young South Korean. And, as I’ve always maintained, when my country calls, I’ll answer .” “In the year 2020, Jin stated

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