America, meet BTS. The K-Pop boy band made their U.S. awards show red carpet debut at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards on May 21. If you’re asking ‘who is BTS?’ then get to know all about these massively popular Korean pop superstars!
1. They’re one of the most popular K-Pop groups around. Forget Drake, 30, The Weeknd, 27, Nicki Minaj, 34, or The Chainsmokers. The biggest music stars strutting their stuff on the red carpet at the Billboard Music Awards may just be a seven-piece group from Seoul. BTS – with members Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Rap Monster, Jimin, V, and Jungkook – have only been a group since 2013, but their popularity has skyrocketed. The group has millions of followers online, so much that Forbes listed them as the most retweeted artist in March 2016.
Twitter’s first ever K-Pop Twitter emoji featured BTS. So, while they may not be the biggest name in the USA, across the world – they’re huge. They were actually at the 2017 BBMAs because of their online following, as they were competing against Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande and Shawn Mendes for the top social artist.
2. Their name is actually pretty badass. With songs like “I need U,” “Boy In Lov,” “Save Me” and “Just One Day,” the band might appear like another R&B group focused strictly on love. However, BTS is short for the Korean term “Bangtan Sonyeondan” or “bulletproof boy scouts.” Yes, those seven boys are called “bulletproof boy scouts,” a name that’s more extreme than Imagine Dragons and twenty one pilots.
3. The songs they write are pretty badass too. The members of BTS, much like most Korean pop music, were recruited through the South Korean record Label Big Hit Entertainment’s “Hit IT” auditions. The lineup went through many revisions before locking it down to these seven boys. Despite being put together by a production company and record label, these seven lads write their own music, according to PEOPLE. They’re also socially conscious, writing songs about bullying, mental health, and even writing female-empowerment anthems. NICE.
4. Members Suga and Rap Monster had careers before BTS. BTS is known for infusing R&B and hip-hop elements into their pop music and they have some legit hip-hop talents on their roster. Rap Monster (born Kim Nam-Joon) was performing as an underground rapper, under the name “Runch Randa.” He teamed with the Korean hip-hop crew Daenamhyup. Suga (born Min Yoon-Gi) aka Agust D also performed as a rapper named Gloss before joining BTS.
5. The BBMAs aren’t their first time in the U.S. While many people in America are getting their first glimpse of BTS during the 2017 Billboards, the group has been stateside before. They’ve toured America, playing to sold-out arenas in L.A., NYC and Chicago. While members like Rap Monster are fluent in English, they’re not planning to release an English-album soon. Still, music is the universal language and if the beat is dope, dance to it!
What do you think about BTS, HollywoodLifers? Were you surprised to see them at the BBMAs?