BTS: Who are they and how did they become so successful? (2023)

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BTS: Who are they and how did they become so successful? (1)Image source, Getty Images

They've been number one on iTunes in over 91 countries and regions with their latest album Map Of The Soul: 7, have got over 26 million subscribers on YouTube and are the first K-pop band EVER to top the US album charts.

It's fair to say, BTS is the K-pop band that is taking over the world.

The group sold out two shows at the O2 Arena in London on 9 and 10 October back in 2018.

So who are this global musical sensation? Read below to find out more.

Who are BTS?

BTS are a K-pop (or Korean pop) group made up of seven members - Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V and Jungkook - who come from all over South Korea.

They launched in 2013 and have since rocketed to global stardom.

Over the years, the group have produced material around various themes starting with the 'School' trilogy.

This was followed by the 'Most Beautiful Moment in Life', 'Wings', and most recently, the 'Love Yourself' series.

Their album 'Love Yourself: Answer' stormed to the top of the US charts, which saw South Korean President Moon Jae-in taking to Twitter to congratulate the boys on their success.

BTS is the biggest K-pop group internationally - and it doesn't look like they're stopping any time soon.

Image source, BTS (방탄소년단) 'IDOL' Official MV

Why are BTS so successful?

1. The music

Image source, Getty Images

With K-pop growing in popularity, they're simply making the music that people want to listen to!

According to Billboard, their album 'Love Yourself: Tear', which is sung in Korean, became "the first primarily foreign-language No 1 album in over 12 years."

Not only that, but many people say that the subject of their music has played a part in their success.

While many K-pop songs are about relationships and love, BTS cover subjects that other bands may not like bullying, elitism and mental health.

2. Their performance

Image source, BTS (방탄소년단) 'IDOL' Official MV

There's no point having amazing songs if you can't sell them to the world - and BTS have got this down to a fine art.

With their slick dance routines and extremely impressive music videos, they've attracted a loyal group of fans who have fallen in love with their music even more.

Mr Son, the band's choreographer, explains: "Music videos seem to be one of the most important factors. Messages from an artist can be delivered more effectively."

To polish their performances, BTS practice for hours. For their debut performance, they were working at it for 12 to 15 hours a day to get it right. Well, it certainly paid off!

3. The internet

Image source, Getty Images

The internet - and in particular social media - has played an enormous part in the success of the group.

Suga told BBC Radio 1: "I think we're so lucky to be born at the right time. Without social media, we wouldn't have been so successful."

In 2018, the boys won a Billboard Music Award for Top Social Artist, beating huge names like Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande and Selena Gomez.

They were the first K-Pop group to win one.

"We still cannot believe that we are standing here on this stage at the Billboard Music Awards," the group said in their acceptance speech.

Image source, Getty Images

Social media has also allowed the group to connect with their followers on a really personal level and gather fans across the world, including here in the UK.

Not only that, but they also engage with their fans via the internet in a different way to other groups like them.

Unlike many other bands, pop culture expert Kim Hern-sik says BTS are actually managed by quite a small agency and are allowed to do what they want a bit more.

"The boys are granted freedom in interacting with their fans on social media," she says. "They are really successful because they know how to interact with their fans and I think their popularity is here to stay."

4. The fans

Image source, Getty Images

No band can have success without its fans and BTS has some of the most loyal, dedicated fans that the world has EVER seen with 19.4 million followers on Twitter and 23.7 million on Instagram.

Known as the ARMY, it was the fans who cast an unbelievable 300 million online votes to ensure that the group won their Billboard award.

And in Autumn 2017, they watched the video for 'DNA' 50 million times on YouTube in just one month!

With numerous pages, profiles and sites set up all over the world by adoring followers, fans spend hours posting content, sending messages and sharing their love for the seven boys.

Three facts about BTS

1. The boys all live together and apparently Jin does all the cooking.

2. The band's own choreographer Mr Son says that J-Hope is the best dancer.

3. What do they like to do to relax? The answer = SLEEP!

What records have BTS broken?

BTS have broken more records than we can even begin to count. But here are some of the biggies...

First K-pop group to speak at the United Nations

Image source, EPA

In September 2018, BTS made headlines for becoming the first Korean pop music group to address the United Nations (UN).

RM, who's the leader of the band, spoke about overcoming insecurities and urged other young people to do the same.

"I've made many and plenty of mistakes in my life," he said.

"I have many faults and I have many more fears, but I'm going to embrace myself as hard as I can. And I'm starting to love myself gradually just little by little."

First K-pop group to top the US album charts

Image source, BTS; Big Hit

Their album 'Love Yourself: Tear' topped the US charts back in June, making them the first K-pop band to do so.

The latest instalment 'Love Yourself: Answer' did the same thing and they also received a record breaking 1.5 million pre-order sales for it.

But it isn't just the Love Yourself series that has brought the boys album success. Wings became the first Korean album to enter the UK album charts too.

First Korean act to perform a US stadium show

Image source, Getty Images

...and they'll be bringing it to the UK oh-so-soon! We can hardly wait.

On the subject of performances, when the group performed the TV debut of their single Fake Love at the 2018 Billboard awards, they became the first Korean artist to perform at this ceremony and the first Asian artist to premiere a new song at it.

And that's not everything. BTS are also the first Korean group to have performed at the American Music Awards, which they did back in November 2017 with their single DNA.

Oh so many online records (we've lost count!)

Image source, Getty Images

Well, first of all, BTS appear in the 2019 edition of Guinness World Records - twice.

The group has the record for the most Twitter engagements, with each of their tweets having an average of 330,624 retweets, replies, likes or other interactions.

In August 2018, the band's song 'Idol' also set the record for the most viewed music video online in its first 24 hours, with over 45 million views.

This beat Taylor Swift's record, which she set almost exactly one year before, when her track 'Look What You Made Me Do' got 43.2 million views.

Image source, Getty Images

By the start of October 2018, 'Idol' was sailing past 194 million views.

On top of these records, BTS also have the gong for longest time spent at the top of the US's Billboard Social 50 chart - a popularity chart which ranks the most active musical artists on the world's leading social networking services.

They pinched the record off Justin Bieber after remaining at number one for the 57th week in a row.

What do you think of the record-breaking BTS boys? Have you been lucky enough to get tickets to see them in concert? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

More on this story

  • 'I've come to love myself for who I am'

    • 25 September 2018

  • BTS Idol video breaks Taylor Swift's YouTube record

    • 28 August 2018

  • Army help BTS take over MTV VMAs

    • 21 August 2018

  • BTS smashes one of Bieber's chart records

    • 16 August 2018


How did BTS become so successful? ›

But, unlike at the Korean big three, Bang would allow his idols to express themselves, both by writing their own music and by interacting directly with their fans. This relative freedom would make BTS the most popular band in the world and turn Bang into a billionaire.

Who is BTS and why are they famous? ›

Since their debut in 2013, BTS has become the epitome of pop music phenomenon. They've been nominated for two GRAMMYs, they've charted four number 1 albums faster than any group since the Beatles, and have broken 25 Guinness World Records.

When did BTS become so successful? ›

Soon, the group had a hit: “BTS as a group sort of took off with the success of our 2015 album that had our hit single 'I NEED U,'” RM tells Time. “We didn't realize we were becoming famous until we were invited to KCONs [K-pop music festivals] in the U.S. and Europe in 2014 or 2015.

Who is the successful member in BTS? ›

J-Hope. Jung Ho-seok, better known by his stage name J-Hope, is currently the richest BTS member, whose net worth is estimated at around USD 26 million, according to reports. The K-pop idol has amassed his wealth through BTS music production, album sales and songwriting.

Why is BTS so successful marketing? ›

All of the attention that BTS is getting is due to their versatility. Each member of their group has a variety of talents and strong suits that fans love, such as singing, rapping, and dancing. The versatility of BTS does not end there since they can also make a wide range of songs.

What was BTS most successful? ›

With 620,670 copies sold in its first week, Lights/Boy with Luv is the fastest selling K-pop single of all time in Japan. At 1,060,000 copies, BTS, The Best is the highest selling album ever by a Korean group in Japan. At over 700 million, Dynamite is the most streamed foreign song of all time in Japan.

Who is ex BTS member? ›

Kim Ji-hun trained with the Bangtan boys for a year before he was cut from the debut line-up.

Why is BTS so successful in America? ›

Looking beyond the obvious factors, (their talent, catchy discography, trendy fashion choices) BTS profoundly appeal to a young American audience due to their non-conforming and non-stereotyped appearances coupled with the fact that they convey a message that is largely one of self-love, challenging the standardized ...

When did BTS become the most popular group? ›

BTS landed on the top of the charts first in October 2016 and have been at the top ever since.

Who is most popular BTS or Blackpink? ›

While BTS has a greater social media following, Blackpink has a far higher video following - 51.3 million subscribers to BTS' 38.6 million.

Who is the cutest in BTS? ›

Speaking of Jungkook, he is unarguably the cutest member of the K-pop band. He is also the youngest member of the band and all the members adore him. As said by Jimin, Jungkook is a great singer and we totally agree! Because of his talent, charming looks and a great attitude, Jungkook is loved a lot by the ARMY.

Who is the 2 most popular member in BTS? ›

For this ranking, we'll rank V in second place. Kim Taehyung earned the 14th spot, just a rank higher than Jimin in the Global Hallyu Trends. On Kpop Profiles, V has the highest ranking of being the fans' bias at 1.7 million votes. Furthermore, Taehyung is the lead dancer, and sub-vocalist of BTS.

Why is V the most popular BTS member? ›

He not only has extraordinary visuals but also has a highly appealing personality. These traits have made him famous and an ultimate 'bias' for many. Each BTS member has their charms and quirks. These qualities are the reason why ARMYs are so attracted to them.

Does BTS deserve their success? ›

Of course they do! Here's just a short list of reasons: They give themselves to their music and put their hearts into the lyrics. They give us crazy amounts of music, tours, and funny videos.

Was BTS successful from the start? ›

BTS has been rising to stardom ever since their Debut in 2013. They debuted with the album “2 kool 4 school” and won rookie awards in award shows as well. They are big fans of BIGBANG and their group's genre was mainly hip-hop. However it was not limited to it.

Who is the broke billionaire in BTS? ›

Before Bang Si-hyuk became known as the “Hitman,” the K-pop legend's company almost went bankrupt. But then came a breakthrough with a local band in 2009. And later global success, after BTS debuted in 2013.

Is BTS the most successful group? ›

Pop group BTS, whose catchy, upbeat songs have won them legions of fans, have been named as the world's best-selling artists for the second year running. The South Korean band beat the likes of Drake and Adele to top a chart compiled by music industry body the IFPI.

Who is the richest in BTS and why? ›

According to Celebrity Net Worth, J-Hope's net worth is $20 million, which is about the same for every member of BTS. However, according to multiple sites like Seoul Space and KpopStarz, J-Hope is reportedly the richest member of BTS, having a net worth of around $30 million.

Has anyone in BTS had a girlfriend? ›

A Breakdown of the Rumors. Fact: all seven BTS members are as hot as they are talented, and if you've ever wondered about the members' relationship statuses, you're definitely not alone. After all, ever since this K-pop group debuted in June 2013, none of its members has ever been in a public relationship.

Did BTS used to have girlfriends? ›

After all, some of the older BTS members including M, Suga, and J-Hope have revealed that they had girlfriends in the past.

Are BTS dating someone? ›

Although it's never been revealed that BTS has had a dating ban, every member has yet to share a public romance.

Why do people love BTS? ›

From being a swag-wielding hip-hop group, BTS has grown to be very versatile artists with a deep, underlying message in every song. For instance, their songs don't simply tell you to love yourself and face your fears but that it's also important to acknowledge negative feelings.

Why are BTS fans called army? ›

ARMY is an acronym for “Adorable Representative M.C. For Youth” and literally means army. BTS's name in Korean, Bangtan Sonyeondan (방탄소년단), translates to “Bulletproof Boy Scouts” in English. Their fans are ARMY, and BTS is the armor that protects them, signifying the band and their ARMY will always be together.

What's the girl's name in BTS? ›

The six members include Miyawaki Sakura, Kim Chae-won, Huh Yun-jin, Kazuha, Kim Garam and Hong Eun-chae, but the latter two teens sparked backlash for their outfits.

What does BTS stand for English? ›

Name. BTS stands for the Korean phrase Bangtan Sonyeondan (Korean: 방탄소년단; Hanja: 防彈少年團), which translates literally to "Bulletproof Boy Scouts". According to member J-Hope, the name signifies the group's desire "to block out stereotypes, criticisms, and expectations that aim on adolescents like bullets".

Who is the real 8th member of BTS? ›

He was scouted by a K-pop recruiter as a breakdancer

Kim had a talent for breakdancing and was hopeful that it would be his launch pad into a boy band, but he was ultimately cut by management. The seven other trainees went on to make history as BTS.

Who is the 1st member of BTS? ›

RM, whose full name is Kim Namjoon, was the first member of BTS and is the band's leader. RM, whose previous stage name was Rap Monster, is one of the band's rappers.

Who is first most popular in BTS? ›

Who is 1st popular in BTS? Snatching the 1st place from his hyungs on this list of BTS member who has the most fans is no other than, the golden (and favorite) maknae, Jungkook! The 1997-born, Jeon Jungkook took the 11th spot in the Hallyu Global Trends 2022.

Who is more popular than BTS? ›

Which group is better than BTS? K-pop girl group BLACKPINK has topped the list of 'Best K-Pop Singers of 2022' and has surpassed the popular K-pop boy band BTS, who previously owned the first position.

What makes BTS different? ›

Unlike the majority of North American boy bands, the group features members with different talents and strong suits, including singing, rapping, and dancing.

Who is more powerful BTS or BLACKPINK? ›

BLACKPINK is overwhelming for female idols. But BTS usually prevails when comparing the most streamed artists globally. Netizens shared their thoughts: "BTS is the only group that is well-known on a global scale.

Who is more popular V or Lisa? ›

But it is Blackpink's Lisa, who boasts the most following on her Instagram. Not just amongst the group but in the entire Kpop industry. Just recently, she surpassed a new milestone and now has 80 million followers. That is almost double the number of followers BTS' V (46.5 million), and Jungkook (43.1 million) have.

Who won BTS or BLACKPINK? ›

BTS beats BLACKPINK, TXT & Twice to win Favorite K-pop artist at AMAs 2022; bags fav pop group title too.

Why BTS became so popular? ›

The music

Not only that, but many people say that the subject of their music has played a part in their success. While many K-pop songs are about relationships and love, BTS cover subjects that other bands may not like bullying, elitism and mental health.

Which BTS grew up poor? ›

6. BTS' Suga. Born Min Yoon-gi in Daegu to a poor family, BTS' rapper is valued in the millions now, but there was once a time when he was so short of money, he had to choose between eating and taking a bus. If he bought a US$2 bowl of noodles, he would then have to walk home.

Why is BTS so famous than other K-pop groups? ›

BTS's fans are more diverse culturally, ethnically, and generationally than those of any other boy band that came before them. The ARMY fan base is truly a global force, with hundreds of millions of fans spread across Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

Who is more famous BTS or Blackpink? ›

While BTS has a greater social media following, Blackpink has a far higher video following - 51.3 million subscribers to BTS' 38.6 million.

Which member of BTS was homeless? ›

BTS' Suga, IU, TVXQ's Yunho and more K-pop idols that lived through poverty, cockroaches and hungry humble backgrounds.

Which BTS member has depression? ›

It is no secret that member Suga, who is also one of the key producers and writers for the group apart from being a rapper, shared her personal struggle battling depression.

Who is the richest family of BTS? ›

Jung Ho-seok, better known by his stage name J-Hope, is currently the richest BTS member, whose net worth is estimated at around USD 26 million, according to reports.

Which K-pop band is more popular than BTS? ›

K-pop girl group BLACKPINK has topped the list of 'Best K-Pop Singers of 2022' and has surpassed the popular K-pop boy band BTS, who previously owned the first position.

Does BTS or BLACKPINK have more fans? ›

Social Media Popularity

This is because both BTS and Blackpink are very active on social media and have large fan bases and followers. Let's get at it with Instagram first. On the 'gram, BTS takes the lead with over 50 million followers while Blackpink follows with about 42 million followers.

Who is more popular than BTS in Korea? ›

With music videos raking in millions of views and sold-out live performances, it's no surprise these boys are some of the biggest names in K-pop. However, some fans noted that EXO is more popular in South Korea, while BTS is more popular globally.


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