Formed by Big Hit Entertainment, BTS a.k.a. Bangtan Boys is a South Korean boyband consisting of seven members, Jin, J-Hope, Suga, Jimin, V, Jungkook and leader RM. Literally translated as "Bulletproof Boy Scouts", BTS got its members recruited through the agency's "Hit It" auditions in 2010 and 2011, before being finalized in 2012.
Prior to debuting in 2013, some of BTS' members had their career started as underground performers. Rap Monster was an underground rapper and had released several tracks, including a collaboration with Zico. J-Hope was a member of a street dance troupe named Neuron, while Suga was an underground rapper in Daegu. Jungkook previously competed on Mnet's "Superstar K" before joining Big Hit. Jin was a film arts student at Konkuk University when he was street-cast for auditions. Prior to debut, Jimin was the top student in modern dance in Busan High School of Arts and later transferred to Korea Arts High School with fellow member V.
The group debuted on June 12, 2013 with "No More Dream" off their first album titled "2 Cool 4 Skool". It didn't take long for BTS to receive love from South Korean fans as they won New Artist of the Year awards at the 2013 Melon Music Awards, Golden Disc Awards and the 2014 Seoul Music Award. After releasing their first extended play, "O!RUL8,2?", BTS came back with their 3rd part of the "school trilogy" with second EP "Skool Luv Affair" on February 12, 2014. "Boy in Luv", the title track off the album, was well received in South Korea and worldwide with the album peaking at No. 3 on Billboard's World Album Charts.
In December, BTS later expanded their career in Japan by releasing their very first Japan studio effort, "Wake Up". In addition to Japanese versions of their songs, the album consisted of two original Japanese songs, "Wake Up" and "The Stars". Still in 2014, BTS greeted fans not only in South Korea, but also the Philippines, Singapore, Japan, Thailand and Malaysia through their first concert tour, "2014 BTS Live Trilogy - Episode II: The Red Bullet".
After holding their second concert tour in Korea, titled "BTS Live Trilogy - Episode 1: BTS Begins" in 2015, the group dropped their third EP "The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Part 1" on April 29. Fune dubbed the album one of the "27 Best Albums of 2015 So Far", while title track "I Need U" earned the group first place on SBS MTV'S "The Show", selling 200,000 copies since the release.
BTS continued the Japan expansion by releasing another Japanese single titled "For You", which quickly dominated charts including topping Oricon's daily chart. Later on June 23, BTS treated their fans, which is known as Army, to a visuals of "Dope" off "The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Part 1" which was viewed for over 100 million times on YouTube. The group gained attention from people around the world after the album nabbed the first place on the Billboard World Albums and stayed still at the position for multiple weeks, making BTS the first K-pop act to do so. They received the honor of Best World Performer at the 2015 Mnet Asian Music Awards, thanks to their massive fanbase.
BTS' achievements and its massive fanbase led the group to land ambassador gig for high end such as Puma in 2015. Later in 2016, Nexon released character avatars based on the 7 members for their RPG game Elsword.
Following the release of special compilation album "The Most Beautiful Moment in Life: Young Foreve", BTS held two-day concert at the Olympic Gymnastic Arena in Seoul on May 7 and 8, 2016 with 24,000 tickets sold. They kicked off their Asia Tour and headlined KCON in Los Angeles and New York, before releasing their second full-length studio album "Wings" on October 10. The group broke the record for "Highest Charting and Best Selling K-pop Album", which was previously owned by 2NE1's "Crush", as well as marked the first K-pop artist to make it to the U.K. Official Album Charts.
Going with title track "Blood Sweat & Tears", BTS sat atop Billboard's the World Album Chart, World Digital Songs Chart and Social 50 Chart on October 29. In addition, "Blood Sweet & Tears" received an "all-kill" in various South Korean music charts, while the video music gained 6 million views on YouTube within 24 hours. The huge success of the "Wings" earned BTS their second daesang for Artist of the Year at the 2016 Mnet Asian Music Awards. BTS was the first artist from outside "Big 3" entertainment company (SM, YG and JYP) to nab the award.
However, it's not until 2017 BTS became a sensation to everyone in the U.S. following the win of Top Social Artist Award at the Billboard Music Awards on May 21, besting the likes of Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez. Prior to this, BTS, who nabbed the fifth place in Forbes' Korea Power Celebrity List, re-released their second full-length studio album titled "You Never Walk Alone" with title track "Spring Day".
The track topped various South Korean online music charts, with its music video being streamed by over 9 million people in just 24 hours on YouTube. The video reached 20 million views in 4 days. BTS kept breaking records as music video for "Not Today" only needed 3 days to achieve the feat.
On September 18, BTS, who as of October 2 bested Big Bang's G-Dragon as most followed Korean Act on Twitter, dropped their fifth mini album "Love Yourself 'Her' ", the first EP from the highly-anticipated "Love Yourself" series. BTS further cemented their global success by collaborating with The Chainsmokers's Andrew Taggart in a track off the mini album titled "Best of Me". After releasing a single titled "DNA", BTS became the first K-pop boy group to enter Billboard Hot 100. Debuting at No. 85, "DNA" later sat at a position of 67. It passed the No. 76 peak of Wonder Girls' "Nobody" back in 2009.
"Love Yourself: Her" debuted and peaked at No. 7 on Billboard 200 chart, making it the first K-Pop album to reach top 10 on the chart. It additionally made BTS the first Asian artist to debut within the top 10 since Filipino singer Charice's self-titled debut album arrived at No. 8 in 2010.
BTS once again collaborated with American musician when they joined forces with Steve Aoki to release a remix version of "Mic Drop", which peaked at No. 28 on Billboard's Hot 100. It became the first top 40 entry for a K-Pop group on the chart. They later released a triple-A side single in Japan. The project featured Japanese versions of "DNA" and "Mic Drop" in addition to new single "Crystal Snow".
As their popularity kept raising in the U.S., the Korean group was invited to perform at the 2017 American Music Awards, becoming the first K-Pop act to perform at the award-giving show. They also made an appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" and performed on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve.
Due to the massive success of "Love Yourself: Her", BTS won Artist of the Year at the 2017 MNET Asian Music Awards. One of the singles off the effort, "Spring Day", won Best Song of the Year Award at the 2017 Melon Music Awards. In addition, they became the first group outside YG, SM and JYP Entertainment to win Daesang Award at the 2018 Golden Disc Awards and Seoul Music Awards.
BTS premiered an eight-episode series titled "Burn the Stage" on YouTube Red on March 28. The series featured behind-the-scenes look at the group's 2017 "Wings Tour". In the following month, they released their third Japanese album "Face Yourself" as well as a nine-minute teaser video of their upcoming album "Love Yourself: Tear", which was later released on May 18.
"Love Yourself: Tear" debuted at No. 1 on Billboard 200 chart, becoming their highest-charting album and first No. 1 album on the chart. It also became the first K-Pop album to top the chart. Lead single off the set, "Fake Love", debuted at No. 10 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart, marking the first Hot 100 top 10 ever for a K-pop group. BTS debuted live performance of the song at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards, where they won Top Social Artist for the second time.
As the conclusion of their "Love Yourself" series, they released "Love Yourself: Answer" in August 2018, with lead single "Idol", which alternative digital release features Nicki Minaj. The album became BTS' second number-one album on the U.S. Billboard 200 and their highest sales week in the country at that time, making BTS the only K-pop act with two Billboard 200 toppers and the first pop act with two number one albums in less than a year since One Direction topped the chart with "Midnight Memories" in 2013 and "Four" in 2014. "Love Yourself: Answer" later became the first Korean language album to be certified Gold by the RIAA in November.
Around the same time of the album release, BTS commenced their third world tour, "BTS World Tour: Love Yourself", which included shows at Citi Field in Queens, marking the first time a Korean act has performed at a U.S. Stadium. Later in October, with more than a year remaining in their contract, all seven members of the group renewed their contract with Big Hit Entertainment through 2026. In November of the same year, BTS released "Burn the Stage: The Movie" in theaters worldwide to commercial success. The seven-piece group capped off the year with more feats, ranking No. 8 on Billboard's year-end Top Artist Chart and second as act of the year in the Duo/Group ranking, only behind Imagine Dragons. They also made the Bloomberg 50 due to their "willingness to address social issues, mental health, and politics."
2019 was a more eventful year for BTS as they attended their first Grammy Awards in February as presenters. In April, BTS became the first Asian act to surpass 5 billion streams on Spotify, and was named one of Time 100's most influential people of 2019. They released their sixth EP, "Map of the Soul: Persona", on April 12 with the lead single "Boy With Luv" featuring Halsey. The album became the group's third consecutive album to top the Billboard 200 and the third within eleven months. BTS is also the fastest group to get three number one albums since The Monkees in 1967.
The EP became the best selling physical album in the U.S. for the year of 2019, and later became the best-selling album ever in South Korea, with more than 3.2 million sales in less than a month. The lead single "Boy With Luv" debuted at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100, the highest in history for a Korean group, and its music video became the most-viewed online video within the first 24 hours as of 2019.
Attending Billboard Music Awards for the third time in May, BTS bagged two trophies, including for Top Duo/Group. They followed it up by embarking on their world tour stadium extension, "Love Yourself: Speak Yourself", with dates in multiple stadium venues including Wembley Stadium, Stade de France, MetLife Stadium, Rose Bowl and Soldier Field. All dates sold out within two hours, with second dates for all venues added due to the high demand. In between the tour dates, the group appeared on U.S. TV shows, performing on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert", in the season finale of "The Voice" and kicking off "Good Morning America's Summer Concert Series".
In mid-2019, BTS released more new music, "Dream Glow" featuring English singer Charli XCX, "A Brand New Day" with Swedish singer Zara Larsson and "All Night" featuring American rapper Juice Wrld. The band also released the song "Heartbeat" with a music video from the game's official soundtrack, titled "BTS World: Original Soundtrack".
In August, Big Hit announced that all seven members were taking "an official and extended period of rest and relaxation." Marking the end of their extended vacation, BTS filmed overseas in September. In October, they performed at King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh, becoming the first foreign act to perform a solo concert in Saudi Arabia. For the final stop of their record-breaking "Love Yourself: Speak Yourself World Tour", the band held a run of three sold-out nights at Seoul's Olympic Stadium. According to Billboard's year-end Boxscore charts, the group grossed over $196 million, making them the top-grossing touring group of 2019.
In November, BTS became the first K-pop group to win the Favorite Duo or Group - Pop/Rock at the 2019 American Music Awards. They also won grand prizes at several music award shows in South Korea, including the 2019 Melon Music Awards, 2019 Mnet Asian Music Awards and 34th Golden Disc Awards, which were all held in December. In the same month, they performed at Jingle Ball in L.A. and for ABC's Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve in New York. BTS wrapped 2019 as the fourth most successful group on Billboard's Top Billboard 200 Artists - Duo/Group ranking, only behind Queen, Imagine Dragons and The Beatles.
As they prepared their comeback with a new LP, BTS released "Black Swan" in January 2020 as the first single from "Map of the Soul: 7". The group debuted a live performance of the song on "The Late Late Show with James Corden" later in the same month and performed with Lil Nas X at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards, making BTS the first Korean act to perform at the Grammys.
Their fourth Korean-language studio album "Map of the Soul: 7" was released in February to universal acclaim and went to debut atop the U.S. Billboard 200. Its lead single "On" debuted at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, marking their highest-charting single on the chart and making them the Korean act with most Top 10 hits on Hot 100. As part of the album promotions, the group appeared on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" and participated in "Carpool Karaoke", a popular segment on "The Late Late Show with James Corden".
The group is slated to embark on their fourth worldwide concert tour and second stadium tour, Map of the Soul Tour, starting April 11 in Seoul, South Korea. However, on February 28, the tour dates in Seoul were canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak.