The summer of 2020 seemed to be a disappointment for many, but, for BTS fans, it was revolutionary. With the release of Dynamite on the 21st of August, the sensation of K-pop went worldwide with multiple records being smashed with this award-winning song.
First, some background knowledge on BTS to put some context into their achievements. BTS is a Korean pop group consisting of seven members that go by the stage names of Jin, Jungkook, RM, V, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin and Jungkook, all coming together from different backgrounds to form this group. Within the group, they are split into the groups known as lines based on different elements such as age or position in the group. The most well-known lines are the rap line, consisting of J-Hope, Suga and RM, the dance line, the vocal line, the Hyung line (oldest members of the group), and the Maknae line (youngest members of the group).
The song has been produced entirely in English, member RM is fluent in the language, which he revealed he taught himself through watching the programme Friends. Alternating between the English and Korean, he often acts as a translator or spokesperson for BTS when in American or British interviews. Jungkook is also nicknamed ‘The Golden Maknae’ due to him being the youngest and showing his excel in multiple talents such as singing, dancing and sport. Together, the group put so much effort into their music for their fans and shows, shown through stunning music videos, skilled dances and how they put their all into every show, leading to exhaustion.
Whilst K-pop may not be everyone’s cup of tea, its definitely a rising music genre. Across the world, popularity follows them in the form of their fanbase, which is known as ARMY. Since their debut in 2013 under the South Korean music label Big Hit Entertainment, BTS have produced 19 albums, with their latest being BE, released in November 2020, along with solo mixtapes by the members. Their popularity shown on talk shows such as The Late Late Show with James Cordon, with the video of them taking part in carpool karaoke having over 56 million views. Success has definitely hit for BTS, with their Love Yourself: Speak Yourself world tour of 2019 making them the top-grossing touring group of the year, grossing $116.6 million for the tour alone and over 976k tickets being sold.
The release of Dynamite in the summer of 2020 was an explosion of attention for BTS, the song having positive and upbeat vibes to it; exactly what we needed this difficult year. There was a lot of hype around the release due to it being produced entirely in English, and members of ARMY wanted to break the YouTube record of the most viewed music video in 24 hours to thank BTS for their commitment to their music. Within two hours, it had surpassed 20 million views, had over 3 million live viewers on the releasing stream, achieving a record breaking 101.1 million views by the day was out. This smashed the previous record set by Black Pink of How You Like That having 86.3 million views. Currently, it has reached over 618 million views.
If this wasn’t enough, BTS performed Dynamite at the MTV Video Music Awards whilst picking up 4 awards themselves. They won best group, best pop, best K-pop, and best choreography awards, winning all of the categories they were nominated for with their song ON.
It is clear to see that K-pop is a sensation that is taking over worldwide, BTS being one of the main groups pulling in new fans. It will be interesting to see how the release of their latest album BE plays out, with members playing a key role in the production of it. I think its safe to say we can expect to hear more from BTS in the future.