With BTS‘s ARMY growing steadily larger every year, there are several important facts about the group all newbie fans should know – not only their many accolades and achievements, but about how each member fits into the living, breathing heart of the group.
1. BTS has 7 members (duh)
RM (leader, rapper), J-Hope (dancer, rapper), Jin (singer, visual), Jungkook (singer, maknae), V (singer), Suga (rapper) and Jimin (dancer, singer) didn’t know each other prior to joining Big Hit Entertainment in 2010. With each member coming from a different background in singing, dancing, rapping, producing or acting, their unique talents were cultivated into the group BTS, which stands for Bangtan Sonyeondan, aka “Bulletproof Boys” in Korean. Their English name is now “Beyond The Scene”.
2. They debuted in 2013 with “No More Dream”, paving a pathway to international fame
BTS debuted with a hip-hop sound and have evolved throughout the years to display a talent for innovation and re-imagination. They’ve now released six studio albums, four compilation albums, five extended plays, and twenty-two singles, with more music promised. Their first single album “2 Kool 4 Skool” was an introduction to their themes of growing up, adulthood and the issues of youth in modern society, and they’ve continued to explore these themes through an evolving sound and image.
They gradually gained popularity both within Korea and internationally, exploding in 2016-2017 with their album “Wings”. Their fame culminated in winning Top Social Media Artist at the Billboard Music Awards in 2017, and has only continued to skyrocket since, gaining fans in countries around the world. They’ve collaborated with (and are planning collaborations with) some big names in music, including Steve Aoki, Shawn Mendes and The Chainsmokers, to name only a few.
3. They produce most of their music
Each of the seven members of BTS has their fair share of writing credits littered throughout the group’s discography, with rappers Suga and RM gaining recognition as producers. The group has co-written the majority of their songs with Korean producer Pdogg and Slow Rabbit to create their distinct hip-hop-infused dance style, and as their music progresses are each getting the opportunity to develop their own style, talents and personas.
While BTS have a glossy boy group image nowadays, the group was quite involved in the hip-hop scene early in their career, exploring the history of hip-hop through their 2014 reality show American Hustle Life.
4. They break the K-Pop mould
Not only is BTS’s music meaningful in its lyrics and delivery, exploring dark themes uncommon in Korean pop music, but RM, Suga and J-Hope have each released intensely personal mixtapes that displayed their individual colors. Suga’s Agust D mixtape in 2016 touched on depression, shaking up the industry’s idol-like imaginings of its performers, and J-Hope’s Hope World mixtape earlier this year was inspired by his love of Jules Verne‘s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and his fellow members’s work.
The mixtapes released by RM and Suga were the motivation for my own project. I have been and continue to be deeply influenced by them and I always thought it was awesome that they were telling their own personal stories and making music in their own styles. I started dancing first, but felt I could also tell my story through my music.
5. They’ve won more than 100 awards and been nominated for even more
Since their debut, BTS has won hundreds of awards, both in Korea and internationally. They’ve received recognition for their music videos, singles, albums, social media presence, dance performances, cultural influence and worldwide acclaim, awarded by major Korean music organizations and networks such as the Mnet Asian Music Awards, Golden Disc Awards and Korean Broadcasting Awards.
They’ve also won awards outside of Korea, including categories within the Billboard Awards, American Music Awards, Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards and Teen Choice Awards. They were nominated in the 2018 Korean Popular Culture and Arts Awards for the Order of Cultural Merit Award by the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.
6. They’ve had their share of struggles and problems
Not only did they suffer from financial issues during their early years, they have had their share of stage and performance issues, including injuries, equipment malfunctions and mistakes – as early as their debut stage. Oldest member Jin had placed his microphone pack onto the back of his pants, not realizing it would be too heavy – and during “We Are Bulletproof 2” the choreography forced his pants to his thighs! He was so embarrassed after their debut performance that he cried, but his members were all there to support him, showing their strong friendship from the beginning.
Despite the mishap, the group gained so much interest and popularity that they won rookie of the year at the Melon Music Awards.
7. ARMY is a force to be reckoned with
BTS’s fandom, Adorable Representative Of Modern Youth (ARMY) is one of the largest fandoms in the world, breaking records in their own right by coming up with new ways to support their group. The global fandom collaborates to not only show their love for their members, but for BTS’s message – equality, inclusion and unconditional love. Together they organize charity events, donate funds to not-for-profit organizations, and call for global peace with various projects in BTS’s name.
— Teen Choice Awards (@TeenChoiceFOX) August 13, 2018
ARMY won Choice Fandom at the 2018 Teen Choice Awards after an intense race against fans of Taylor Swift, Fifth Harmony, One Direction, BLACKPINK and CNCO.
8. They are close with Big Hit Entertainment’s CEO, despite the fact he couldn’t recognize V for an entire year
During an episode of Rookie King, V called out the CEO of BTS’s agency, Bang Si Hyuk, for failing to remember his name for a whole year while they were trainees.
The Big Hit Entertainment staff and BTS members have such great relationships that they often joke around with each other, and are especially close with “Bang PDnim” and their managers.
9. BTS was the first K-Pop act to get its own Twitter emoji
Thanks to their widespread social media presence, BTS was the first K-Pop group to receive a unique Twitter emoji. In May and June 2016, fans were able to use a variety of hashtags featuring a small image of BTS’ bulletproof-vest logo. The emoji was created in part of BTS’ search for their biggest fanbases, and since then they have created two additional emojis to celebrate their achievements.
They’ve also got their own line of BT21 characters, designed by the boys in collaboration with LINE, that are almost more popular than the members themselves!
10. They’ve earned a reputation for fierce dance choreography
With some of the most difficult choreography in the K-Pop industry, BTS prove time and time again that they can master complicated routines. Jimin and J-Hope, as the members with a background in dance, are known for their daring tricks and flips.
11. RM is the fluent English speaker of the group
RM’s fluent English ability is amazing, especially considering he learnt it all from watching sitcom Friends! He also lived and studied in New Zealand for six months. But that hasn’t stopped the other members from trying to learn too. Jimin recently spent 8 hours of a 10 hour flight learning English.
12. None of the members are from Seoul
Not one single member of BTS is from South Korea’s capital, Seoul. RM is from Ilsan; J-Hope, V and Suga from Daegu; Jimin and Jungkook from Busan and Jin from Gwacheon. Despite this, they have become official Seoul tourist ambassadors!
13. They are all monsters
The members have their own individual talents and unique personalities – each with their own strange quirks that makes them entirely loveable. As J-Hope puts it:
I am the dance monster, Namjoon is rap monster, Suga is nap monster, Jin is cooking monster, Jimin is thigh monster, Jungkook is muscle monster, and V is an actual monster.
14. They’ve broken so many records it’s hard to keep count
They’ve broken more than 14 world records by becoming the first K-Pop idol group with such international acclaim, becoming top social media artist, top digital music track and album seller multiple times, and the first K-Pop group to perform at a US awards show.
15. Jin was actually a film and acting student, so had to learn to sing
Jin’s interest had always been acting, so when he became a trainee at Big Hit Entertainment he had to start from scratch to learn to sing and dance. His vocal trainer Kim Sung Eun has mentioned Jin as one of her most memorable students, as he worked so hard to improve.
16. Jungkook is the youngest, but the strongest
Choreography in “We Are Bulletproof 2” had Jungkook carrying his eldest hyung, Jin, on his shoulders, showing off his strength! All the members have their own unique talents, and the maknae never ceases to amaze.
17. The group, and their lyrics, have changed countless peoples’s lives
As well as breaking records around the world, BTS has touched so many peoples’s lives for the better. With ARMYs finding strength in BTS’s lyrics and their message of tolerance, love, support and togetherness, BTS is more than just their music.