How BTS Is Taking Over the World

Published Jan 15, 2020

By  Caroline

封面BigHit Entertainment

It’s never too late to follow the significant worldwide trend that is turning into a cultural phenomenon worth researching, let’s talk about a legendary group from South Korea Who made K-pop into American and European countries. There is no doubt that BTS is creating the world music history. In other words, they achieved unprecedented success over other artists before them. They have become the most successful boy group in this era since The Beatles.


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The Records that BTS have broken

The hit song “Boy With Luv” for their album "Map of the Soul: Persona" has achieved 100 million within 24 hours which made them become the record-holder for most viewed K-pop group music video on YouTube. They are the first Korean artists perform at the American Music Awards, won a prize at Billboard Music Award (beating out the likes of Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez in 2017 to take home the trophy for Top Social Artist of the Year) and earned two No. 1 Billboard 200 debut albums in the same year (2018). In addition to that, they were even invited spoke at the United Nations General Assembly (to talk mental health and self-love as a part of their Love Myself campaign), appeared on the front page of Time as “Next Generation Leaders”, the tickets were sold out New York City's Citi Field in minutes.


According to the news, their new album, “Map of the Soul: 7”, was available to be pre-ordered on Jan 9th. So far, the pre-orders of new album have surpassed 100,000 copies.


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You might have questions in mind: what’s the secret behind their huge success that finally broke through the culture barrier overseas to make significant waves in the western world?


BTS wants to get rid of the fixed images of K-POP idols

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K-pop, as a type of pop-music, has grabbed increasing attention since 1990s and accumulated a huge group of fans all over the world and made a lot of contributions to pop culture. K-pop idols usually have perfect appearances that might be well-designed by a group of people behind these idols. They are good at appealing the target audience with powerful visual shock and fantastic performance. However, none of them actually went to the global market and the sight of people in western countries.


BTS is always trying to be a role model in the young generation by telling their stories and reflecting their attitudes, values towards life through their music which includes self-love and how to strive to make dream come true. A lot of people lost themselves on the way to dream, BTS taught them how to love themselves and fight for themselves. It’s BTS who made them cheer up and embrace everything they had.


They aim to make people feel that they are not only idols but normal people around them through their active presence like reality shows and live chat with their fans all over the world.


Besides, they might be the most hard-working group in this industry. Compared to other K-pop idols, they spent much more time in lyrics, composition, dance practice and always wanted to perform their best on the stage. BTS has been breaking barriers step by step, challenging the traditional idol image in their native Korea, but also the limits of what a non-English-speaking can achieve on the international level.


The Collaboration with western artists

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They also made a lot of attempts by collaborating with western artists for further exploration in music.


1. BTS X Halsey - “Boy with Luv” 

Halsey, US singer-songwriter, joined the latest BTS hit song “Boy with Luv,” for the album “Map of the Soul: Persona” EP. Halsey learned and practiced the choreography to for the music video shooting and the Billboard stage.


2. BTS X Ed Sheeran - “Make It Right” 

BTS X Ed Sheeran collaboration from fan’s expectations have been answered when the UK singer co-wrote “Make It Right,” the fourth track on the group’s “Map of the Soul: Persona” album, along with the BTS rappers.


3. BTS X Nicki Minaj - “Idol”

US rapper Nicki Minaj lent her voice to their last hit song “Idol” and delivered her English line: “Uhh what‘s good Korea. You know I been a boss for my whole career. I’m bout to jet in the leer and put more than my hands in the air.”


4. BTS X The Chainsmokers - “Best of Me”

The essential collaboration between BTS and the EDM duo was born which means marking the first time the K-pop juggernaut has collaborated with an American artist on an album.


BTS embrace Western influences without compromising their style

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Prior to BTS’s massive Stateside success, it seemed that K-pop’s localization strategy had a ceiling in the U.S. market. Long after K-pop had already become an international sensation in the rest of the world, U.S. radio stations resisted playing K-pop songs regardless of the attempts to appeal specifically to the U.S. market. BTS was able to go farther than the previous K-pop acts by taking a different route: presenting an authentic representation of themselves that grew with their fans. Take Nicki Minaj’s collaboration with BTS as an example. BTS did not just incorporate lots of U.S elements for seeking Nicki Minaj’s approval or match the interests of U.S market,they are instead engaged in an exchange.


Teamwork makes dream work

That’s a quote by BTS members, since their debut, they have been living together and completing the daily practice and activities. They are brothers, friends who know them more than anyone else and encouraged each other when one of the members felt frustrated. They talked to each other about how to create songs, lyrics and make the performance better. All of them work towards their common dream with their blood, sweat and tears that finally changed to treasures. It’s the fantastic teamwork that puts BTS in the most brilliant spotlight. They deserve all of the achievements they made.