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About BTS

BTS represents the power of pop music as a force for social transformation. The South Korean boy band might be K-pop first and foremost, but its members have hands across the gamut of genres: old-school hip-hop (“No More Dream”), braggadocio EDM (“Burning Up (FIRE)”), and even sweet, lighthearted balladry (“Life Goes On”). Through it all, they’ve touched on subjects like mental health, class inequity, and youth resilience, opening the doors of their lively melodies and piercing raps to a community of fans and listeners willing to take their words to heart. “I think there are so many people in the world that experience the same thing with us, and that’s why they relate to us and our message,” the group’s leader, RM, told Apple Music. Formed in 2010 by K-pop producer and executive “Hitman” Bang Si-hyuk, BTS (an acronym for 방탄소년단, or Bangtan Sonyeondan, meaning “Bulletproof Boy Scouts” in English)—composed of Jin, SUGA, j-hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jung Kook—debuted in 2013 with the dark hip-hop album 2 COOL 4 SKOOL, quickly following it up with the rebellious trap single “N.O.” These early records established BTS as a fierce, outspoken group with something unique to say—but it was the members’ transformation from angsty troublemakers into pensive, emotional wanderers that brought them national acclaim, as they traded the grunge-rap of “Boy in Luv” and “War of Hormone” for lush synth-pop on “I NEED U” and “RUN.” Later releases took their creativity to loftier heights and global success as they crafted a rich, reference-heavy alternate universe invoking Nietzschean philosophy in 2016’s “Blood Sweat & Tears” and Jungian psychoanalysis in 2019 and 2020’s MAP OF THE SOUL trilogy. But for as dense as the band’s mythology can get, BTS’ presence remains simple, clear, and uplifting. Nothing perhaps shows that more than the members’ response to the Covid pandemic in 2020 and 2021. Realizing the uncertainty of the moment across the world, they decided to record songs predominantly in English for the first time in their career as a way to bring joy to a global audience of listeners. With the release of the summery disco-pop smash “Dynamite” and its smooth, funky sequel, “Butter,” BTS shined hope around the globe, conquering the U.S. charts and bridging people together in the truest way they know how—through music.

Seoul, South Korea
June 13, 2013
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