Is BTS on its way to becoming a household name?
Move over NSYNC, BTS is bringing boy bands back. The South Korean pop music group — also known as the Bangtan Boys or the Bulletproof Boyscouts — made history earlier this week when their latest album, “Love Yourself: Tear,” took over the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Music Charts.
As the first Korean album to do so and non-English album to hit No. 1 in over a decade, it’s a notable feat. The monumental moment was also the first in a cascade of achievements that soon followed: the track “Fake Love” debuted entering Billboard’s Hot 100 Top 10 and simultaneously snagged the No. 1 title in digital sales.
If you haven’t heard of them yet, you will. Earlier this month, the seven members premiered “Fake Love” at the Billboard Music Awards (BBMAs) in Las Vegas. Although most celebrities attending didn’t make cameos grooving to the performance, fans in the crowd made their presence heard by echoing back lyrics and waving signature, Korean light sticks. And, of course, the screams — an unrivaled eruption of noise before Jimin’s first verse was even uttered.
In a nod to the uniquely fierce following of K-pop fans – particularly BTS’ Armies, the equivalent of The BeyHive and Beliebers – Kelly Clarkson, the MC for the 2018 BBMAs introduced the group with earmuffs on.
The Bangtan Boys’ moment is shaping up to be stronger than PSY’s fleeting spotlight in the U.S. Their success can be defined elsewhere. For one, they were the most tweeted about celebrities in 2017 and have since garnered over 10 million followers on the social media platform. They’ve made appearances on The Ellen Show and The Late, Late Show with James Corden. The group has also caught the attention of The Chainsmokers, Steve Aoki and Desiigner, leading to collaborative efforts that have even snuck their way onto the radio (remember “MIC Drop” this past winter?).
If anything, BTS’ ability to continuously dominate headlines is a sign that K-pop is a serious contender for taking a spot on your own radar.