How 2018 is undeniably the year of BTS

We highly doubt that there’s anyone who hasn’t heard of them

How 2018 is undeniably the year of BTS
How 2018 is undeniably the year of BTS
14 Dec 2018

How 2018 is undeniably the year of BTS

BTS – an acronym that usually conjures up the thought of ‘behind-the-scenes’ for us in showbiz – has taken on an entirely different meaning this year.

BTS – previously known as the Bulletproof Boy Scouts (or Bangtan Boys, if you like), is now known as (officially, anyway) Beyond The Scene. Call them what you like, but it’s undeniable that this septet that hails from South Korea has rewritten history for not only Korean acts, but for the entire music scene.

Terms such as ‘unprecedented’, ‘record-making’, ‘once again’, ‘unrivalled’ and the like are often used when it comes to BTS, and the most thrilling part of it all is that it looks like they have nowhere to go but up.

For the uninitiated, the group is comprised of leader RM (previously known as Rap Monster), Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook. Hailing from a small company, Big Hit Entertainment, they debuted in 2013 to a lukewarm response and only started making waves later on in their career. Till now, critics and analysts all over the world are still arguing over what exactly was the magical formula that made BTS rise to meteoric levels of popularity all over the world, but have yet to find the answer. Our guess is that whatever made it work isn’t going to be that easy to figure out, much less emulate.

This year alone, the number of records they’ve set is staggering: among which, they were named as one of TIME Magazine’s 25 Most Influential People on the Internet, scoring the number one position on the US Billboard 200 chart not once, but twice, becoming the first Korean act to speak at the United Nations General Assembly, along with becoming the first Korean act to play at – and completely sell out – New York’s Citi Field stadium.

Without further ado, here’s a non-exhaustive recap of how 2018 is undeniably the year of BTS.

Photo: Big Hit Entertainment

Their first-ever Grammy nomination
Their first-ever Grammy nomination
14 Dec 2018

Their first-ever Grammy nomination

ARMY (that’s what BTS’ fans are collectively known as) around the world waited with bated breath as the Grammy nominations were set to be released on December 7. It was later confirmed that their album LOVE YOURSELF: TEAR, is in contention for the Best Recording Package. The art director, HuskyFox, thanked BTS, Big Hit Entertainment and ARMY for the honour, sharing that this is the first time a Korean design agency is nominated at the prestigious Grammy Awards.

While this is not a nomination celebrating the group’s music directly, it is a strong testament to how the group, along with its art directors, have painstakingly invested time and effort into their concepts time after time. As for whether or not they’ll go home with yet another trophy, we’ll have to wait until February 10 to find out.

Photos: Big Hit Entertainment, The Recording Academy

Breaking box office records with ‘Burn the Stage: The Movie’
Breaking box office records with ‘Burn the Stage: The Movie’
14 Dec 2018

Breaking box office records with ‘Burn the Stage: The Movie’

On the day of its release, Burn the Stage: The Movie, which chronicles BTS’ behind-the-scenes journey during their last concert tour, The Wings Tour, broke records in South Korea as it raked in over 77,000 ticket sales nationwide. This broke records for the highest box office sales for any idol documentary, and as of November 18, they crossed the 230,000 mark.

Abroad, they were also hailed as the largest-ever box office for an event documentary film in the USA, breaking the record previously set by One Direction. The movie has brought in a cool US$18.5 million (S$25.35 million) in box offices around the world – and counting.

Photos: Trafalgar Releasing, Big Hit Entertainment

Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly
Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly
14 Dec 2018

Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly

In 2017, it was announced that BTS and UNICEF would join hands to launch the LOVE MYSELF campaign, which is geared towards anti-violence and uses the hashtag #ENDviolence to spread the message. From the beginning, KRW 500 million (S$610,400) was pledged by Big Hit Entertainment and the seven BTS members for the cause, and three percent of the income from the sales of physical albums from the LOVE YOURSELF series, along with 100 percent of the income from the sales of the official goods of the LOVE MYSELF campaign will go into the same fund.

On September 24 this year, they spoke at the UNICEF Generation Unlimited event at the 73rd regular session of the UN General Assembly in New York as representatives of the global youth.

Leader RM, who spoke entirely in English during his six-minute speech, in which he talked about how he  has become who he is today, he also spoke of self-confidence, loving yourself and ‘speaking yourself’, a term he coined which has since encouraged youth all over the world to speak up and tell their stories.

Photos: Big Hit Entertainment

Bigger, better stadium shows
Bigger, better stadium shows
14 Dec 2018

Bigger, better stadium shows

BTS’ previous tour, the 2017 BTS Live Trilogy Episode III (Final Chapter): THE WINGS TOUR, attracted a reported 550,000 fans across five continents to the show. Their current tour, BTS World Tour: LOVE YOURSELF, is still underway but has already thrilled more than 1.1 million audience members.

Among the huge stadiums that they’ve played at are Citi Field in New York – which they promptly sold out within minutes – along with Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium. In addition, they’ve also embarked on their first Japan Dome Tour, which includes the Tokyo Dome, Kyocera Dome Osaka, Fukuoka Yahuoku! Dome and the Nagoya Dome.

On our little red dot, BTS will also make history as the first Korean act to play at the National Stadium Singapore. The cherry on top of all of this is that they’ve sold out every single show so far, and by the looks of it, will continue to do so.

Photos: Big Hit Entertainment

BTS World Tour: LOVE YOURSELF in Singapore is slated to take place on January 19, 2019, 7pm at the National Stadium. Tickets are priced at $348, $268, $238, $198, $148, $118 and $88 (excluding booking fees) and are currently sold out.

Making the cover of TIME Magazine as Next Generation Leaders
Making the cover of TIME Magazine as Next Generation Leaders
14 Dec 2018

Making the cover of TIME Magazine as Next Generation Leaders

In yet another first, BTS became the first K-Pop band to be featured on the cover of TIME Magazine as one of their choices for Next Generation Leaders. The list features young adults in various industries who are reshaping the world around them, and BTS was included among other musicians such as Ariana Grande and The Weeknd.

In addition, they were also included on the list of TIME Magazine’s 25 Most Influential People on the Internet, a list which also includes Rihanna, Scott Rogowsky and President Trump.

Photo: TIME Magazine

Scoring the most number of YouTube views for a music video within the first 24 hours
Scoring the most number of YouTube views for a music video within the first 24 hours
14 Dec 2018

Scoring the most number of YouTube views for a music video within the first 24 hours

Taylor Swift’s ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ held the crown for most-viewed online music video for almost a year – at least, until BTS came along. Her previous record of 43.2 million views was surpassed by BTS with ‘IDOL’ on August 24, as they racked up 45.9 million views within the first 24 hours of the video’s release. This was about 10 million more views than their previous record for ‘FAKE LOVE’.

However, the group no longer holds the crown as Ariana Grande’s ‘thank u, next’ has broken that record with 55.4 million views in the same time frame. Rather than to rain on their parade, ARMY have taken it in their stride and congratulated the singer on the achievement. At the same time, we hear that they’ve set their sights to break that record for BTS’ next comeback. We love some healthy competition.

Photo: Big Hit Entertainment

Sitting pretty on top of the US Billboard 200 charts
Sitting pretty on top of the US Billboard 200 charts
14 Dec 2018

Sitting pretty on top of the US Billboard 200 charts

In June this year, BTS became the first Korean artiste to top the Billboard 200 harts with Love Yourself: Tear, selling 135,000 equivalent album units in its first week alone. Billboard reported that it is the first primarily foreign-language album to top the charts in 12 years, an honour previously held by Il Divo with their album Ancora back in 2006.

BTS didn’t need to wait 12 years – or even 12 months – for them to repeat their success, as they did so once again in August with Love Yourself: Answer, smashing their own record and selling a whopping 185,000 equivalent album units in its first week.

This is also the highest amount of sales for any Korean act ever, and the third-highest tally for a pop album in any language. The two biggest pop music debuts belong to Justin Timberlake and Ariana Grande with Man of the Woods and Sweetener respectively, with Justin topping the list with 293,000 equivalent album units.

Photos: Big Hit Entertainment, Billboard

An unprecedented 104 (and counting) weeks at the top of the Social 50 charts
An unprecedented 104 (and counting) weeks at the top of the Social 50 charts
14 Dec 2018

An unprecedented 104 (and counting) weeks at the top of the Social 50 charts

Before BTS came along, Justin Bieber was the undisputed king of the Social 50 charts, which tracks and ranks the most active musical artists on the world's leading social networking services. He’s spent a total of 164 weeks at number one at press time, but BTS is quickly catching up with 104 (and counting!) weeks at the top.

Similarly, they’ve also been a regular on the Artist 100 charts, currently sitting on the 3rd position. At press time, they are the only Koreans among the top 50 of the Artist 100 charts, and have spent a comfortable 113 weeks (again, and counting!) weeks among the top 100 ranks.

Photos: Billboard

Surpassing five million album sales in 2018 alone
Surpassing five million album sales in 2018 alone
14 Dec 2018

Surpassing five million album sales in 2018 alone

Earlier this month, BTS set two records for physical album sales as they crossed the five million copy mark for this year’s sales alone. In addition, they also became the fastest artistes to sell 10 million albums, as data from the Gaon Album Charts was released.

As if that wasn’t impressive enough, BTS also became the first – and only – triple million sellers according to the Hanteo charts as they have three albums that have sold above a million copies each according to those charts. What makes it even more amazing is that they did it for three back-to-back albums, Love Yourself: Her, Love Yourself: Tear and Love Yourself: Answer, which are the three parts of their Love Yourself series.

Photos: Naver, Gaon

Grand prize after grand prize – and that’s an understatement
Grand prize after grand prize – and that’s an understatement
14 Dec 2018

Grand prize after grand prize – and that’s an understatement

We’re in the middle of the end-of-year awards season now, and BTS is picking up daesang (grand prize) after daesang to add to their ever-growing collection with every ceremony they attend.

Among the many (very many, in fact) they’ve picked up this year alone are the Artist Daesang at the Asia Artist Awards, Artist of the Year and Album of the Year at the Melon Music Awards, Artist of the Year at the MBC Plus X Genie Music Awards, and Daesang at the Soribada Best K-Music Awards.

More recently, they picked up the Worldwide Icon of the Year award at the Mnet Asian Music Awards in Japan, which was held on December 12, and are in the contention for three more Daesangs tonight (yes, tonight) at the Mnet Asian Music Awards in Hong Kong.

To find out if they’ll be going home with three shiny new daesangs, you’ll have to stay tuned to Toggle’s live stream of the awards show tonight. Don’t say bojio.

Photo: Big Hit Entertainment

Catch BTS at the 2018 MAMA in Hong Kong LIVE on December 14 (bookmark this link here)! The red carpet broadcast will start at 5pm, while the main show broadcast will start at 7pm. Catch-up TV will be available for 7 days after the broadcast.

Related:
BTS makes history by being first K-Pop act to perform at Singapore National Stadium
Our favourite moments from past Mnet Asian Music Awards shows

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