BTS (Korean: 방탄소년단; RR: Bangtan Sonyeondan), also known as the Bangtan Boys, is a seven-member South Korean boy band that began formation in 2010 and debuted in 2013 under Big Hit Entertainment. The septet—composed of Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook—co-writes and co-produces much of their own output. Originally a hip hop group, their musical style has evolved to include a wide range of genres. Their lyrics, often focused on personal and social commentary, touch on the themes of mental health, troubles of school-age youth and coming-of-age, loss, the journey towards loving oneself, and individualism. Their work features references to literature and psychological concepts and includes an alternative universe storyline. The group has released several albums and performed on several world tours.
After debuting in 2013 with their single album 2 Cool 4 Skool, BTS released their first Korean-language studio album, Dark & Wild, and Japanese-language studio album, Wake Up, in 2014. The group’s second Korean studio album, Wings (2016), was their first to sell one million copies in South Korea. By 2017, BTS crossed into the global music market, leading the Korean Wave into the United States and breaking numerous sales records. They became the first Korean group to receive a certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for their single “Mic Drop”, as well as the first Korean act to top the US Billboard 200 chart with their studio album Love Yourself: Tear (2018). BTS also became the fastest group since the Beatles to earn four US number-one albums, doing so in less than two years. Love Yourself: Answer (2018) was the first Korean album certified platinum by the RIAA. In 2020, BTS became the first all-South Korean act to reach number one on the Billboard Global 200 and US Billboard Hot 100 with their Grammy-nominated single “Dynamite” and remix of “Savage Love (Laxed – Siren Beat)” and, with the release of “Life Goes On”, became the first group to have two number one debuts on the Hot 100.
Having sold over 20 million albums on the Gaon Music Chart, BTS is the best-selling artist in South Korean history and holds the best-selling album in South Korea with Map of the Soul: 7. They are the first and only Asian and non-English speaking act to be named the IFPI Global Recording Artist of the Year (2020) and to chart on Billboard‘s Top Touring Artists of the 2010s (placing at number 45). During their Love Yourself World Tour, BTS became the first Asian and first non-English speaking act to headline and sell out Wembley Stadium and broke the record for the single highest-grossing engagement in Rose Bowl Stadium history. Featured on Time‘s international cover as “Next Generation Leaders”, BTS has also appeared in the magazine’s lists of the 25 most influential people on the internet (2017–2019) and the 100 most influential people in the world (2019), where they were dubbed “Princes of Pop”. Forbes Korea named BTS the most influential celebrities of Korea in 2018 and 2020, and BTS ranked 43rd in the Forbes Celebrity 100 (2019) as one of the world’s top-earning celebrities. As of 2019, BTS is purportedly worth more than US$4.65 billion to South Korea’s economy each year, or 0.3 percent of the country’s GDP. They attract one in every 13 foreign tourists who visited South Korea and were cited as one of the key acts in boosting global music sales to $19 billion in 2018.
Throughout their career, BTS received numerous accolades for their work, including 6 American Music Awards, 9 Billboard Music Awards and 24 Golden Disk Awards, and nominations for a Grammy Award and a Brit Award.
Following the establishment of their Love Myself anti-violence campaign in partnership with UNICEF, BTS addressed the United Nations 73rd and 75th General Assemblies and became the youngest ever recipients of the Order of Cultural Merit from the President of South Korea due to their contributions in spreading Korean culture and language.