What makes the K-pop boys’ band BTS so popular?

With an ARMY of more than 22 million fans all over the globe, BTS is one of the most popular K-pop groups amongst young people between ages 12 and 25. “How did they get there?” and “Is their success meant to last?”— these are the real questions.

For those who still wonder who they are, typing their name in any internet search bar should be enough for you to understand. In one word: a giant. Their success is mainly due to 3 things:

1. Their music and choreography

Coldplay concert Photo by Jisu Han from Unsplash

All their songs have powerful lyrics and contain inspiring messages for young people who can therefore self-identify to the group. The kind of music they play is very diversified; it can be rock, pop, rap, disco songs or even ballads. There is a song for everyone! For example, the trilogy “Love Yourself” is all about first love and separation—a core aspect of teenagers’ and young people’s lives—and BTS’ last single Dynamite—a disco song—was released to cheer up the fans in this dark period we’re currently living in. They also collaborated with some of the most famous singers in the world such as Jason Derulo (Savage Love) and Halsey (Boys With Luv).

But that is not all. As if singing like sirens was not enough to hypnotize us, they also dance like gods! Their choreography is truly impressive and makes us want to get up and dance with them. With their amazing choreographer, Son-Seung duk, who is also the director of Big Hit Entertainment, and Jimin’s and J-Hope’s dancing background, no wonder why their moves are so smooth and graceful.

2. Their impressive fanbase

As mentioned previously, their fanbase—commonly called ARMYs (Adorable Representative MCs of Youth) — is composed of more than 22 million people worldwide that act in favour of the group and spread their message through social media and targeted actions on the group’s member’s birthdays. The best example is the actions taken to celebrate Suga’s 26th birthday in March 2019; ARMYs worldwide decided to give time and money to charity organizations. In Peru, they organized a fundraiser for disadvantaged children with a musical ability while in Sri Lanka; they distributed handouts in the streets to raise awareness on mental health issues. The ARMYs are the cement for BTS’s career; the ones who supported them when they first started, who made them famous and who continue to help them towards the top, sharing their passion with more and more people, and asking for collaborations with the top international artists. ARMYs are known as one of the most active fanbases on social media; last summer, they broke another record (the most viewers for a live stream concert) and entered for the 10th time in the Guinness World Record.

3. Their involvement in the world

The last key to BTS’s success stands in their involvement in the world, in particular with kids and teenagers. Their main purpose has always been to help people around them; focusing on teenagers, specifically to help lead them through this difficult period of their life when everything seems to be changing. For instance, as part of their 2018 “Love Myself” campaign in collaboration with UNICEF Korea, they organized a fundraising to help fight against child violence. Their action was a total success as they raised more than $1.4 million in only a single year and later extended the campaign to Japan, the UK and the USA. Later, they were invited to deliver a speech at the UN headquarters in New York for the launch of the Generation Unlimited program, which primary purpose is to offer a proper education or a job to all young people aged between 10 and 25.

BTS indisputably built one of the most interesting careers and this is only the beginning. If their way to success was all paved, some questions remain unanswered; how many more records will they dominate? Which far away kingdoms will they conquer and add next to their map of the soul?