Meet BTS, The Global K-Pop Sensation

BTS has been creating a lot of buzz lately in the American music industry. First, with their Billboard Music Award win for Top Social Artist, thanks to their fans known as ARMY. Then, they made history at the American Music Awards as the first Korean boy band to perform at the AMAs.

BTS is a seven-member South Korean band made up of three rappers and four singers. The rappers include RM (formerly known as Rap Monster), J-Hope and Suga. The singers include Jungkook, V, Jimin and Jin. They debuted in June 2013 under the company Big Hit Entertainment.

While they have been popular in South Korea for many years, their American music success didn’t begin until their surprising Billboard Music Awards win. It wasn’t surprising for their fans, ARMY, who voted relentlessly on social media all across the world. Their sudden American music success is a great opportunity for Americans to learn about music and culture from another country like South Korea.

All newcomers to the fandom may be wondering, who exactly are the members of BTS, and what are their roles in the group?

Jungkook - Main Vocalist/Lead Dancer/Sub Rapper/Center/Golden Maknae

Jeon Jungkook was born September 1st, 1997, making him the youngest member in the group. Despite his young age, don’t underestimate his skills. Jungkook has been mastering his skills since the beginning of BTS, with his amazing vocals and killer dance skills. Golden Maknae signifies his young age and his many talents. Fun fact, Jungkook loves to cover songs by his favorite artists including Justin Bieber and Charlie Puth. Here’s one of my favorite Jungkook covers, “2U”. Listen and you’ll fall in love with his vocals and understand why he’s the “Golden Maknae”.

V - Vocalist/2nd Visual

Kim Taehyung was born December 30th, 1995. He’s known for his wide vocal range and staring straight into your soul when he sings. His vocal range is insane, and his deep tone makes his vocals essential to BTS’ sound. ARMY knows that V is very into art, whether it’s appreciating others’ work or creating his own. In numerous U.S interviews, V has mentioned his love for art and specifically Vincent Van Gogh’s work which he saw in Chicago during their Wings tour. Taehyung was almost a farmer. V was ready to follow in his family’s footsteps and become a farmer, but he made it as a singer, and is pursuing his dreams. Besides being a full-time member of BTS, V is also a part time actor. He recently made his acting debut in the Korean show Hwarang, which makes V the only BTS member to pursue acting. Experience V’s beautiful vocals in “4 O’Clock” by RM and V.

Jimin - Lead Vocalist/Main Dancer

Park Jimin was born October 13th, 1995. Jimin is not only known for his impressive vocals, but also his undeniable dance skills. Jimin studied contemporary dance at his school, and ended up at the top of his class. His dance skills can be seen through BTS’ performances, specifically in the video for the song “Lie”. Jimin tells a story through his body movements accompanying the song’s powerhouse vocals. On top of being multi-talented, Jimin is also extremely caring and loving especially towards other BTS members. There’s many videos online showing Jimin caring for Jungkook and always looking out for his bandmates. Jimin’s known for being emotional and sweet, and his smile never fails to make others smile with him. Watch Jimin’s dramatic choreography in “Lie”, and witness the beauty that is Park Jimin.

J-Hope - Lead Rapper/Main Dancer/Vocalist

Jung Hoseok was born February 18th, 1994. J-Hope, also known as Hobi, is one of BTS’ principal dancers along with Jimin and Jungkook. He’s known for his bubbly personality, constantly smiling, dancing and just all around killing the game. You will rarely find J-Hope not smiling. He always has a positive attitude and brightens up the room every time he walks in. J-Hope has a big reputation as a dancer and performer. In 2008, he won a national dance competition in South Korea, which ultimately lead to him joining BTS. On top of his dance background, J-Hope’s also BTS’ lead rapper. While the other rappers have released their own mixtape, J-Hope has yet to release his, but he hopes to drop his mixtape soon. J-Hope is the epitome of a talent with his dancing, rapping and singing skills, making him an important member of BTS. See J-Hope’s dancing for yourself in the comeback trailer for “Boy Meets Evil”.

RM - Main Rapper/Leader

Kim Namjoon was born September 12th, 1994. RM, formerly known as Rap Monster, was the first member of what would become BTS, and was appointed as the leader of the group. His job is to make sure everything goes as planned. RM’s raps are undoubtedly amazing, which is why his stage name used to be Rap Monster. Being BTS’ main rapper is a big responsibility, but RM leads the group very well. He writes a lot of their songs and is known for putting his own creativity and sound into their music.

Ever since BTS emerged in the American music scene this year, RM has taken on the role of translator between American interviewers and the other members of BTS. This is because RM is the only member of BTS who’s fluent in English. He taught himself English by watching the entire Friends series three times. First with Korean subtitles, then English subtitles, and lastly without subtitles. RM is also known for having an above-average IQ in Korea. Not only is RM a talented performer, but he’s also very intelligent. Watch RM kill the rap game in “BTS Cypher Pt. 3: Killer”.

Jin - Vocalist/Visual

Kim Seokjin, also known as “Worldwide Handsome” for his extremely good looks, was born December 4th, 1992. Jin is known for calling himself “Worldwide Handsome” in interviews especially after going viral at the Billboard Music Awards this year. Those who were unfamiliar with BTS labeled Jin “the cute one third from the left”. When asked about going viral, Jin responded with “I’m worldwide handsome”. He’s also known for constantly cracking Dad jokes and cooking food. Jin has his own web series on V Live called “Eat Jin”. On top of his good looks and cooking abilities, Jin also produced his first song last year “Awake” off of their Wings album. The song is a power ballad featuring an orchestra and a steady bassline, making this solo song a great slow jam. Listen to Jin belt his heart out on “Awake”.

Suga - Lead Rapper

Min Yoongi was born March 9th, 1993. He’s one of the lead rappers of the group, and is also known as Agust D, his stage name for his solo mixtape. Not only does Suga rap, but he’s also a songwriter, producer and pianist. He’s written and produced some of BTS’ songs, and has produced other artists’ songs as well. His stage name, Agust D blends his stage name for BTS with the initials of “Daegu Town”, his hometown. In his song “The Last”, he talks about his struggle with his identity, depression and fame. He also opens up about his time at a psychiatric ward, getting very personal on this track. Suga is very real and open about his struggles and isn’t afraid to tackle difficult topics on his mixtape. Besides rapping, Suga has been playing piano long before he joined BTS. In his solo track “First Love”, Suga raps about the instrument he grew up playing. He’s also known for being the chill member of the group, and is very open about his love of sleep. Listen to Suga (Agust D) rap about his personal struggles on the song “The Last” from his mixtape.

While BTS has just starting gaining fame in the U.S, they’re also becoming more popular globally in places like Japan. They’re bringing the music of South Korea to places where most people have never heard of Korean music. Songs like DNA, and Mic Drop have reached millions of hits on YouTube, and it’s very well deserved.

Each BTS member has their own talents, but they’re all essential to the overall performance of the group. You can follow BTS on Twitter, subscribe to their YouTube channel, and listen to them on Spotify to hear more of their music.