BTS’ History of Success in America

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BTS’ History of Success in America

Ameera Seetahal, Student Journalist

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One of KPop’s biggest bands is making their mark in American pop culture.

BTS is a K-pop band consisting of seven members named RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook. Debuting in 2013, the South Korean group has since risen to fame across the world. BTS has become a household name in America due to their music, stage presence and dedication. But in the beginning of their careers, the group had great difficulty breaking into American industry and media.

BTS’ first appearance in America was in 2014 when they were filming BTS’ American Hustle Life: a series centered around the members learning more about western culture and music. Learning from icons Warren G and Coolio, the group grew as hip-hop artists, which provided them the opportunity to perform at two Los Angeles concerts. But they were still regarded as unknown artists after these performances. However, BTS eventually gained more fame during their first U.S. tour in 2015. Although they only performed four shows, they were able to expand their American fanbase by performing their hits “I Need U” and “Dope”. While this tour was regarded as a success, the media hardly recognized BTS as rising stars.  

It was not until 2017 that BTS truly broke into America’s music and media industry. Their 2017 “Episode III: The Wings Tour” played a huge role in doing so. BTS embarked on this tour, as a result of the success from their album Wings. As their fame reached new heights, they received great fame and attention from American media outlets such as People and iHeartRadio. Success from their American tour aided in solidifying their presence as international artists. With their presence and musical talent being displayed through various medias, BTS no longer struggled to fill concerts and sell albums in America.

2017 continued to be a fruitful year for the band as they were not only invited to the Billboard Music Awards but they also won the award for Top Social Artist. These tremendous accomplishments earned BTS more attention. Their success in America grew when they placed No.7 on Billboard 200 for their song Love Yourself: Her. Later that year, they performed at the 2017 American Music Awards which gave them the celebrity status they currently have in the U.S.. Their fame was confirmed with their presence on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and other popular talk shows.

As rewarding as 2017 was for BTS in America, 2018 was an even better year. For instance, they performed at the BBMAs, won the top social artist award once more, topped the Billboard 200 twice and collaborated with major artists such as Steve Aoki and Nicki Minaj. More notably, group leader RM gave a speech at the United Nations discussing the importance of loving and appreciating oneself – which is a theme of their recent albums. Nonetheless, these accomplishments signify BTS’ growing presence as artists, not only in America but throughout the world.

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