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From left to right: V, Suga, Jin, Jungkook, RM, Jimin, J-Hope
BTS, also known as Bangtan Boys, Bulletproof Boy Scouts, Bangtan Sonyeondan, and more recently as Beyond The Scene, is a South Korean seven-member K-Pop group and boy band. Comprised of Kim "Jin" Seok-jin, Min "Suga" Yoon-gi (also known under the stage name Agust D), Jung "J-Hope" Ho-seok, Kim "RM" Nam-joon (formerly known as Rap Monster), Park "Jimin" Ji-min, Kim "V" Tae-hyung, and Jeon "Jungkook" Jung-kook, the band has seen success since their formation both domestically, with two positively received Korean language albums and a slew of Korean music awards, before seeing immense worldwide success in 2017, with songs such as "DNA" and "MIC Drop" charting on the Billboard Hot 100 in the west, alongside a massive fandom online.
The group debuted in 2013 under Korean entertainment company Big Hit Entertainment and released their first single album, 2 Cool 4 Skool on June 12th, with their first single "No More Dream" released the same day (music video shown below, left) and followed by "We Are Bulletproof Pt.2" (music video shown below, right). The single album was the first of their "school trilogy", which was followed by the EP O!RUL8,2? released on September 11th, and the Skool Luv Affair EP, released on February 12. Since then, they would release 3 Korean studio albums, Dark & Wild, WINGS, later rereleased as You'll Never Be Alone and LOVE YOURSELF 轉 'Tear', 3 Japanese studio albums, Wake Up, Youth, and Face Yourself, and their "The Most Beautiful Moment in Life" series, comprised of 2 EPs and a compilation album.
Alongside performing as a band, members of the group have also released their own solo projects, such as J-Hope with his Hope World mixtape (music video shown below, left). In March 2018, the group announced a YouTube Red documentary series titled BTS: Burn The Stage with the first episode scheduled to come out on March 28th with a total of eight episodes to comprise the series (trailer shown below, right).
"Love Yourself" Series
Love Yourself 承 'Her'
In 2017, the band adopted a new brand identity, with BTS standing not just for Bulletproof Boy Scouts, but also for Beyond The Scene. Their first EP since adopting this brand identity, LOVE YOURSELF 承 'Her', and the first part of a new concept series, called "Love Yourself", was released on September 18, with the EP being supported by singles "DNA" and "MIC Drop", which was released as a remix by producer Steve Aoki featuring rapper Desiigner in the west (music videos shown below). Both singles became moderate hits in the US, peaking at 67 and 28 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart respectively, and the EP as a whole peaking on the Billboard 200 at number 7, Billboard Independent Albums at number 2, and Billboard World Albums at number 1. The EP would become the group's best selling work, and their most successful, with both singles reaching RIAA gold certification in February 2018, the first ever certifications given to a K-Pop group, and the second certifications given to a K-pop act after PSY with Gangnam Style.
Love Yourself 轉 'Tear'
On April 5, 2018, the band's official Youtube channel uploaded a nine minute short film titled "Euphoria : Theme of LOVE YOURSELF 起 Wonder" (shown below, left) featuring a solo song from member Jungkook. The video received over 24 million views since being uploaded and served as the first storyline part of the Love Yourself series. This was followed up a few weeks later with the announcement of BTS' third Korean album LOVE YOURSELF 轉 'Tear', on April 14. The announcement of the album posted by their staff-run Twitter account received over 336,000 likes and 142,000 retweets since posting. Pre-orders for the album opened 4 days later, on April 18, garnering over 1.44 million pre-orders in its first week from domestic retailers, with the release date set for May 18. On May 6, Big Hit Entertainment uploaded a trailer for the album featuring the intro track "Singularity," a solo from member V (shown below, right). Since being uploaded, the trailer received over 32 million views.
Throughout the weeks preceding the release of the album, announcements were made such as the second nomination of the group for the 2018 Billboard Music Award for Top Social Artist and their first performance at the award show, another Ellen Show appearance where they would perform a new song off of the album, and a tracklist and artwork reveal. The album was eventually released on May 18, with the music video for the lead single "Fake Love" uploaded the same day (shown below, left). The would later become the largest 24 hour debut of 2018 at the time, and the third most viewed music video in 24 hours with 35.9 million views, behind Taylor Swift's "Look What You Made Me Do" and PSY's "Gentleman", before being surpassed by Blackpink's video for "Ddu-du Ddu-du" with 36.2 million views in 24 hours. The video has received over 3.9 million likes and over 700,000 comments as of writing. The song also debuted at number 10 on the Billboard Top 10 in the Hot 100 Chart, another first for the band.
On May 20, the band performed the single live for the first time (shown above, right) at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards, after receiving the award for Top Social Artist for the second time. On May 27, the album debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, a first for the band and any K-pop group or act in general, and the first foreign language album to debut at number 1 in 12 years. This achievement was especially highlighted by South Korean President Moon Jae-in in a letter written by him.
Love Yourself 結 'Answer'
On July 16, 2018, BTS' official staff-run Twitter account tweeted a link to the band's fan-cafe blog regarding information on the final part of the "Love Yourself" series titled LOVE YOURSELF 結 'Answer', with pre-orders starting on the 18th.  Later on it would be revealed that the album would be a compilation/"repackaging" containing 7 new tracks and existing tracks from the previous installments of the "Love Yourself" series. On August 9th, Big Hit Entertainment's official Youtube channel uploaded a trailer featuring the song Epiphany, a solo from member Jin. On August 24, the album was officially released, with the music video for the lead single "IDOL" uploaded the same day. The video garnered over 45 million views in the first 24 hours since uploading, beating out Taylor Swift, PSY, and Blackpink for most viewed music video in 24 hours at the time, and has gained over 5.5 million likes and over 1.2 million comments as of writing. The same day, it was revealed that an alternate remix of "IDOL" featuring rapper Nicki Minaj would be added to the digital version of the album.
Collaboration with Steve Aoki
On October 24th, 2018, known collaborator and DJ Steve Aoki revealed a new song featuring the band titled "Waste it on Me," tweeting, "surpriseeee 😏we're back! got a new collab w/ my brothers @BTS_twt coming at u tomorrow!! who wants to hear it now?? Tweet #WasteItOnMe to unlock a preview!" The tweet received more than 240,000 retweets and 494,000 likes in 24 hours (shown below, left). The song would be the group's first English-language single, and will be featured on Aoki's upcoming album Neon Future III.
The preview, however, could only be viewed if people clicked the "Tweet #WasteItOnMe" button and successfully tweeted about the song (video below, right).
Fans reacted positively to the news as well as the preview, expressing their excitement for the new song with a series of BTS-inspired memes, jokes and comments, particularly due to the fact that the song is in English (examples below).
The single was released the following day by major label Ultra Music, with a lyric video accompanying the single's release. In 7 hours since uploading to Youtube, the video has received over 700,000 views and over 214,000 likes (shown below, left). On November 19th, an official video for the song was uploaded. Within 4 hours, the music video received over 515,000 views and over 249,000 likes. (shown below, right)
"Map of the Soul" Series
Map of the Soul: Persona
On March 11th, 2019, it was announced that the group would release more music in the form of the EP Map Of The Soul: Persona on April 12th. Described as a new chapter for the band after signing with their management for seven more years, pre-orders would start on March 13th, of which would number over 2.68 million in the first five days and up to over 3.07 million on the eve of its release.
Upon release, the music video for the EP's lead single "Boy with Luv" featuring American singer Halsey was uploaded to Youtube which would once again break the record for most viewed Youtube video in the first 24 hours at 74.6 million views after the previous record holder Blackpink held the record for a week with the music video for their single "Kill This Love." On April 26th, an alternate cut of the music video, titled the 'ARMY With Luv' version, was released which featured the version of the song from the album that featured a larger vocal presence from Halsey compared to the original.
As part of promotion for the album, they would also perform as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live on April 13th (performances shown below), their first performance for the show, and are set to perform the song at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards where they were nominated for both Top Social Artist and Top Duo/Group.
The group has gained recognition as one of the few K-Pop acts to achieve considerable success, especially in the west, and also not come from one of the three larger Korean entertainment companies, those being YG Entertainment, SM Entertainment, and JYP Entertainment, alongside socially conscious lyrics and sometimes outspokenness for social causes such as LGBT rights and mental health, their meshing of various musical styles, artist-driven authenticity among a highly-manufactured industry, considerable involvement in most of their production and songwriting when compared to other groups, all the while staying true to their cultural roots, with all of their charting hits sung predominantly in Korean. They have also made numerous charity donations to organizations and places such as the 4/16 Sewol Families for Truth and A Safer Society, LISA, and more recently, a 2 year collaboration with UNICEF through their Love Myself anti-violence campaign. Since their debut, they have won numerous awards and accolades from award shows such as the Korean Music Awards and the Golden Disc Awards.
In 2017, they won the Billboard Music Award for Top Social Artist, breaking the streak held by Justin Bieber for 6 years straight since its introduction in 2011. (acceptance speech shown below, left) Twitter also announced them as the most tweeted about celebrity of that year, with more likes and retweets about them than Bieber or United States President Donald Trump combined. That same year, they performed live at the American Music Awards, their first live performance on American television. (performance shown below, right) They also hold the Guinness World Record for "Most Twitter Engagements."
The group has received praise from numerous western celebrities, such as producer duo The Chainsmokers, wrestler John Cena , talk show host Ellen DeGeneres , actor Terry Crews , actor and singer Jared Leto of Thirty Seconds to Mars, and artists such as Shawn Mendes, Khalid, Halsey, Camila Cabello, and Charli XCX.
On Twitter, their official account used by the group's members has amassed over 13 million followers since its creation in July 2011. Their Big Hit staff-run Twitter account has also seen large numbers, amassing over 10 million followers since its creation back in May 2013. An official Japanese account has also garnered over 2 million followers since its creation in September 2013. Their Facebook page has garnered almost 6 million likes. A dedicated subreddit was created on January 11th, 2014 by iHailz and has since garnered over 20,000 subscribers. Their official YouTube channel boasts over 7 million subscribers as of March 2018, and on Instagram, the group's official account has amassed over 9 million followers. On Soundcloud, they have gained over 867,000 followers. On the streaming site V LIVE, they are the most popular on the platform with over 8 million followers.
In 2017, BTS announced their collaboration with Line Friends titled BT21. The official Youtube account for the project has amassed over 500,000 subscribers as of March 2018, and the official Twitter account has garnered over 1 million followers since its creation in August 2017. The project also has an Instagram page with over 600,000 followers and over 73,000 Facebook likes.
The fandom of BTS is commonly known as ARMY, with ARMY being an acronym for "Adorable Representative M.C for Youth." The fandom online is known for numerous things such as its various internet campaigns to help BTS, such as beating out their competition for the Billboard Music Award for Top Social Artist, and helping to sustain interest in the band through user generated content ranging from fan art to video edits and memes.
On Tumblr, the fandom has consistently held the number 1 spot on Tumblr's weekly Fandometrics K-Pop chart since the initial creation of the chart back in May of 2017. On April 23, 2018, the fandom topped the Fandometrics Music chart when K-pop was included in the Music chart for the first time. Fanfiction for the group also exists, with over 50,000 results on ArchiveOfOurOwn and over 3,000 results on Fanfiction.net. On DeviantArt, over 80,000 results for fan creations can be found with the search term "bts", with other related search results giving close to or over 10,000. There also exist other communities such as an unofficial BTS Amino, with over 900,000 members that have joined since its creation in 2016.
On YouTube, numerous video edits called cracks exist that utilize footage from various sources, such as BTS' variety shows, their vlogs, and other non-BTS and edited in a humorous manner, with some edits garnering over hundreds of thousands of views. (shown below, first row) There are also original animations and skits discussing the members or the fanbase in a humorous way. These videos have also garnered considerable amounts of views as well. (shown below, second row)
On Tumblr, numerous fanblogs exist for the band, with some such as bangtan, frombangtan, and theyarebangtan being created near the inception of the band back in 2013. Posts can be found relating to the band under tags such as bts, bangtan boys, bangtan, beyond the scene, and bts army. Also on Tumblr especially exists numerous examples of fanart, K-pop stan culture, and shipping, with ships like Namjin, Yoonmin, and Jikook as some examples of ships in the fandom.
There are also parts of the fandom that are dedicated to subbing and translating various material relating to the band such as their Korean variety shows, vlogs from the band that are uploaded on Youtube and VLive, and even tweets, such as the bts-trans Tumblr blog, and subtitle channels such as Bangtan Subs, an associated channel of the bts-trans blog, and Army Unnie.
In 2018, the fandom won the Best Fan Army at the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards.
One notable aspect of the fandom is the conversation and theories regarding story elements and hidden connections throughout their music videos and promotional material. Starting from their "The Most Beautiful Moment in Life" era, there have been hints of a sort of overarching story, even extending into their "Love Yourself" era, this being dubbed by ARMY as the "Bangtan Universe" or "HYYH Universe" (HYYH being an initialism for Hwa Yang Yeon Hwa, which refers to the band's "The Most Beautiful Moment in Life" series). The band has also been known for sneaking in clues and teasers for releases starting with the "Love Yourself" series, teasing the names of various song and album titles.
Another aspect of theories regarding the band is the content that inspired some songs, visual motifs, and albums, with the band's second album WINGS taking inspiration from the 1919 Bildungsroman Demian: The Story of Emil Sinclair's Youth by Hermann Hesse and their upcoming "Map of the Soul" series taking inspiration from Jung's Map of the Soul: An Introduction, a novel written by Dr. Murray Stein about the writings of Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist known for founding the field of analytical psychology.
You Got No Jams
You Got No Jams is a catchphrase associated with BTS and an in-joke among ARMYs. The quote itself stems from a vlog uploaded to BTS' official Youtube channel where member RM says it in response to fellow member Jimin to express that he wasn't much fun, with jams being a close approximation to 재미 (jaemi), meaning fun in Korean. Due to the how odd the quote sounds out of context, it has become an inside joke, with numerous comments on videos pertaining to jam from ARMYs, and fan made merch and art that use the quote.
Third From The Left / Worldwide Handsome
Third From The Left and Worldwide Handsome are nicknames given to band member Jin. The phrase "Third from the left" spawns from various pictures from the group's appearance during the Billboard Music Awards that went viral, with many people complimenting the looks of "that third member from the left." In response to this, when interviewed, JIn replied that he was "worldwide handsome," a name that stuck around with Jin during BTS' second US run for the American Music Awards, and with the fandom.
Jungshook is the term used to describe the various wide eyed looks member Jungkook has at times. A portemanteau of the slang term shook (to be disturbed) and Jungkook's name, the term has been used in conjunction with various reaction pictures as a way to show shock or surprise among the fandom.
Outcast Horror Fanfiction
Outcast is a horror fanfiction written by Twitter user @flirtaus utilizing the members of BTS as characters. The fanfiction, which surrounds member Suga as he plays a game he downloaded called Outcast with J-Hope and have to get the other five members of the group through the game alive, ran from January 3, 2018 to January 8, 2018, and went viral among the ARMY due to its choose-your-own-adventure structure after each day, where the author holds a poll for readers to decide what comes next, its Five Nights at Freddy's-esque structure, and format as it predominantly utilizes the appearance of Apple's iPhone messaging app.
BTS HORROR!AU -- in where a game controls lives.
hoseok texts yoongi early in the morning about the recent missing case pic.twitter.com/aUZr3pvEs4
— ً (@flirtaus) January 3, 2018
 The Daily Beast – All Hail BTS, the Korean-Pop Boy Band Taking America By Storm
 Guinness World Records – Most Twitter engagements (average retweets) for a music group
 The Korea Herald – President Moon Jae-in congratulates BTS for achieving No. 1 on Billboard 200