Connect with us


BTS smash YouTube records with their new song “Butter” and are courted by Rock royalty



On Thursday the internet-of-music went into a minor churn when the band Queen’s Twitter account commented about the forthcoming BTS release of ‘Butter’, the South Korean band’s second full-English track.

“Are you ready, hey are you ready for this? Another One Bites The Dust.”

Was Queen doing a collaboration with the 21st century’s biggest music act?

BTS smash YouTube records with their new song "Butter" and are courted by Rock royalty | News by Thaiger

A quick listen to the official Teaser video gave a clue with a beat and bass-line reminiscent of the great 80s bop “Another One Bites The Dust”. (Teaser videos build the hype and get an audience queued up for the actual release time on YouTube).

YouTube video

But when the real “Butter” hit the plate at 12am on Friday morning in its worldwide release, it wasn’t to be. No Queen, no samples from the great 80s band. And the bassline wasn’t really the same.

But the whole incident showed how profoundly the music industry has changed. And, in other ways, how the best of music hasn’t changed much at all. BTS (Bangtan Sonyeondan.. translated ‘bullet-proof Boy Scouts) have been together for nearly 8 years and broken through the bamboo curtain to put an Asian, specifically South Korean, band on top of the world pop music industry pile.

Whilst Queen broke through in the 80s with personality, a glamorous rock style, great songs and some astonishing musicianship and vocals, BTS are doing the same with a slightly different list of talent tools… and without a flamboyant frontman or soaring rock anthems.

BTS, too, are filling sports stadiums around the world with their tours (but not at the moment of course). But this time their audience is truly global, a mix of languages and weaponised by modern social media.

For Queen, the release of a song would have been a major music-industry event, promoted heavily by their record label, with funds promoting air-play on radio, record-store promotions and a single available in stores for fans to buy. There was no internet, there was no YouTube. Instead newspaper and magazine articles would publicise the release and build the hype.

Now, with the latest BTS release, YouTube has replaced the radio air-play and can launch a new song around the world, everywhere simultaneously. The reach is incredible, across boarders. And it’s basically free (with a few ads) so there’s no financial barrier for anyone in the world to enjoy the music. Of course, it’s a visual music industry these days too. Modern bands make their money, instead, with merchandise, sales of hard copy CDs, digital uploads… Apple, Spotify, etc. And touring.

They can also make money from YouTube views. In its first 24 hours since launch “Butter” has accumulated 113 million views (beating BTS’s own record of 101 billion views in the first 24 hours with “Dynamite“).

By the end of the northern hemisphere summer the new pop bop will have pushed through 1 billion views (a 113 million views on YouTube in the first 24 hours would have probably paid their label Big Hit around US$600,000 – 800,000)

“Butter” will also likely debut at #1 on the Billboard singles chart this week, BTS’s third #1 on the Hot 100 Singles Billboard chart in less than 12 months, following “Dynamite” and “Life Goes On”. Notably, “Life Goes On” was totally in the band’s native Korean tongue… yes #1 on the US Billboard singles chart, almost exclusively a position for English-speaking pop music.

41 years after “Another One Bites The Dust” hit the #1 position on the same Billboard Hot 100 chart (Queen ended up with 2 such #1 hits, the other one was “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”), the way music is delivered and consumed has changed to be almost unrecognisable.

And the way BTS reached their position on top was a very different journey from bands in the past. Whereas relentless appearances in small bars slowly building an organic support base, showering radio executives with gifts and just some occasional good luck, was the formula in the 60s – 80s, it’s now all about engaging with your fans, sometimes daily, turning on your camera, building a brand and embracing social media.

Of course, you still need the great songs and the X factor to get to the top though. BTS has the great songs and a stage ‘swag’ that has built up a huge fan base (called Army) and one of the most followed Twitter accounts in the music industry.

They write, they produce, they sing, they dance, they rap. And they reached the top without smashing guitars on stage, getting photographed during drug-fuelled binges or destroying hotel rooms. Their music is a relatively wholesome mix of great lyrics (about youth issues, suicide, depression, rage-against authority, fighting-for-justice, loving yourself) and cross-genre music incorporating hip hop, ballads, R&B, Latin (yes!) and that whole K-Pop fusion thing.

Even though the eventual “Butter” sounded nothing like “Another One Bites The Dust”, the BTS song will be the summer bop we all need to get a smile on our face, just like last year’s Grammy-nominated “Dynamite” did the same thing when we needed it most.

YouTube video

BTS are to perform the song for the first time live at tomorrow night’s 2021 Billboard Music Awards where they are also nominated as finalists in four different categories… Top Duo/Group, Top Song Sales Artist, Top Social Artist and Top Selling Song (for ‘Dynamite’).


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2011. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for 42 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program (public radio Australia), presented over 11,000 radio news bulletins, 3,950 in Thailand alone, hosted 1050 daily TV news programs and produced 2,100 videos, TV commercials and documentaries. He also reported for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue and other major stories in Thailand.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Eastern Thailand7 hours ago

German man believed to have monkeypox briefly fled police

Thailand8 hours ago

New app to help migrant women in Thailand facing abuse

Cambodia9 hours ago

Nigerian man recovers from monkeypox, handed to Cambodian authorities

Sponsored2 days ago

The return of the most important coffee event in Thailand

World10 hours ago

Unusually heavy floods in Pakistan kill 549, thousands of homes damaged

Thailand10 hours ago

How to get the Thailand Elite Visa?

Transport11 hours ago

BTS is offering a free ride… with your mom

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Bangkok11 hours ago

Fire at Energy Ministry’s compound in Bangkok

Phuket12 hours ago

2 meth busts in Phuket this past week

Politics12 hours ago

NIDA Poll: PM Prayut should not extend term after August 24

Chon Buri14 hours ago

Mountain Pub fire: 15 victims dead, owner arrested, club uninsured

Chon Buri14 hours ago

Police transferred, safety measures enacted in wake of Mountain B fire

Bangkok14 hours ago

Bangkok taxi driver who snapped himself raping teen gets jailed

Video15 hours ago

Building a $100mil business in Thailand feat. Michael Kenner | Thaiger Podcast Ep. 1

Tourism15 hours ago

Major jump in Thailand Airbnb searches

Economy16 hours ago

Thailand’s hotels are short on workers

Thailand11 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism1 year ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11