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BTS are breaking up…

…temporarily. The announcement about BTS was made on Twitter by their South Korean management company and label Big Hit Entertainment. Don’t stress AMRY, they’ll be back together in a couple of months!

Big Hit says the kings of pop need time to regroup and recharge their batteries. The announcement followed another dazzling display of their finely-tuned pop skills at the Lotte Family Festival, a local gig they’ve been supporting for many years, in Seoul.

“We would like to announce that for the first time since their debut, BTS will be going on an official and extended period of rest and relaxation.”

“The power break will provide “an opportunity for the members of BTS, who have relentlessly driven themselves towards their goal since their debut, to recharge and prepare to present themselves anew as musicians and creators.”

“This will also provide them with a chance to enjoy the ordinary lives of young people in their 20s, albeit briefly.”

BTS, aka. Bangtan Boys are now among the most recognisable 20-somethings on the planet, as part of the world’s hottest pop band (known in South Korea in K-Pop speak as an ‘idol’ group).

BTS is RM, Jin, j-hope, Suga, V, Jimin and Jung Kook.

Debuting in 2013, the road to success hasn’t been particularly easy. In the world of music there would be no fiercer competition than in K-Pop. And for many years BTS were not regarded as a threat to the K-Pop crowns. But the seven young men, on their own terms, made their way into K-Pop history and then, significantly, broke through the bamboo ceiling and into world mainstream pop music – in charts, in albums, in fandom – in almost every measurable way.

BTS shattered the jinx that bedeviled K-pop for decades – breaking into Western markets where being Asian has made it almost impossible to break into the top echelons of the white and shiny Western pop world. They’ve sold out multiple stadium tours in the world’s capitals, won awards in multiple music markets, addressed the UN and been on all the big variety shows in the US and other countries. And they’ve done most of this in the past four years – there was one particular album and series of songs/music videos that propelled them from K-Pop wannabes to international stardom.

Most of this success has been by weaponising the BTS fandom, better known as ARMY. The pop world has never known such numbers of support for a single group of fans. This has been harnessed through clever use of social media, cinematic music videos, members sharing personal Twitter updates and an ‘organic’ approach to reaching out to their listeners. Some of it is gritty, most of it is fun, but mostly the social media paints a picture of seven young men with extraordinary talent reaching out to a world with a strong message. There is a BTS ‘universe’ and theme which twists its way through the playlist, some of the albums are based on poetry and world literature.

Somehow BTS has been able to go deep and meaningful whilst beating a pop, R&B and hip-hop rhythm throughout.

In terms of caparisons, mostly unfair, BTS are the first act to register three number one spots on the Billboard album chart since The Beatles IN ONE YEAR.

Going to a BTS concert is an eye-opener where packed stadiums wave their Army Bombs (sounds scary, but that’s the name of the lightsticks the BTS fandom wave around at concerts) and sing along, mostly in Korean!

Whilst their mostly famous for their well-crafted music (that they variously contribute to in terms of writing and production), skilled vocals and sharp choreography, anyone following them must be amazed at how they’ve stayed together for nearly seven gruelling years in the world pop scene. Seven highly talented and creative individuals working together in ANY field for such a long time, under the microscope of the music and celebrity world, is almost unheard of.

They genuinely enjoy each other’s company and support the many solo projects of their team members. You not only get to hear great music, watch astonishing music videos and dazzling dance routines. You also get to see seven young men having a great time, always faithful and thankful to their ARMY.

There is certainly no other pop act in history that has SO much video material online, in terms of sheer numbers of files and views. Apart from the music videos there are also dance practices, arguments, behind-the-scenes glimpses, makings-of videos, trips overseas. Their most popular YouTube video is the music video of ‘DNA’.

There are many other of their music videos receiving 300, 400, 500,600 million views. There’s no shortage of choice for the fans whilst the septet are having a short break.

The temporary break has been met mostly with a lot of support from their ARMY fanbase…

“Huhuhu, I’m so happy for all of them that they deserved that vacation.”

“Finally, the lovely boys are getting their vacation.”

“The boys who taught us to love ourselves are now having a vacation they deserve. I’m crying.”

This ARMY should NOT be messed with…

“Leave them alone (whilst they vacation), don’t make me fly to Korea to break your kneecaps if ya’ll do something stupid.”

BTS have their next stadium tour date in Saudi Arabia on October 11, along with two other recently announced Seoul stadium concerts as well. So they won’t be away too long.

In June, Big Hit became South Korea’s ninth unicorn – an unlisted company valued more than US$1 billion, according to Seoul brain trust the Hyundai Economic Research Institute. That success is almost solely on the back of the success of BTS.

The group currently has a Concert film out, ‘Bring The Soul’, here’s a quick preview…

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