It’s not all the time we have an artist that celebrates 10 years of music, much less from a K-Pop group. But BTS isn’t just any K-Pop group.
It’s surprising to know how quickly time flew by, and it’s almost as if yesterday BTS debuted with their single ‘No More Dream’. Then came their other hits ‘Danger’ and ‘DNA’, all the way to ‘Life Goes On’ and ‘Yet to Come’. It certainly has been one heck of a journey for the most popular Korean band of our generation. ARMYS still remember their humble beginnings, and despite soaring into fame and success with no end in sight, BTS are still the down-to-earth group we all know and love (sometimes, they forget that they’re even famous!)
For many of us, celebrating their tenth year while they’ve paused group activities is bittersweet. But has it really felt like a hiatus? It’s barely been a year since they’ve ventured on to the second chapter of their career, and we’ve been gifted with more music and content than ever. We’ve had Jin’s solo song ‘The Astronaut’ before his enlistment, J-hope’s release of Jack In The Box and his headliner performance at Lollapalooza, and RM’s album Indigo which is a work of art itself. We also have Jungkook releasing ‘Dreamers’ and performing at the FIFA World Cup (as a singer, of course, and not a player!), Jimin’s EP Face as well as his latest collab Angel pt. 1, and SUGA’s latest studio album D-DAY with a world tour to bat! Aside from music, we’ve been fed a lot of photoshoots and magazine covers, and V’s already had two reality shows between Disney+ and Amazon Prime!
It’s true that ARMY can’t catch a break, and we feel closer than ever with BTS.
With all that said, to celebrate their tenth anniversary, the boys have released ‘Take Two’, a song dedicated to the fans that reminds us to hang on and wait for what lies ahead.
As we anticipate their return, it’s nice to have a look back at BTS through the years with ten of their top moments …
1. Their debut with ‘No More Dream’ and the creation of ARMY
If you thought BTS only had cheery bubblegum pop songs, think again. Their roots are in hip-hop, and to mark their debut, they’ve strayed from the usual as they tackled the issues that young teenagers still face today and released ‘No More Dream’. This was the start for them to disrupt an industry that felt almost too constricted, and while it was a risky start, BTS showed that they weren’t just here to play. From there, ARMY was born and grew larger and larger to back BTS up as they rose.
2. The Youth Era
The boys had garnered a huge following by the time the Youth trilogy was released, but this was also the era that turned casual listeners into fully fledged ARMY. Songs like ‘I Need U’, ‘Dope’, ‘Bapsae’, and ‘Run’, and really most of their songs during this time, are already dubbed as BTS classics. Everyone likes a coming-of-age story, and here, BTS wrote songs about the joys and pains of growing up while also making sure to criticise the social climate and stigma towards young people. It’s no surprise that they’ve become official diplomats of South Korea to represent the youth at the United Nations.
3. Spring Day, their timeless classic
Everyone’s shed a tear once or twice while listening to ‘Spring Day’. I know I have. ‘Spring Day’ was truly a turning point for BTS not just in terms of numbers (the song has never left the K-Charts since its release!), but also in their artistry as they touched on the universal feeling of heartache and comfort. It’s not all the time a song can make you feel vulnerable and sentimental, and ‘Spring Day’ just does that.
4. Their Billboard Music Award win
The boys have been making a name for themselves in the West for years, enough to create a wave of retailers to stock BTS albums which eventually created a new aisle dedicated to K-Pop. But their 2017 win at the Billboard Music Awards for Top Social Artist marked them as a household name in the music industry. At the same time, this win showed the overwhelming influence and impact of ARMY’s support and trust for BTS.
5. The MAMA 2018 Artist of The Year win
Speaking of awards, while the band’s won tons of awards prior to this, the Artist of The Year win at the Mnet Asian Music Awards in 2018 was one of the most monumental. It was a tough year for BTS in more ways than one, and having poured their all into the Love Yourself era, this award was just one of the fruits of their labour. But really, what burned in the minds of ARMY and casual fans alike was their heart-breaking and moving speech, with both the members and the audience shedding tears.
6. ARMY’s surprise rendition of Young Forever
One memory that lasts in the minds and hearts of BTS and ARMY is when the whole Wembley Stadium surprised the boys by singing ‘Young Forever’. The moment was a gift that the members never fail to mention, even dedicating the song ‘For Youth’ from their anthology album as a response. This one small act tugged on the heartstrings of BTS, almost enough for them to consider this as the highlight of their career as musicians. Their eyes said it all.
7. They shot a whole season for their reality show in New Zealand!
For us Kiwi ARMY, we’ll never forget the time BTS travelled around the South Island in 2019 to shoot their reality series Bon Voyage. The boys really took advantage of the world’s adventure capital as they camped, hiked, flew on a helicopter, and even bungee jumped! With that said, the members have also mentioned that New Zealand was definitely one of their favourite destinations.
A little fun fact about their time in Aotearoa was the Kiwi ARMY’s Pineapple Lump Protection Policy. For a band as huge as BTS, it would be near impossible for their every move to be ignored. Yet, the Kiwi ARMY managed to keep things quiet and protect the band’s privacy by agreeing to not seek them out so that they could fully take in the beauty and wonders of the country. Under the code name Pineapple Lumps, Kiwi ARMY were able to speak about the boys on Twitter without the rest of the world realising.
8. Dynamite and their first Grammy nomination
It feels like only yesterday since ‘Dynamite’ was first released, but it’s been three years since then! With the catchiest tune that’s sure to elevate your mood, it’s no wonder that Dynamite broke through commercial success and became BTS’ first number one on the Billboard Hot 100. More than that, it was also the song that turned BTS into Grammy-nominated artists! Dynamite, you will always be famous!
9. Butter’s ten weeks on the Billboard Hot 100
Nothing has been truer than when RM said “Got ARMY right behind us when we say so,” in his rap verse for ‘Butter’. With the help of ARMY, and notably those in the US and Puerto Rico, ‘Butter’ did a feat that many modern artists have yet to achieve: to stay at number 1 for ten weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. To make matters even more amazing, BTS had replaced themselves in the Hot 100 with the release of ‘Permission to Dance’, and once again replaced themselves the following week by bringing ‘Butter’ back on top.
10. The Yet to Come concert in Busan
Free concerts aren’t unusual. But a free concert with top-notch production performed in a stadium and streamed simultaneously in two other public venues while broadcasted globally for millions of fans to tune in? No one does it like BTS does. Yet To Come was their last concert as a group before venturing solo and was also a celebration of their music and artistry. Fans from around the world who couldn’t even get a chance to attend the concert flew in to South Korea and turned Seoul and Busan purple. This wasn’t just one for the books, but also goes down in history. You just had to be there.
As BTS celebrates their 10th anniversary, we’re already eagerly awaiting the return of Jin and J-Hope from military enlistment (as well as anticipating our time apart from the rest of the members when the time comes). But there’s still so much in store! To celebrate this milestone, the annual Festa has a lot of things going on. We even had the ‘Take Two’ release! There are still a lot of other things to look forward to, like Yoongi finishing up his world tour for his album, and Jungkook’s and Taehyung’s solo albums that are rumoured to be released sometime this year.
It’s always a world of surprises when it comes to BTS, and with ten years in, it’s exciting to know what the next ten has to offer. After all, the best is yet to come.