This has been a tough year for many sectors, particularly the K-pop industry. And with the severe impact on live music and tour sales, several entertainment companies have had no choice but to close their doors, leaving numerous groups forced to disband. However, one group that has managed to overcome the hurdles of the year of Covid-19 has been BTS. So, let's take a journey and see how they were able to grow their international stardom with all the roadblocks of a post-covid world.
On February 27th, Map of the Soul: 7 was released with "On" as the second single and official lead single of the album. Then with over 4.1 million copies sold in South Korea in just nine days and 422,000 albums sold in the US in the first week alone, BTS earned both the best-selling album in Korean history and became the fastest group to obtain four number one albums in the US since the Beatles.
BTS was off to a great start, and everything was being set up for an April worldwide concert and stadium tour, titled the Map of the Soul Tour. The corona pandemic, on the other hand, had other plans...The BTS concert was eventually postponed indefinitely, and fans were left completely distraught.
With the Map of the Soul Tour stuck in corona-postponement-limbo, Big Hit hosted a 24-hour virtual concert series titled Bang Bang Con, where they shared footage of past concerts. This looked to be the dose of BTS fans needed as over 50 million fans tuned in to enjoy the show. They later went on to perform in a live version of the virtual concert series, which was watched by over 756,000 concurrent viewers, earning them the record for highest viewership of a paid virtual concert.
Then came something that no ARMY expected, the release of a BTS's first English-language single "Dynamite," on August 21st. It broke records everywhere—most viewed premiere, most views in the first 24 hours of release, and 100 million views in less than one day on YouTube. And it debuted number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart with over 260,000 in sales—making it the biggest digital sales week since Taylor Swift's "Look What You Made Me Do" in 2017.
With BTS continuing to break records on radio charts, there was no stopping them. They went on to perform "Dynamite" live for the first time at the MTV Video Music Awards and won awards for Best Choreography, Best Group, Best K-pop, and Best Pop Video. BTS performed "Dynamite" again at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards and won the Top Social Artist Award for the fourth year in a row.
After one hit English single, BTS followed up with another number one entry with the release of their remix for Jawsh 685 and Jason Derulo's single "Savage Love (Laxed - Siren Beat)." This left BTS holding both of the top two spots on the Hot 100 chart simultaneously.
Then with two previous virtual concert successes under their belt, they held a third virtual concert, Map of the Soul ON:E, and managed to break records once again with over 993,000 viewers from 191 countries watching live.
What's coming up next? BTS is scheduled to release their new album BE on November 20th, and with possible collabs, with Khalid, Ariana Grande, and other artists, it’s bound to be another exciting release. So, don't forget to preorder your delux copy of the BE album (with a special limited edition free BTS makeup VT cushion), and make sure to check out their debut performance of the new album's lead single "Life Goes On" at the 2020 American Music Awards on November 22nd.
BTS has managed to overcome the barriers put forth by this unexpected year of Covid, going above and beyond what was thought possible in this social distancing-heavy global climate. And a lot of it has come down to the hard work and efforts of the BTS members, Big Hit, and of course, the BTS ARMY. Now, with the upcoming new album and activities, BTS will surely continue working hard and breaking records, despite the covid-caused struggles, so let’s keep giving them our support and end this year with a bang.