Not everybody is familiar with Korean pop music as a whole, but if you had to wager on what group a mainstream American audience would probably know the most about, it'd be BTS. The South Korean boy band has hit international levels of fame in the past few years, which is why fans were so dang disappointed that BTS wasn't picked to perform. (They're also devastated that the band wasn't even at the 2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremony in PyeongChang.) Need further proof? These tweets about BTS at the 2018 opening ceremony highlight the K-POP fans' devastation over missing their favorite group at one of the biggiest — if not the biggest — shows of the year.
Although their no-show at the Olympics low-key broke Twitter, BTS is no stranger to the website's rampant fans, as the band was declared the most tweeted-about musicians in the U.S. in 2017. Surprisingly, BTS scooped up this top spot with another K-pop band, SEVENTEEN, right behind them. Who knew such devoted K-pop fans were on Twitter?
The group broke another kind of record when it won the Top Social Artist award at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards, triumphing over other social media musical icons such as Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande, and Justin Bieber. The win represented K-pop's growing relevance in the rest of the world, a fact that was already hinted at through the band spending 25 weeks in the Number 1 spot of Billboard's Social 50 chart.
While the band members are well on their way to becoming household names now, such recognition wasn't always the case. Formed in 2013, BTS snatched up several New Artist awards for their debut song "No More Dream," but it wasn't until the 2016 launch of their album Wings that fans around the world began to take notice. The album sold more than 1.5 million copies, hitting spots on music charts that were unprecedented for a Korean music group.
Although they didn't have the privilege of performing at the Olympics, BTS members Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook have already had their share of performances for a Western audience. At the 2017 American Music Awards, the group made one of its U.S. TV appearances, performing their hit song "DNA" and igniting a huge audience response.
If anyone was unfamiliar with BTS by the start of that night, it looks like everybody in that building left with a new obsession with the band.
The group was also invited to participate in the all-American tradition of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest this past year. The boys performed both "DNA" and "Mic Drop" from the program's Hollywood location.
In the week leading up to the Olympics, diehard fans were convinced that the group was planning a surprise appearance at the opening ceremony. Given the fact that announced performers were most familiar to a Korean audience, the expectations of BTS performing weren't too far-fetched. Who doesn't love an out-of-the-blue appearance from genuine superstars?
But when it became clear that the group wasn't singing at the Olympics, BTS fans, known as the #BTSARMY, made their devotion to the band clear — especially when their song was featured as part of the Parade of Nations. A bunch of Twitter users were quick to point out that "DNA," BTS' hit single that's catchy AF, played as the nations participating in the Olympic Games this year were called out.
I mean, if your fave band can't be there IRL, at least they can run the show on their hit track alone, right?
These users agree:
While it's disappointing that BTS wasn't tapped to represent their home country in this special way, I have high hopes for them popping out at the closing ceremony on Feb. 25. We'll have to wait and see!