Now we won’t lie to you; we’re still mad with 2020. We really went through it this year, but we have to try and look at some of the positives and one of the bright lights from the year has been our boys BTS. Even though we were forced to be separated from them in person, they went above and beyond to work hard and spread positivity through feeding fans with content and just being all-around rays of sunshine! We’re looking back over the year and sharing just some of the many highlights of how BTS managed to still make 2020 their year.
Performing at The GRAMMY Awards
GRAMMY performances are only meant to be delivered by nominees, but thanks to Lil Nas X our boys were able to grace the stage and bless The Academy and viewers from around the world with a performance! Since RM was a feature on one of the ‘Old Town Road’ remixes, as part of Lil Nas X’s spectacular performance, he invited all the remix artists to join him on stage and since you can’t separate BTS, all seven members were able to join him on stage serving talent, looks, and charisma. Hopefully, this will be the first of many future GRAMMY performances – we’re manifesting it!
The drop of Map of the Soul: 7
In February, BTS dropped their latest full album Map of the Soul: 7 and it was a true masterpiece. The album commemorates the seven years the boys have been together and as ARMY know “7” is an important number when it comes to BTS, so it was quite significant. It was reported by Dreamus that stock pre-orders of the album reached 4.02 million, breaking the previous record of 2.68 million which was actually held by their last album Map of the Soul: Persona. And according to Gaon Chart, it sold over 4.1 million copies just nine days after its release, which surpassed the previous record (again held by Map of the Soul: Persona) becoming the best-selling album in South Korean history and the first album to be certified Quadruple Million!
Other achievements include topping the Billboard 200 with a first-week tally of 422,00 making them the fastest group to earn four number ones since The Beatles in 1968 and debuted at number one in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, and the UK which makes BTS the first Asian group to top the charts in the world’s five largest music markets. These are only some of the achievements from this album. They also broke a 36 year-long record held by Michael Jackson, as they became the only international artists to top the Japanese Oricon Music Chart. The album also went on to sell over one million units this year. True king behavior!
Bang Bang Con and Bang Bang Con: The Live brought joy to ARMY around the world
With their world tour put on hold, both BTS and ARMY struggled to come to terms with not being reunited this year, but the Bangtan Boys are quick thinkers! They introduced Bang Bang Con, a two-day twelve-hour event where fans were able to watch concert DVDs and other special performances from over the years, creating a virtual festival convention that connected fans around the world over their love of the septet. It went down so well that in place of this year’s FESTA– an annual special show put on by the boys for their anniversary – they held Bang Bang Con: The Live, their first virtual concert. The concert amassed 756,000 fans across more than 100 countries tuning in, which earned them the Guinness World Record for most viewers of a music concert live stream. BOOM.
‘Dynamite’ exploded onto the music scene and brought light during a darker time
2020 has been the year of “expect the unexpected” and that’s exactly what ‘Dynamite’ was – unexpected. Previously, BTS shared that they had no interest in releasing a full-English song but after stumbling upon ‘Dynamite’ when recording new music, they fell in love and felt it sounded better in its original language rather than translating it to Korean. The song broke the YouTube record for the most viewed premiere, with more than three million viewers, set a new record for the most viewed video in the first 24 hours of release, and became the first music video on the platform to surpass 100 million views in less than one day. ‘Dynamite’ debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, giving them their first Billboard No. 1, making them the first all-South Korean act to earn a number one single in the United States.
They performed at the MTV VMAs for the very first time
This year BTS made their debut performance at the MTV VMAs, which means they have now performed at the four major US music award shows: Billboard Music Awards, American Music Awards, The GRAMMY Awards, and the MTV Video Music Awards! Though they weren’t able to be there in person, they delivered a truly show-stopping performance of ‘Dynamite’ for the first time, and also bagged four awards: Best K-Pop, Best Pop Video, Best Group, and Best Choreography for ‘ON.’
They were honored in Gold House’s 2020 A100 List as Most Impactful Asians
Once again BTS were listed on Gold House’s A100 List which honors the most impactful Asians and Asian American & Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) in culture every May for AAPI Heritage Month. Having continued to rise with international success, where they continue to grow their audience and broaden their catalogue of achievements, the septet phenomenon were listed again for 2020. We’re so proud of our boys!
They were awarded with a Van Fleet Award
This year the boys were awarded the honorary General James A. Van Fleet Award for their contributions to Korea-U.S. relations. Hosted by The Korea Society, the Van Fleet Award was established in 1995 and is awarded to figures or organizations that have contributed to the Korea-U.S relationship. Having become a global phenomenon, BTS were credited for their music and message which in turn strengthened Korea’s relations with the United States.
They achieved their 100th music show win
On SBS’s music show Inkigayo BTS were awarded their 10th win for ‘Dynamite,’ but this wasn’t the only exciting achievement, as it actually marked their 100th show win and also resulted in them breaking the record of the Korean artist with the most music show wins ever. As of December 4th, 2020, they have 118 wins with just 12 songs, and with the number continuing to grow, there’s no sign of the Bangtan Boys slowing down anytime soon. Did you see their bag?
They also made history by participating in Koreas first ever Youth Day
As part of South Korea’s inaugural Youth Day, BTS delivered a powerful, motivational speech for Korean youth, speaking candid stories from their struggles on their journey to becoming one of the biggest music acts in history. While they now hold that title, their humble beginnings and rise to the top was no walk in the park and had many hardships, but has become the inspirational story to tell now they are able to bask in their success. The members also presented President Moon Jae-in with a purple-colored box as a “Year 2039 Gift” to be stored at the National Museum of Korean Contemporary History in Seoul, much like a time capsule. The box will then be opened at the 20th Youth Day event in 2039. If you’re in this Bangtan business for life, let’s live-tweet them opening the box, yeah?
Map of the Soul ON:E delivered the concert we all needed
When it became clear that a tour for 2020 wouldn’t be possible, Map of the Soul ON:E, a two-day online concert experience, was announced. We were finally able to see the hard work that was put in by the members for the tour and it was truly breathtaking. We feel so robbed that we weren’t able to see this live in person but this was a definite second best. The concert was viewed by over 993,000 people in 191 regions around the world and of course, broke records – previously held by themselves, as we just said with Bang Bang Con: The Live, earning them the Guinness World Record for most viewers of a music concert live stream twice in one year.
They scored their first GRAMMY nomination
In addition to the continuously-growing list of achievements for ‘Dynamite,’ the most notable achievement has to be their first GRAMMY nomination. BTS is nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at The 63rd Annual GRAMMY Awards which takes place on January 31st, 2021. This, in turn, makes them the first K-Pop act to be nominated for the prestigious music award. They’re really out here making history!
The release of BE gave a message of comfort and hope to ARMY around the world
On November 20th BTS released their latest album BE, a beautiful remedy filled with comfort and understanding for those who have struggled during the pandemic. With seven emotion-filled songs and a skit, this was the most hands-on the band have been with the production of their album and brought fans along for the journey, sharing snippets of the process. BE sold more than 1.95 million copies on its first day and accumulated 42.8 million streams within the first 24 hours on Spotify, the platform’s biggest debut this year for an album by a group, which was previously held by Map of the Soul: 7. All of the tracks ranked in the Billboard Hot 100 with the title track ‘Life Goes On‘ topping the chart, which makes it the first song primarily sung in Korean to hit the No. 1 spot on the chart. The album itself topped the Billboard 200, making it their fifth album to do so, and BTS were crowned the fastest group to achieve five chart-topping albums since The Beatles. They also became the only act besides Taylor Swift to debut on top of the Hot 100 and Billboard 200 simultaneously. Such elite artists, we stan.
They made MAMA history
While making a Daesang Sweep for the second year in a row, BTS also made history at the 2020 Mnet Asian Music Awards. They became the first artist in MAMA history to win Artist of the Year five consecutive years in a row. They bagged a total of eight awards, including four Daesangs (Album of the Year for Map of the Soul: 7, Song of the Year for ‘Dynamite’,’ Worldwide Icon of the Year, and Artist of the Year) as well as Best Male Group, Best Performance – Male Group for ‘Dynamite,’ Best Music Video for ‘Dynamite,’ and Worldwide Fans’ Choice Top 10. SUGA also won Best Collaboration alongside IU for ‘Eight’ which he produced and features on. No really, did you see their bag?
They were named TIME’s Entertainer of the Year
To put the bow on the big gift of BTS’s 2020 highlights is of course the fact that they have been named as TIME’s Entertainer of the Year, and after listing just some of the many achievements from this year alone we really aren’t too surprised by this. They released various albums, broke numerous records, and even became multimillionaires. On top of this, they paid it forward when donating $1 million to the Black Lives Matter movement – which ARMY then matched – and were just one of the many artists who donated to Crew Nation to support those in the touring industry who were financially affected by the pandemic. We stan absolute legends, we’re so proud!
Their solo projects also did pretty incredible this year, too
We don’t know when BTS take a break because when they’re not working as a septet, they’re working on their solo projects and of course, they’re absolutely smashing it there, too. This year kicked off with V dropping ‘Sweet Night,’ his all-English single which was part of the OST for Itaewon Class, in which the single topped the iTunes chart in 117 countries making him the soloist with the most No. 1’s, breaking Adele’s record. We then saw SUGA producing and featuring on IU’s ‘Eight’ which accumulated 199,327 listeners in just one hour of release, becoming the first “roof hit” (the highest share of the chart scoring than the real-time chart aggregation) on Melon, Korea’s biggest domestic music streaming site. It also has the largest number of listeners in its first hour since the chart reformulation breaking the record of ‘ON,’ before six months later being certified Gold, and also scoring Best Collaboration at the MAMAs and Best Rock Song at the MMAs.
In May we saw the return of SUGA’s alter ego Agust D who dropped his second mixtape D-2. He became the first and only Korean to have four music videos with over three million likes on YouTube, the first Korean soloist to have two No. 1 hits on the Worldwide iTunes Album Chart, the 1st Korean Soloist to get an All Kill on all the top worldwide charts including iTunes albums, iTunes single, Apple Music, Global Digital Artist, and YouTube. ‘Daechwita’ is also the fastest music video by a Korean soloist to reach four million likes on YouTube in just 11 hours and 12 minutes.
This year also saw Jin‘s solo song ‘Moon’ from MOTS7 reached No. 1 on the iTunes chart in 80 countries. Jin extended his own record for the most No. 1’s on iTunes for a b-sidetrack by a Korean artist. Jimin also achieved a lot with his solo ‘Filter’ from the same album, as it became the biggest debut for a track recorded by a Korean soloist in Spotify history with 2.2 million streams, and the highest-charting song after the title track on all Korean streaming platforms.
While RM didn’t release his own material outside of BTS this year, his 2018 mixtape Mono charted in a total of 100 countries and became the first Asian act to reach that milestone. He then extended his own record to 120 countries and became the ninth highest ranking album globally which made him the Asian act with the highest number of No. 1’s on the iTunes album chart. Meanwhile, J-Hope‘s 2018 mixtape Hope World reached number one on iTunes in 100 countries and also became the first and only Korean solo artist to have five solo songs that sold over 100k units in the US. He also gained four million followers on Spotify, making him the first and only Korean solo artist to do that, and the most followed Korean solo artist on the platform.
In June, for BTS’s seventh anniversary, Jungkook dropped his solo song ‘Still With You’ for ARMY on Soundcloud, which has since been announced as the Buzziest Drop with the Longest Reign at No. 1 on Soundcloud in 2020. ARMY broke the record for most comments and likes within 24 hours & made ‘Still With You’ one of the top tracks of 2020 on the music-sharing platform.
That friends, is just some of the many, many highlights of BTS’s 2020. We were going to take a nap after writing this but now we’re so excited because just look at it all!
What’s your highlight from BTS in 2020? What are you manifesting for them in the new year? Let us know in the comments below or by tweeting us @TheHoneyPOP!
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Featured Image Source: Mok Jung Wook for TIME