2017 was a big year for music, as we saw many international acts make a breakthrough in America. K-Pop group BTS, in particular, had an extremely successful year in the Western market. While many people in the States have already heard about K-Pop, BTS helped give the genre more exposure by becoming the first Korean boy band to perform on the American Music Awards, the first to enter the Billboard Hot 100, the first to perform on a daytime talk show, etc. You get the point. Now as the year is coming to an end, BTS continues to break boundaries by booking the biggest show of the year, Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest.
Having debuted in 2013, BTS’ journey to success has not been easy, involving years of hard work, dedication and practice. BTS’ seven members, RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook, continue to push themselves harder each year for their passionate fans, rightfully called the ARMY. With fans coming from all corners of the globe, BTS proves that music truly transcends language.
To celebrate the new year, we are breaking down BTS’ 2017 month-by-month with some of their biggest highlights.
RM Releases “Always” on Soundcloud
On January 1, 2017 RM shared a self-produced track titled “Always” on Soundcloud. The song is extremely personal, with dark lyrics that talk about having suicidal thoughts. RM posted the lyrics on the group’s blog, as well as a short message that explained how he went through a “hard time” in the previous year. Instead of ignoring those feelings, he wrote a song about it, hoping it would reach others who also felt the same. He wrote, “when you’re sad, a sad song can be the biggest comfort.”
Idol Star Athletics Championship
For the fourth year in a row, BTS took part in the Idol Star Athletics Championship, an annual competition involving K-Pop stars facing each other in a variety of sporting events. Jungkook, J-Hope, RM and Suga competed in the 400m relay race.
You Never Walk Alone, “Spring Day” and “Not Today”
On February 13th, BTS released a reissue of their Wings album titled You Never Walk Alone. The album includes eighteen tracks, along with singles “Spring Day” and “Not Today.” Music videos for both singles were released within the same week as the album’s release.
2017 BTS Live Trilogy Episode III: The Wings Tour
BTS began their second worldwide tour, titled “2017 BTS Live Trilogy Episode III: The Wings Tour,” on February 18th, with the first stop being in Seoul, South Korea at the Gocheok Sky Dome.
Jin Graduates From University
On February 22, Jin filmed a livestream on V Live to announce that he had graduated from college. However, because the group had a performance at the 6th Gaon Chart Music Awards that same day, he could not attend graduation. Instead, he decided to do a self-graduation with the rest of the members, where RM and Jungkook helped Jin put on his cap and gown. At the end of the broadcast, all the members came together to gift Jin a bouquet of flowers and a cake. Jin then went on Twitter and thanked fans for being part of the special moment.
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RM’s Collaboration with Wale
RM teamed up with rapper Wale for the track “Change.” The song’s lyrics talk about social and political issues that are diving the world, with RM and Wale hoping for a “change.”
BTS was among one of the many acts to perform at the first-ever KCON festival held in Mexico City. Their setlist included the songs “Not Today”, “Blood, Sweat, and Tears”, “Spring Day”, “Save Me” and “Fire.”
2017 BTS Live Trilogy Episode III: The Wings Tour Comes to the U.S.
BTS began their U.S. leg of The Wings Tour on March 23, 2017 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. They performed a second show at the Prudential Center the next day and then headed off to perform at Chicago’s Allstate Arena and Anaheim’s Honda Center.
BTS win “Best in Music” at the ninth annual Shorty Awards, beating nominees such as Ariana Grande, Chance the Rapper, Ingrid Michaelson, Solange, and Tegan & Sara. Since the group could not accept their award in person due to their Wings Tour, the group thanked fans for their support through a video message.
2017 Billboard Music Awards
BTS made their first television appearance in the United States at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards, where they accepted the award for Top Social Artist, making them the first K-Pop group to ever win a BBMA. While they were in the States, BTS met celebrities such as The Chainsmokers, Halsey, Camila Cabello and Ansel Elgort.
BTS celebrated their four-year-anniversary on June 13th, 2017 with their annual radio show, as well as a “Home Party” concert live-streamed on the V Live app. They also released three free tracks across Soundcloud and YouTube: RM and V’s “4 O’Clock,” Suga, Jin, and Jungkook’s “So Far Away,” and Jungkook and Jimin’s “We Don’t Talk Anymore.”
Bon Voyage Season 2
BTS released the second season of their vacation reality show “Bon Voyage” on V Live. This season, after finishing their U.S. leg of the Wings Tour, the guys take a trip to Hawaii. They go on several adventures, including surfing, swimming with sharks, flying in a helicopter and more. Season 2 includes eight episodes and is available for purchase on V Live.
BTS Covers Seo Taiji & Boys’ “Come Back Home”
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Seo Taiji and Boys’ debut, BTS covered the group’s 1995 rap hit “Come Back Home.” The song was released simultaneously with its music video on July 5th.
Love Yourself Series Begins
In the beginning of the month, BTS announced that their next project is titled “Love Yourself.” To tease the comeback project, Big Hit Entertainment released a set of posters for each of the group’s seven members, along with a highlight reel on YouTube. The highlight reel involved each of the members in his own story with a girl. Upon its release, fans created several theories to help them understand how the members’ stories connect.
Jungkook Releases a Cover of “2U” by David Guetta and Justin Bieber
In celebration of his 20th birthday, Jungkook released a cover of David Guetta and Justin Bieber’s “2U” on Soundcloud. Unlike the upbeat EDM hit on the radio, Jungkook stripped down “2U” to just his voice and a piano.
Continuing with the Love Yourself series, BTS released a comeback trailer starring Jimin, singing a new track titled “Serendipity.” The night before, BTS’ label, Big Hit Entertainment, displayed a countdown on the group’s website, but did not announce what would happen when the clock struck zero. Fans were ecstatic to find out that the countdown was for the group’s comeback trailer, teasing BTS’ upcoming album titled Love Yourself: Her.
Concept Photos / New Hair Colors
Two days after the “Serendipity” video premiered, BTS debuted Love Yourself concept photos that revealed the members’ new hair colors for their new era. Fans were especially surprised to see J-Hope with red hair, Suga with teal hair and RM with strawberry blonde. The rest of the members, Jin, Jungkook, Jimin and V all had varying shades of brunette and blonde. It was then revealed that the Love Yourself: Her album would have four versions, L, O, V and E, and that each version would have its own set of concept photos.
Collaboration with The Chainsmokers
Big Hit Entertainment confirmed that the track “Best of Me” from BTS’ upcoming album is a collaboration with EDM duo The Chainsmokers. Although the duo will not be featured on vocals, member Andrew Taggart assisted in the creative writing process. Before Big Hit confirmed the news, a collaboration between BTS and The Chainsmokers was just a rumor.
Love Yourself: Her Album and “DNA” Music Video
Seven months after their last music release, You Never Walk Alone, BTS make their comeback with Love Yourself: Her. The album includes nine songs: Serendipity, DNA, Best of Me, Dimple, Pied Piper, Skit: Billboard Music Awards Speech, MIC Drop, Go Go and Her. The album made K-Pop history by topping the iTunes charts in over 73 countries, the largest debut for any South Korean artist. On the same day of the album’s release, fans were also treated with a music video for “DNA,” the lead track off of Love Yourself: Her. The music video reached 20 million views in just under 21 hours, making it the fastest K-Pop video to do so.
BTS Comeback Show
Three days after the release of Love Yourself: Her, BTS made their official comeback performance on South Korean music television channel Mnet. Fans from around the world had the chance to watch the performance through a worldwide live broadcast. BTS performed well-known songs “I Need You” and “No More Dream,” as well as new songs “Mic Drop,” “Go Go” and “DNA.” The full performance is available to watch on Viki. To see the show’s highlights, click here.
Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard 200
BTS again made K-Pop history with their impressive rankings on the Billboard charts. They became the first K-Pop group to enter the Billboard Hot 100, with “DNA” debuting at No.85. Additionally, Love Yourself: Her debuted at No.7 on the Billboard 200, the first K-Pop album to enter the top 10.
Highest-charting K-Pop group on the Billboard Hot 100
In its second week of its release, “DNA” climbed 18 spots to No.67 on the Billboard Hot 100. This ranking gave BTS the title of “the highest-charting K-Pop group on the Billboard Hot 100.”
Amino Apps Pop-Up Gallery in New York City
On October 13th and 14th, Amino Apps hosted a pop-up art gallery in New York City dedicated to BTS. In preparation for the event, BTS fans could submit their artwork inspired by the boy group for a chance to be displayed at the art gallery. Those chosen were then displayed at the NYC gallery, where fans could visit and see in person. Videos posted online showed fans singing and dancing to BTS’ songs and taking Love Yourself-inspired selfies at the event.
Partnership with UNICEF for the ‘Love Myself’ Campaign
BTS teamed up with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to launch the ‘Love Myself’ anti-violence campaign, named after BTS’ Love Yourself: Her album. The campaign aims to make the world a safer place for youth. To raise funds for the campaign, the BTS members and Big Hit Entertainment pledged to donate 500 million KRW. The group also released ‘Love Myself’ merchandise that fans can purchase, with funds going towards the campaign.
10 Million Twitter Followers
Days before the group’s performance at the American Music Awards, BTS reached 10 million followers on Twitter. Up until this point, no other Korean account had achieved the 10-million mark.
Change from “Rap Monster” to “RM”
Kim Namjoon announced that he would no longer use the stage name “Rap Monster” while in BTS. Instead, he will use “RM.” On the group’s official fan cafe, Namjoon said the new name “has a broader spectrum” and is also “more appropriate” for the music he wants to pursue.
American Music Awards
BTS made their live U.S. television debut on the American Music Awards at the Microsoft Theater on November 19th. The group performed “DNA,” the lead single from Love Yourself: Her. Besides being named the “best act of the night” by Billboard, Entertainment Tonight and the New York Post, BTS also made history by being the first K-Pop act to ever perform on the AMAs. Additionally, the performance also helped BTS earn a spot in the 2018 Guinness World Records for “having the most Twitter engagements for a music group.”
“Mic Drop” Remix and Music Video
Originally scheduled for a November 17th release, the highly-anticipated remix of BTS’ “Mic Drop,” produced by Steve Aoki and featuring Desiigner, was instead released a week later on November 24th. The single helped BTS become the first K-Pop group to reach #1 on the U.S. iTunes Chart and #1 on the iTunes Worldwide Song Chart.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show
Following their performance on the American Music Awards, BTS made their U.S. daytime debut on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where they performed the “Mic Drop (Remix)” for the first time on television. They also performed “DNA,” talked about Friends, answered fan questions and even surprised some fans backstage!
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
BTS held a mini concert for fans on Jimmy Kimmel Live! The group performed fan-favorite songs “Mic Drop (Remix)”, “Blood, Sweat, and Tears”, “Go Go,” “Save Me,” “I Need You” and “Fire.” They also surprised some super fans and their moms while on the show.
The Late Late Show with James Corden
The guys of BTS continued their American television show appearances with The Late Late Show with James Corden. The group performed “DNA” and played Corden’s “Flinch” game.
Breaking Their Own Record on the Billboard Hot 100
BTS broke their own record for the highest-charting K-Pop group on the Billboard Hot 100 with the “Mic Drop (Remix),” produced by Steve Aoki and featuring Desiigner. Taking the No.28 spot, the track outranked “DNA,” which peaked at No.67 on the Hot 100, as previously mentioned.
“Crystal Snow” and Japanese Versions of “DNA” and “Mic Drop (Remix)”
BTS released the Japanese versions of hits “DNA” and “Mic Drop (Remix),” along with a new Japanese single titled “Crystal Snow” on December 6th.
As a result of the guys becoming the faces of the ‘I.SEOUL.U’ brand campaign, they released a free song titled, “With Seoul,” to promote the South Korean city. Immediately after the song released, the official Seoul tourism website crashed due to many fans trying to download the track. About a week later, an official music video was posted to YouTube.
Fall Out Boy Collaboration with RM for “Champion”
In an unexpected collaboration, RM partnered with American rock band Fall Out Boy for a remix of “Champion.” The original is from Fall Out Boy’s seventh studio album titled Mania. The track debuted at No.18 on Billboard’s Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart. Also, while the original peaked at No.4 on the Rock Digital Song Sales chart, the remix peaked at No.2. This is a remarkable achievement, since K-Pop acts are not usually found on the top of rock charts, instead they appear on either Pop, EDM, R&B, or hip-hop charts.
BT21 Stores Open in NYC and Seoul
BTS worked with LINE Friends to create a set of characters named Koya, RJ, Mang, Tata, Chimmy, Shooky, Cooky and Van, collectively known as “BT21.” Weeks leading up to the release of official BT21 merchandise, BTS shared videos of the members creating their characters with professional artists. Then, on December 16th, the BT21 characters were added to the LINE stores located in New York City, New York and Seoul, South Korea.
V (Kim Taehyung) Named the Most Handsome Face of 2017
Days ahead of his 22nd birthday, V was declared to have “the most handsome face of 2017” by the Independent Critics List published by TC Candler. Jungkook came at #13 on the list, while Jimin placed #64.
Performance on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest
Being one of the most talked-about acts of the year, it only makes sense that BTS would be asked to perform on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest, a broadcast that celebrates the year’s biggest acts. The show will begin at 8:00 p.m. on the ABC network, where the guys are scheduled to perform two songs.