History of BTS: Debut, Success and more
2013–2014: Debut and "School trilogy" series
The first album of BTS's "school trilogy" series and their debut single album, 2 Cool 4 Skool, was released on June 13, 2013 with the lead single "No More Dream". Their debut album won them several "New Artist of the Year" awards, including those at the 2013 Melon Music Awards and Golden Disc Awards and the 2014 Seoul Music Awards. On September 11, BTS released their first mini-album, O!RUL8,2?, which consisted of 10 tracks.
They also starred in their own variety show, SBS-MTV's Rookie King Channel Bangtan. The premise of the show was based on a fake broadcast station, "Channel Bangtan", through which the members parodied variety shows such as VJ Special Forces and MasterChef Korea. Rookie King Channel Bangtan premiered its eight-episode run on September 3, 2013.
The third part of the "school trilogy", their second mini-album Skool Luv Affair, was released on February 12, 2014. BTS promoted the album's title track "Boy in Luv", releasing its music video on February 11. The album peaked at number 3 on Billboard's World Albums Chart. BTS then came back with "Just One Day", with its music video released on April 6.
On March 7, Big Hit Entertainment announced that BTS were to release their Japanese debut single album, consisting of the Japanese versions of their current songs. The album, 2 Cool 4 Skool, was released on April 23; their first single was a Japanese version of "No More Dream".
On June 14, BTS took part in the Bridge to Korea festival in Russia, an event that aimed to promote tourism between the two countries. There, they became judges of a K-pop cover dance competition and later performed on stage in front of 10,000 spectators. The group also attended KCON in Los Angeles alongside Girls' Generation and other artists on August 10, 2014.
On August 19, BTS released the music video for their comeback single "Danger" from their first full album, Dark & Wild, which sold over 109,098 copies. They made a comeback with "War of Hormone", a track from Dark & Wild. Its music video was released on October 21, 2014.
BTS continued to promote in Japan, releasing their first Japanese studio album, Wake Up, on December 24. This album not only included Japanese versions of their songs, but also their first Japanese original tracks: "Wake Up" and "The Stars".
During the 2014 Mnet Asian Music Awards, BTS was nominated for the "Best Dance Performance" and "UnionPay Song Of The Year" awards. In addition to performing "Boy In Luv", they also had a collaboration stage with Block B during the awards show.
BTS then held their first concert tour, 2014 BTS Live Trilogy – Episode II: The Red Bullet, throughout October, November and December. They toured Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, Japan, Thailand and Malaysia.
2015: The Most Beautiful Moment in Life
From February 10–19, 2015, BTS toured Japan for the first time with the Wake Up: Open Your Eyes tour. They performed to 25,000 fans in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka. On March 28, BTS held their second solo concert in Korea, titled BTS Live Trilogy – Episode 1: BTS Begins.
The group's third EP, The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Part 1, was released on April 29, 2015. It was listed in June by Fuse as one of the "27 Best Albums of 2015 So Far" and was the only Korean album listed that year. On May 5, 2015, their title track "I Need U" won first place on SBS MTV's The Show, which marked their first win since their debut. The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Part 1 had sold over 200,000 copies since its release.
On June 4, BTS released their fourth Japanese single, "For You", to celebrate their first anniversary of their Japanese debut, with its music video released on the same day. The single climbed to the top on Oricon's daily chart, selling 42,611 copies within its first day.
On June 23, BTS released their music video for their follow up single, "Dope", from The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Part 1, becoming BTS first music video to hit over 100 million views. "Dope" rose to its peak at number 3 on Billboard's World Digital Chart despite being released two months earlier.
The group's world tour, 2015 Live Trilogy Episode: The Red Bullet, continued with stops in Malaysia, Latin America, Australia and the United States, and ended in Hong Kong on August 29.
BTS was a part of the 2015 Summer Sonic Festival tour in Japan, performing on August 15 at Tokyo's QVC Marine Field and on the 16th in Osaka. On September 8, it was announced that BTS would return with the album The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Part 2 on November 30. They also held a three-day concert tour, The Most Beautiful Moment in Life: On Stage, from November 27–29, where they showcased their title track "Run".
At the 2015 Mnet Asian Music Awards, they received the Best World Performer in recognition of their international fanbase. During the event, they performed "Run" and had a short collaboration stage with GOT7. The band released the Japanese version of "I Need U" as their fifth Japanese single on December 8.
2016: The Most Beautiful Moment in Life: Young Forever and Wings
BTS released their sixth Japanese single, "Run", on March 15. On May 2, they released a special compilation album, The Most Beautiful Moment in Life: Young Forever; they held two days of concerts at the Olympic Gymnastics Arena in Seoul from May 7–8 in support of their albums. A total of 24,000 fans attended. After that, the group began their Asia tour, which sold out 144,000 concert tickets. The group also headlined KCON in both Los Angeles and New York in June and July 2016, both to sold out audiences.
On September 7, 2016, they released their second Japanese studio album Youth, selling over 44,000 copies in its first day of release, and shot up to first place on the daily albums chart in Japan.
On October 10, 2016, BTS released their second full-length studio album, Wings, with the title track "Blood Sweat & Tears". Pre-orders for the album, which contains 15 tracks, started on September 28, and reached over 500,000 copies within the first week. The group achieved an "all-kill" on the South Korean music charts. Within 24 hours of the music video for "Blood Sweat & Tears" being released, it reached over 6 million views. This broke the previous record on YouTube for the highest number of views on a K-pop group music video within 24 hours. The album managed to make it to the U.K. Official Albums Charts, making history as the first Korean act to do so. The album also debuted at #26 on the Billboard 200 chart with 16,000 units earned in the week ending October 13. This made the new U.S. record for "Highest Charting and Best Selling K-pop Album", with 2NE1's Crush previously holding the record at #61 in 2014. It also marked them as the first K-pop act to log three entries on the Billboard 200. A few days later, it was revealed that BTS had topped the World Albums Chart, World Digital Songs Chart and Social 50 Chart for week of October 29. They also charted on YouTube Music Global Top 100 – 17th on the video chart, 6th on the artist chart and 14th on the tracks chart.
From November 12–13, BTS held a large scale fan meeting at Gocheok Sky Dome. All 38,000 tickets were sold out.
On November 19, 2016, BTS announced the new Live Trilogy Episode III: The Wings Tour. The tour is set to visit South Korea, Chile, Brazil, the United States, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Australia. On the same day, BTS won "Album of the Year" with The Most Beautiful Moment in Life: Young Forever at the Melon Music Awards. This award marked BTS's first daesang, or grand prize, since debut. On December 2, 2016, BTS won their second daesang for "Artist of the Year" at the 2016 Mnet Asian Music Awards. By doing this, BTS became the first artist not from a "Big 3" entertainment company (S.M., YG and JYP) to win the award.
2017: You Never Walk Alone
On February 13, 2017, BTS re-released their second full-length studio album, Wings, titling it You Never Walk Alone. Pre-orders for the album, which contains 4 new tracks, reached over 700,000 copies. Title track "Spring Day" achieved an all-kill on 8 of the major South Korean online music charts, having crashed the Melon digital chart upon its initial release due to traffic overload. "Spring Day" entered the US Billboard's Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart at No. 15. A writer from the magazine highlighted the achievement as the single "almost all in Korean, had zero promotions in America." Within 24 hours of the music video for "Spring Day" being released, it reached over 9 million views. This broke the previous record on YouTube for the highest number of views on a K-pop group music video within 24 hours, previously held by the music video of their own song "Blood, Sweat, and Tears". However, the new record was broken a week later after the group released the music video for "Not Today", which accumulated over 10 million views in said time span. Similarly, "Spring Day" became the fastest K-pop group music video to reach 20 million views, achieving the feat in less than 4 days; "Not Today" bested this by reaching said number of views in less than 3 days. The group performed the new tracks from You Never Walk Alone for the first time at the South Korean leg of the 2017 BTS Live Trilogy Episode III: The Wings Tour, a week after its release.
On May 21, BTS won the Top Social Artist Award at the Billboard Music Awards. On July 4, BTS announced that in addition to being known as Bangtan Sonyeondan or Bulletproof Boy Scouts, they will now include "Beyond The Scene" as their new brand identity. This was announced along with a cover of the Seo Taiji and Boys classic "Come Back Home" (originally from Seo Taiji and Boys IV) for Seo Taiji's Time:Traveler project. On July 24, Big Hit Entertainment announced that BTS will be making a comeback in September.
2017–present: International recognition
Their fifth EP, Love Yourself: Her, was released in September and featured music from The Chainsmokers' Andrew Taggart for the track "Best of Me". The lead single, "DNA", peaked at number two on the weekly Gaon Chart, while its music video reached over 20 million views on YouTube, breaking the record for most viewed K-pop group music video within the first 24 hours. "DNA" also became the group's first entry on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 85, making BTS the first K-pop boy band to do so and the second Korean act with a Korean-language song. When "DNA" rose to number 67, it became the highest-charting song on the Billboard Hot 100 for a K-pop group, beating Wonder Girls' previous record at number 76. A remix for their song, "Mic Drop", by Steve Aoki and featuring Desiigner was released as the second single, peaking at number 23 in South Korea and number 28 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the first top 40 entry for a K-pop group on the chart. "DNA" and "Mic Drop" were later released as a triple-A side single in Japan with the new song "Crystal Snow” which topped the Oricon Chart, becoming the highest-selling single from a K-pop artist within a week, and making BTS the first foreign artist to achieve this.
In November, the group became the first K-pop group to perform at the American Music Awards, raising their profile internationally. They won their second Artist of the Year at the 2017 Mnet Asian Music Awards, becoming the first act to win the award two years in a row."Spring Day" later won Best Song of the Year at the Melon Music Awards. That December, they performed on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve to welcome the new year, making them the first K-pop group to be part of the show's lineup. They also made their Japanese TV music show debut on TV Asahi's Japan Music Station Super Live on December 22.
January 2018 saw BTS receive their first Double Platinum certification from the RIAJ for their "Mic Drop/DNA/Crystal Snow" single, the only single album by a foreign artist in 2017 to sell over 500,000 copies and receive certification on the Oricon chart for that year. Later that month, they became the first artist outside of the "Big Three" to win both grand prize (Daesang) awards at the Golden Disc Awards and the Seoul Music Awards respectively. In February, their "Mic Drop Remix" and "DNA" singles were both certified Gold by the RIAA, making BTS the first and only Korean artist to receive two certifications. An original, eight-episode long documentary series, entitled Burn the Stage, that offers a behind-the-scenes look at the group's 2017 Wings Tour, premiered March 28 on YouTube Red and ran exclusively on the platform until May 9. On April 4, their third Japanese studio album, Face Yourself, was released. Its debut at number 43 on the Billboard 200 made it the third-highest-charting Japanese album in the history of the chart. Later that same day, the group also released a nine-minute video titled "Euphoria", said to be the theme to Love Yourself: Wonder.
On April 17, BTS were again nominated for Top Social Artist at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards, which they later won on May 20, making them the only Korean artist to be nominated for and win the award two years in a row. They made their debut as performers at the show, premiering their new single, "Fake Love", from their third Korean-language LP, Love Yourself: Tear, released on May 18. The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 with 135,000 album-equivalent units (including 100,000 pure album sales), becoming BTS' highest-charting and first number one album in the US, the first K-pop album to top the US albums chart, and the highest-charting album by an Asian act. "Fake Love" peaked at number ten on the Billboard Hot 100 that same week, becoming the band's highest reaching song on the chart as well as their first in the top ten. Overall, "Fake Love" is the seventeenth non-English song to reach the top ten, and the first for a K-Pop group. The single also debuted at number seven on Billboard’s Streaming Songs chart with 27.4 million streams earned in the week ending May 24, giving BTS its first top ten on the chart and making “Fake Love” the first K-pop song to land on top ten since Psy’s "Hangover" feat. Snoop Dogg in 2014. On August 14, Fake Love was confirmed by the Recording Industry Association of America to reach 'Gold' status, having sold over 500,000 copies in SPS units. This marked BTS' third song to reach 'Gold' certification. Love Yourself: Tear also reached number eight on the UK Albums Chart, marking the group's first top ten album in the country. In June 2018, Time included BTS in the list of 25 most influential people on internet.
On July 17, the group announced the release of their second compilation album Love Yourself: Answer for August 24, 2018, with seven new tracks added to the release. On August 24, 2018, the album was released, along with the music video for "Idol" and an alternative version of the track featuring Nicki Minaj. Debuting at number one on the US Billboard 200, the album became BTS' second number-one album—their second of 2018—and their highest sales week in the country to date. It earned 185,000 album-equivalent units, which comprises of 141,000 in pure album sales, 25,000 SEA units (39.01 million on-demand audio streams of the album's songs) and 19,000 TEA units. Making BTS the only K-pop act with two Billboard 200 toppers and the first pop act with two number one albums in less than a year since One Direction topped the chart with Four in 2014, which followed their 2013 album Midnight Memories.