Whether or not you’re an ARMY, there’s no denying that BTS is making 2020 their year despite the global pandemic. Even with physical concerts cancelled, the boys haven’t been taking a break – instead, they’ve put out more content for their fans and in the process gained even wider recognition worldwide. In fact, one could say that they made history in 2020 on a lot of fronts.
During their interview with Esquire this year, they talked about their success during the pandemic, with band member Jin saying, “We were trying to convey the message of healing and comfort to our fans. World domination wasn’t actually our plan when we were releasing ‘Dynamite’.”
Here’s a recap (so far) of this Korean tour de force.
BTS paved the way for South Korean idols to defer enlistment until they’re 30
On Dec 1, South Korea’s National Assembly passed a bill allowing globally-recognised male pop culture artists to postpone their mandatory military duties until they turn 30 (it was 28 before).
The news comes at a perfect time for BTS’ oldest member Jin, as he turns 28 on Dec 4 this year. The revision was proposed after BTS became the first-ever South Korean pop artist to top the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart with “Dynamite” in September.
However, this deferment doesn’t apply to all idols – only those who’ve received government medals for elevating the country’s cultural influence around the world qualify (every member of BTS received the Order of Cultural Merit in 2018).
Historically, only international award-winning athletes and classical musicians were exempt from duties. Because of the influence of BTS, this deferment has been informally referred to as the ‘BTS Law’.
BTS is the first K-Pop group to receive a Grammy nomination
When they released their single “Dynamite” in August, little did they know how much impact it would have across the globe. On November 24, BTS made history when their English single was nominated for the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance category, alongside Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift, for the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards.
BTS will perform “Dynamite” for the Best Pop Duo/Group at the 2021 Grammy Awards ceremony.
It’s not the first time the band’s worked with the Grammys – back in January, they made history by making their debut performance on the special collaboration stage at the Grammy Awards.
BTS has multiple #1 hits on Billboard Hot 100, also first act with 3 Global 200 #1s
BTS made history this year as the only act to ever chart three #1 hits on the Global 200 (no other act has more than one #1 so far) and the Hot 100. Their latest single “Life Goes On” charted at #1 when it released on Nov 20, hot on the heels of “Savage Love (BTS remix)” in October and “Dynamite” in September. That makes one #1 hit per month!
On top of this impressive achievement is the fact that “Life Goes On” is the first predominantly Korean-language chart topper in the Hot 100’s 62-year history.
Both the #1 hits – “Life Goes On” and “Dynamite” – are from BTS’ latest album, BE, which was released on Nov 20. In fact, every single song from BE made it to the top 50 on both the Global 200 and Hot 100. “Blue & Grey” charted on the Global 200 at #9.
BTS wins big at the AMAs and MTV VMAs
BTS are no strangers to winning awards – especially the American Music Awards. For the 2020 AMAs, they clinched the Favorite Social Artist Award for the third consecutive year as well as the Favorite Pop/Rock Duo or Group for the second year in a row.
Back in August, BTS clinched their first huge win of four awards at the 2020 MTV VMAs, namely Best K-pop, Best Group, Best Choreography, and the prestigious Best Pop, which has never been won before by an Asian artist.
BTS performance locations in 2020 showcase the beauty of South Korea
Even though all their live concert performances have been shelved, leave it to BTS to still put on a good show – with or without an audience. Here’s a list of their performances in notable locations across South Korea:
- American Music Awards (Nov): BTS actually rented the entire Jamsil Stadium in Seoul to perform a full-scale production (including fireworks and ARMY bombs) of “Dynamite”.
- 2020 Billboard Music Awards (Oct): BTS performed “Dynamite” at Terminal 2 of Incheon International Airport, alongside a virtual band, with a breathtaking parting shot of an airplane flying above them.
- The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon (Sep): BTS performed “Idol” at the Gyeongbokgung Palace, arguably the most famous historic landmark of Seoul.
- America’s Got Talent (Sep): BTS performed at AGT’s semifinals, which was filmed at Everland, South Korea’s largest amusement park in Yongin, south of Seoul.
Suga the visionary
There is a saying in the BTS fandom, “what Suga wants, Suga gets.” Band member and rapper Suga has expressed desires to win a Daesang Award, topping the Billboard charts, and performing at the Grammys – all of which have materialised.
Also according to Suga: “The next goal is a Grammy award.”
Only time will tell is Suga’s wish will come true. Until then, ARMY can look forward to BTS’ performance on the New Year’s Eve Live Concert on Weverse. The show on Dec 31 will also feature other Big Hit artists such as NU’EST, GFriend, and TOMORROW x TOGETHER.