BTS (Korean: 방탄소년단; RR: Bangtan Sonyeondan), also known as the Bangtan Boys, is a seven-member South Korean boy band that began its formation in Seoul in 2010. The septet co-writes and produces much of their output. Originally a hip hop group, their musical style has evolved to include a wide range of genres.
Their lyrics, often focused on personal and social commentary, touch on the themes of mental health, troubles of school-age youth, loss, the journey towards loving oneself, and individualism.
The group initially formed as teenagers under Big Hit Entertainment and released their debut single album, 2 Cool 4 Skool (2013).
Subsequent work such as their first U.S. Billboard 200 entries The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Part 2 (2015), The Most Beautiful Moment in Life: Young Forever (2016), and Wings (2016) helped establish BTS‘ reputation as a socially conscious group. Wings became BTS‘ first album to sell one million copies in South Korea.
By 2017, BTS crossed into the international music market, leading the Korean Wave into the United States and breaking numerous sales records, becoming the first Korean group to receive a certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for their single “Mic Drop”.
The band is the first Korean act to top the Billboard 200 with their studio album Love Yourself: Tear (2018) and have since hit the top of the U.S. charts with their albums Love Yourself: Answer (2018) and Map of the Soul: Persona (2019), making BTS the first group since the Beatles to earn three number one albums in less than a year. Love Yourself: Answer also broke South Korea’s Gaon Album Chart’s all-time monthly record previously set by Love Yourself: Tear and became the first Korean album certified Platinum in the United States.