Summary: As representatives of K-pop, the iconic group BTS is about to celebrate their 10th anniversary on the 13th. BTS has garnered explosive popularity worldwide, transcending Korea and Asia to America and Europe, thus expanding the horizons of K-pop. This special report looks into their 10-year journey, their significance, secrets of success, interviews with their producers and fans.

The group BTS is celebrating its 10th anniversary on the 13th.

Making their debut on June 13th, 2013, with a 'Hip-Hop Idol' concept, BTS has climbed to the top of K-pop with a string of hits like 'I NEED U', 'Fire', 'Blood Sweat & Tears', and 'Spring Day'.

Starting in 2018, they have made new records, becoming the first K-pop group to top the Billboard 200, scripting a new chapter in Korean pop culture history.

#Seven 'Rebels', Soaring with the Army

According to K-pop circles, BTS, debuting in 2013, gained attention as a hip-hop group fostered by renowned producer Bang Si-hyuk. Their team name embodies the profound meaning of 'boys blocking oppression and prejudice towards teenagers'.

BTS, initially having a strong 'rebellious' image, gradually built up a fanbase through relatable music, dazzling performances, and approachable interactions.

A passionate and tightly-knit fandom 'Army' was formed primarily among the 'Millennial generation' and as this fandom grew immensely, they started making a name in mainstream pop market.

From 2020, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, BTS's streak of impressive records has been so substantial that one could say it's the 'era of BTS'.

Their 4th full album 'MAP OF THE SOUL : 7', released in February that year, sold over 4 million copies and conquered all the top charts of the five major global music markets (US, Japan, UK, Germany, France).

Their English songs 'Dynamite' and 'Butter' topped the coveted US Billboard's main single chart, the 'Hot 100'.

In doing so, BTS shattered the prejudice that K-pop couldn't succeed in Western markets and solidified their position as world-class pop stars.

They were the first in the history of Korean pop music to be nominated for the 'Grammy Awards', and in 2021, they won the equivalent of the grand prize, the 'Artist of the Year' at the 'American Music Awards' (AMAs).

The performance at the 'Grammy Awards', where BTS was seen whispering to popular pop star Olivia Rodrigo, and the commemorative photo frenzy by top stars like Jon Batiste, Lady Gaga, John Legend, and Megan Thee Stallion were just a testament to their global status.

Furthermore, BTS left a distinct footprint in pop culture history with a wide range of activities, such as speeches at the UN General Assembly, receiving the Hwagwan Order of Cultural Merit, holding solo concerts at UK's Wembley Stadium and US's Sofi Stadium, and visiting the White House in the US.

#"BTS, the Vanguard of K-pop's Global Expansion"

Experts believe that BTS's success has secured an 'entry route' for K-pop to be loved in the global market.

Kim Jin-woo, Senior Research Fellow at Circle Chart, stated, "BTS has paved the way in the global market, making it easier for other agencies to also expand overseas. They've played a pivotal role in K-pop's global expansion."

He further added, "The fact that the American Music Awards created a new category for K-pop is evidence of its elevated status, largely due to their accomplishments."

Renowned pop music critic, Im Jin-mo, added, "The past decade of BTS has not only been a leap in the group's history but also a period of exponential growth for K-pop. Post-BTS, groups like Blackpink and NCT have seen considerable success."

He further emphasized, "BTS has made a significant contribution to K-pop becoming a leading music genre worldwide. This achievement is particularly laudable as it was not due to capital from large agencies, but the passion and unwavering determination of the members themselves."

Professor Lee Kyu-taek of Korea's George Mason University underscored, "The BTS phenomenon has instilled confidence that the Hallyu wave is not a fleeting trend."

#Temporary Hiatus Due to Military Service: Global Army Awaits 2025

After releasing their anthology album 'Proof' last June and their concert in Busan in October, BTS has taken a temporary break from their group activities.

Starting with the eldest member, Jin, in December last year, and J-Hope in April this year, the members have begun fulfilling their national defense duties, with other members planning to enlist sequentially.

Despite this, BTS members continue to shine in their individual careers, with achievements like topping the Billboard 'Hot 100' as a solo artist (Jimin), performing at the 2022 Qatar World Cup OST and opening ceremony (Jungkook), a solo album world tour (Suga), and appearances on TV shows (RM and V).

Fans worldwide, known as the Army, are now looking forward to 2025, the year predicted by their agency, HYBE, for their return as a group.

Professor Lee Kyu-taek speculated, "Famous bands like U2 have been active for over 40 years, demonstrating their enduring presence by touring and releasing albums. I predict BTS will follow a similar path."

He further forecasted, "They'll likely continue to assert their presence by focusing on concerts, releasing albums, and expanding their individual musical worlds through solo activities."