Updated on Jan 9, 2020. Posted on Dec 31, 2019

    Here's How 2019 Became BTS's Most Successful Year (So Far)

    There's only more to come in 2020.

    If there's one thing I'm certain of at the end of 2019, it's that it was practically impossible to live through this year without hearing ~something~ about BTS.

    Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images

    At the end of 2018, Time magazine put the band on the cover and named them one of its "Next Generation Leaders". And they've only gone on to prove themselves worthy of that title — and more — ever since.

    NBC / giphy.com

    It's arguable that 2019 saw the group's seven members — RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook — become some of the most successful artists working in the music industry right now.

    And, if you still have questions, here are just a few of their most impressive achievements of the year...

    (If I listed them all, we'd literally be here till next decade.)

    1. In February, the band took to the Grammys red carpet for the first time and became the first Korean group to present an award on the famous stage.

    Neilson Barnard / Getty Images

    Their appearance at the show was such a big deal that the suits they wore — made by Korean designers JayBaek Couture and Kim Seo Ryong — are now on display at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles.

    If that weren't enough, in June the group was invited to join the Recording Academy, which means that (if they accept the invitation) they would be able to vote in next year's awards.

    2. The year kicked off for real for the band in April, when they teamed up with Halsey to release their record-breaking hit "Boy With Luv".

    BigHit Entertainment / giphy.com

    The song was certified platinum in June, and it holds the record for the most Korean music show wins this century.

    Oh, and the music video was viewed almost 75 million times in its first 24 hours, meaning "Boy With Luv" had the biggest first-day viewership in YouTube history.

    Yes, we're still running the numbers, but we can confirm that #BoyWithLuv (ft. @Halsey) is now *officially* the most-viewed 24 hour debut in @YouTube history!! Congratulations @bts_bighit 🎉 Enjoy @nbcsnl tonight!

    3. Then came their album Map of the Soul: Persona — and with it a whole bunch more records.

    BigHit Entertainment

    Not only did it debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, but it became the group's third album to do so in less than a year after the success of 2018's Love Yourself: Tear and Love Yourself: Answer.

    It also made BTS the first Korean act to have No. 1 albums in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand.

    In less than a month, Persona became the highest-selling album in South Korea's history, selling more than 3 million copies and surpassing Kim Gun-mo's 1995 album Wrongful Encounter.

    NBC / giphy.com

    4. They became the first group since the Beatles to achieve three No. 1 albums in less than a year, and comparisons to the iconic British group were ~everywhere~.

    During an appearance on the Late Show in May, BTS paid tribute with a performance mirroring the Beatles' 1964 performance of "Twist & Shout", which was filmed in the same theatre.

    At a press conference celebrating their sold-out Wembley Stadium shows in June (we'll get to that later), Suga said there was a "certain level of pressure" that comes with being called the 21st-century Beatles.

    "We want to make our place as Bangtan Sonyeondan," he said. "We want to be the 21st-century BTS."

    5. They didn't slow down, though — BTS then became the first-ever South Korean act to appear as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live.

    NBC / giphy.com

    It's safe to say the appearance got them a bunch of new fans; search terms like "guy with the pink hair" and "guy with the blue hair" began popping up all over Twitter (that's Jimin and Taehyung, respectively, if you're curious).

    You can watch — or rewatch — their performances of "Boy With Luv" and "Mic Drop" on SNL's YouTube channel.

    6. And ~then~ they were named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people of 2019.

    .@halsey on @BTS_twt: “Behind those three letters are seven astounding young men who believe that music is stronger than the barriers of language. It’s a universal dialect” #TIME100 https://t.co/GPZ6jzzBYe

    The title was accompanied by a touching tribute written by their friend, fan, and collaborator Halsey.

    "Outwardly, they are polished and professional, but hours of laughter, secret handshakes, and gifts exchanged show those around them that underneath this show-stopping, neatly groomed movement are just some guys who love music, one another, and their fans," she wrote.

    7. In May, they became the first-ever Korean act to be nominated for — oh, and to win — the award for Top Duo or Group at the Billboard Music Awards.

    Amy Sussman / Getty Images

    They also won the Social Artist Award for the third year in a row and went on to repeat the feat at the American Music Awards in November, where they were also honoured with the award for Tour of the Year.

    8. In June, they brought their Love Yourself tour to London, where they performed two sold-out nights at the iconic Wembley Stadium.

    BigHit Entertainment

    The shows were historic — the band became the first Korean act to perform at the venue, and they sold out the first show in 90 minutes. The concert was livestreamed on VLive to fans around the world for 33,000₩ (just under $30).

    The tour — which was a stadium extension to 2018's Love Yourself tour — was announced in February and took BTS all over the world, from the Rose Bowl in LA to Allianz Parque in São Paulo, Brazil, and Stade de France near Paris.

    9. And they closed out the tour in spectacular fashion in October, returning home to South Korea with three shows at Seoul's Olympic Stadium.

    BigHit Entertainment

    The three dates sold out in minutes, and all 130,000 tickets were priced at 110,000₩ (approximately $95 USD), ensuring that every fan in the stadium was offered an equal opportunity to purchase their tickets at the same price. Again, the first night was streamed in HD on VLive, and this time the second show was broadcast live in cinemas in South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and on a delay of a few hours in select cinemas in the US.

    In the hours before the shows, the area around the stadium was transformed into a BTS festival where fans could enjoy photo zones and food-and-drink stands, and every person was handed a special BTS x Fila blanket upon entry to keep warm.

    The concerts themselves were nothing short of phenomenal, featuring fireworks to rival Disneyland's and a show in the sky consisting of 300 drones which took the form of planets, followed by the BTS and ARMY logos.

    they turned seoul’s sky into a galaxy 🥺

    10. In November, BTS became the first-ever act to win all four daesangs (grand prizes) at a Korean end-of-year awards show. And then, a few days later, they did it again.

    At both the Melon Music Awards and the MNet Asian Music Awards, BTS took home the trophies for Artist, Album, Song, and Record of the Year. No other act has ever done that. I cannot stress this enough.

    If that weren't enough, they basically turned the MMA stage into a BTS concert, with an epic performance that lasted almost 40 minutes and celebrated their entire discography.

    11. And BTS are about to end 2019 with a performance on another iconic stage — in Times Square for Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve.

    Kevin Winter / Getty Images

    We don't know for sure yet what BTS have in store for us in 2020, but we've had some teasers. During their Group of the Year acceptance speech at Variety's Hitmakers event, Namjoon said they have new music coming in the "near future".

    E! / giphy.com

    And then there's this highly mysterious half of a poster, tweeted by their label on Christmas Eve alongside only two pieces of information: April 2020 and "Tour".

    Whatever happens next, there's no doubt 2019 has been BTS's biggest year so far — and I can't wait to see them reach new heights in 2020. 💜

    Ellie Bate is a celebrity reporter and talent coordinator at BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.

    Contact Ellie Bate at eleanor.bate@buzzfeed.com.

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