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BTS pauses for breath amid 'Military Service Break'

Posted June. 10, 2023 08:39,   

Updated June. 10, 2023 08:39


After nearly a decade of continuous activity, BTS has decided to take a well-deserved break. The announcement was made during their YouTube special, 'Real BTS Dinner,’ on the band's 9th anniversary in June last year. The band members expressed their exhaustion, metaphorically likening themselves to overworked machines.

Since its debut in June 2013, the septet has been on an unstoppable journey. They made headlines in May 2017, by bagging an award at the Billboard Music Awards, and in May 2018, they achieved another milestone as the first Korean act to top the Billboard Main Album Chart, the 'Billboard 200'. In September 2020, they rewrote history when 'Dynamite' became the first Korean song to top the Billboard Main Single Chart, the 'Hot 100.' Success followed them into 2021, with consecutive 'Hot 100' chart-toppers - 'Butter' in June and 'Permission to Dance' in July.

Amid their extraordinary achievements, BTS also used their platform to spread a 'positive influence.' In September 2021, they addressed the UN General Assembly, offering solace to people worldwide grappling with COVID-19. Moreover, they made a historic visit to the White House in May last year, meeting with President Joe Biden.

After announcing the hiatus, the band referred to their upcoming endeavors as 'Chapter 2.' Member J-Hope requested fans and the public to “view the hiatus as a 'healthy plan,’ a necessary step for the group to recharge and strengthen.

Following the group's announcement, members have embarked on solo projects, releasing individual albums and producing personal YouTube content. Notably, Jimin hit the 'Hot 100' again with his first solo album in April of this year. The eldest member, Jin, enlisted for mandatory military service last December, followed by J-Hope in April.

Despite some members' military enlistments, BTS maintains a strong connection with their fandom, known as 'ARMY.’ They have continued releasing new songs featuring all seven members, recorded before enlisting. Recently, the band unveiled 'The Planet,’ followed by 'Take Two,’ released on Friday to celebrate their 10th debut anniversary.

The remaining five members are expected to fulfill their military duties sequentially. In response, their agency, HYBE, is actively seeking alternatives to fill the hiatus. Bang Si-hyuk, the chairman of HYBE, stated, “Alternatives need to be developed regardless of whether the members are available,” hinting at plans such as the introduction of a multi-label system and expansion of the fan platform 'Weverse' in a lecture delivered at the Kwanghun Forum in March. These plans are intended to ensure the continuation of music and fan engagement, irrespective of BTS's temporary absence.