You’ve probably heard BTS’ second English-language single “Butter” on the radio, or maybe you’ve heard the song’s remix with Megan Thee Stallion on TikTok.
BTS is a global K-pop phenomenon. In 2020, the group became the first K-pop act to receive a Grammy nomination with their hit "Dynamite." This year, nominated for best pop duo/group performance for “Butter,” BTS could become the first K-pop group to snag a Grammy.
The nominations are a sliver in their record-breaking history. Among their accomplishments? BTS was the first K-pop group to reach No. 1 on Billboard 200, and holds the Guinness record for the fastest time taken to reach one million fans on TikTok. They are the first group since the Beatles to earn three No. 1-charting albums in a single year.
Get to know the chart-topping boy band ahead of their Grammy performance Sunday. Keep in mind the group may be smaller than usual. On March 29, BTS' management company BigHit Music said BTS member Jungkook tested positive for COVID, four days after band mate J-Hope was announced to have a confirmed case. No word on whether the K-Pop stars will join for the performance.
Who is BTS?
BTS is a seven-member K-pop boy band assembled by K-pop producer Bang Shi Hyuk of Big Hit Entertainment.
Known for their style and signature synchronized dancing, BTS is made of seven 20-something singers and rappers, including frontman RM (whose real name is Kim Nam Joon), Jungkook (Jeon Jung Kook), V (Kim Tae Hyung), Suga (Min Yoon Gi), Jin (Kim Seok Jin), Jimin (Park Ji Min) and J-Hope (Jung Ho Seok).
The group debuted in the summer of 2013 with the hip-hop song "No More Dream." Their sound has gone through distinct eras since then. The release of "Wings" in 2017 marked the third BTS era, which was notable because each member had his own solo song. "Dynamite," released in 2020, was their first English-language single.
They’ve collaborated with artists like Sia, Halsey, Megan Thee Stallion, and Troye Sivan for recent albums and appear on Coldplay’s 2021 “Music of The Spheres" and Lauv’s 2020 "How I'm Feeling."
What’s in a name? The meaning behind the acronym
BTS is an acronym which has two meanings. As the group explained during an appearance on the Graham Norton Show in 2018, the name means "beyond the scene" in English, and "Bangtan Sonyeondan" in Korean, which translates to "Bulletproof Boy Scouts."
Their 'ARMY' is strong
BTS fans call themselves the ARMY. The official fandom name is also an acronym: It stands for Adorable Representative M.C. for Youth.
Their group's fanbase spans the globe, and is especially palpable on social media. BTS holds the Guinness World Record for most Twitter engagements in 2019. The group has over 38 million followers on Twitter and almost 62 million followers on Instagram, the most for any music group, per Guinness World Records. All seven band members got their own Instagram accounts in 2021.
The fans' vocal support led to BTS ending Justin Bieber's six-year streak for Billboard’s Top Social Artist in 2017, and winning the award every year since. Their presence is more tangible if you ever attend a concert, and you hear the ARMY's fan chants, sung in coordination to the songs.
"They are the most special people," RM said of the ARMY during an appearance on the Late Show With Stephen Colbert. V added, "Our fans are the best. They are our motivation."
They’ve spoken out about climate change, youth activism and COVID-19 vaccines
BTS has spoken in front of world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly three times (once virtual). The first time was in 2018 to promote the launch of Generation Unlimited, a UNICEF campaign built to empower young people to seek education and build careers and confidence.
In September, BTS returned to the General Assembly at its SDG Moment to spotlight sustainable development goals. Invited by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, the group talked about climate change and confirmed they had been vaccinated against COVID-19.
"Butter" is their second English-language single
You could say the single, which came out in 2021, is "smooth like butter," as the lyrics go. Speaking to Billboard, RM said "Butter" is all "positive vibes" and "upbeat energy."
Have the chorus memorized ahead of their Grammys performance, so you can feel like a member of the ARMY: "Side step, right, left to my beat / High like the moon, rock with me, baby / Know that I got that heat / Let me show you ‘cause talk is cheap / Side step, right, left to my beat / Get it, let it roll."