Yesterday, South Korean boy band BTS, which stands for Bangtan Sonyeondan (or Bulletproof Boyscouts in English), took home the Top Social Artist Award at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards, which was solely voted for by fans.
When news of the group’s BBMAs nomination first spread many doubted that they would win it. Even their record label (Big Hit) owner, Bang Si Hyuk, said it was an honour for them to be nominated but that they would most likely not win. This was because they were up against popular North American artists such as Shawn Mendes, Arianna Grande, Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber, who had won the award every year since it was created. Nevertheless, BTS started leading the race from the get-go thanks to the effort their loyal and dedicated fanbase (ARMY) put in.
It could be argued that the group’s popularity stems from their authenticity, especially found in their lyrics which tell their own stories and which many fans can easily identify with. For instance, Suga and Rap Monster have made songs about mental health problems and many of the band’s songs focus on issues that today’s youth experience. Moreover, in their album “Wings”, each member also got a solo song that was personal to them.
However, what also has contributed to their popularity and secured win yesterday is the how they always stay connected to their fans through social media. For example, they currently have shows like BTS Gayo and Run BTS! where they complete tasks such as roleplays or quizzes, which are entertaining and reveal each members’ personality. Furthermore, in the past, they also had shows such as Rookie King, similar to their current shows, BTS Bon Voyage, where they went on a trip together, and America Hustle Life, where they went to the USA to learn more about hip-hop. They even just chat to fans through V-Live (a livestream app owned by the Korean corporation Naver) and on their Fancafe.
In fact, BTS is so active on social media that they spoke to their fans through Periscope and V-Live during the event to thank them yesterday. It’s no wonder the group won the BBMAs Top Social Artist Award by a clear margin. BTS seems to be taking the world by storm. I can only wish them good luck for the future.