BTS paved the way: A look into the group’s 8 milestone achievements

BTS after a Daesang sweep at the 2018 Melon Music Awards (Image via Twitter/bts_bighit)
BTS after a Daesang sweep at the 2018 Melon Music Awards (Image via Twitter/bts_bighit)

BTS has achieved unprecedented global success, something that most musical acts fail to achieve even domestically. They’ve truly paved the way not just for Korean musicians but for Asian artists in general. Despite having to fight racists and competing agencies who tried to knock them down a few pegs in the music industry, the group clawed their way in and now sit on the throne reserved for legends. Their influence is so significant that they have taken over the acronym BTS, which previously stood for behind the scenes.

The phrase "the first act to achieve" has almost become a synonym for the group given the various records they were the first to create or break. They were the first act to have four number one albums in a row on the Billboard 200 charts, or the first act to have over 600 PAKs in South Korea. In addition, the group became Japan's best-selling artist in 2021, making them the first foreign act to do so.

They've done the impossible at every turn and set a far too high standard for any other act to meet. BTS is in a league of their own, but they came from humble beginnings and accomplished everything without the assistance of the industry.

The group not only managed to turn their almost bankrupt agency Bighit Entertainment into the multi-billionaire corporation HYBE but also raised the economy of South Korea, bringing about 5 billion dollars annually to the country. BTS is responsible for the vast majority of tourism in the country.

For their immense contribution to spreading Korean culture across the world, they became the youngest recipients of the Order of Cultural Merit in 2018. This is also why they were chosen as ambassadors for the upcoming Busan World Expo in 2030.

BTS is invaluable not only to South Korea but also to the world. Every city where they hold their concerts sees a significant increase in economy and tourism, so cities such as Las Vegas transform into BTS themed cities to honour the living legends whenever they're in town.

Listing all of their accomplishments and milestones would take aeons, so let's focus on a few of their most notable achievements that have helped BTS become the legends they are today.

BTS’ global domination: 8 moments that prove the group’s unrivaled success

1) Daesang sweep

BTS has the most number of Daesangs or grand prizes in the Korean music industry. As of now, they have 65 trophies in their arsenal with more coming each year. They've won at least one award every year since 2016, and they've even had two Daesang sweeps in two years at the Melon Music Awards and three years at the Mnet Asian Music Awards. This demonstrates their dominance in the Korean music industry as well as their domestic popularity.

2) Most awarded artist at the KMAs

The Korean Music Awards (KMA), also known as the South Korean Grammys, are highly regarded in South Korea.

Korean music industry professionals and critics, like the Grammys, choose the award winners, who include both mainstream and underground artists. In 2018, BTS became the first K-pop group to be named Musician of the Year. In fact, they repeated this spectacular act in 2019 and 2021. BTS is also the most awarded artist by the Korean Music Awards.

3) Billboard domination

The group’s popularity was on the rise ever since 2017 with the release of their hit single DNA. Winning the Billboard Music Award for Top Social Artist marked a watershed moment in their careers. They won the award over big names like Justin Bieber and haven't lost a Top Social Artist award since. They've also won multiple times for Top Duo/Group and Top Selling Song.

In fact, the singers have taken over the BBMAs to become the most awarded group in history with 12 awards. They're also the first Asian act to have a song debut at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and they've done so with both a Korean and an English song. They've also debuted six albums at number one on the Billboard 200 album charts, which no other K-pop act has done. No other act is as well-known in the United States as BTS.

4) Grammy nominations

BTS created history by becoming the only Asian act to win Artist of the Year at the American Music Awards. The group was also the first Korean artist to be nominated for a Brit Award as well. However, the most awe-inspiring nomination that came BTS’ way was their Grammy nomination in 2021 for their global hit song Dynamite.

The Grammys are notoriously known for snubbing people of color, especially boy bands. The group was the first K-pop act to ever receive a nomination for the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance category. They repeated the feat the following year, when their song Butter was nominated in the same category. The group has also previously presented awards and performed at the same show.

5) Global takeover

BTS has not only taken over South Korea and the US but have solidified their positions as the Princes of Global Pop by dominating the world with their music. The group has the highest demand across all countries and continents when compared to any other musical act.

They are the only artists to win the IFPI Global Recording Artist of the Year award consecutively for both 2020 and 2021. They've also topped the album charts and made it to the top ten on the song charts. No other Asian act has achieved this feat. BTS has paved the way for other K-pop groups to have visibility around the world in the music industry.

6) Stadium tours

BTS has the hottest selling tour tickets in the world. All of their tickets are snapped up in a matter of minutes, and every venue is sold out, including the extra days added due to high demand.

For this reason, they had to upsize to stadiums to perform their tours. Even the most popular acts in the West would be terrified of performing at a stadium in their home country for fear of not selling out, but that is not the case for BTS.

The group went on a stadium tour called Love Yourself: Speak Yourself in 2019 and toured major stadiums all around the world such as Wembley Stadium in London and Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena. They sold out every show at every venue with a capacity of 60000-90000. Currently, they are one of the only musical acts in the world who can globally sell out multiple nights at stadiums.

7) Presidential Envoys

BTS was appointed as the Special Presidential Envoy for Future Generations and Culture by the former President of South Korea, Mr. Moon, in 2021. They were awarded with diplomatic passports and accompanied the President and his wife to the UNGA to give a speech about the struggles of “the Covid Generation”.

This was not BTS’ first rendezvous with the UN as they have previously spoken about their experiences and given voice to the youth as part of their UNICEF collaboration to END VIOLENCE at this prestigious organization in 2018. The septet's appointment as Presidential Envoys cemented their position as cultural and national assets, making them the next generation of leaders.

8) White House visit

In 2022 BTS was formally invited by US President Mr. Biden to give a speech at the White House for AAPI Heritage Month on anti-Asian hate crimes and Asian inclusivity. The group has been a victim of anti-Asian hate speech and vitriol in the US and other parts of the world. The group has previously spoken out about the rampant rise in hate crimes against Asians during the height of the pandemic.

They’ve also spoken out against the racism faced by black communities around the world and stood in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, donating one million dollars to the cause as well. Their White House visit received the most press the White House staff had seen in a long time, demonstrating the importance of youth icons speaking out about important issues to raise awareness.

BTS is the best-selling act in South Korea, the US and Japan. There isn’t a music related record in South Korea that the group probably hasn’t broken. They have repeatedly topped the world's top ten music markets and continue to outperform and outsell other artists globally. There has never been and will never be another BTS, and the group has made it clear that they are not going away any time soon.

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