“I’m diamond, you know I glow up” 

And glow up they did. 

BTS (Bangtan Sonyeondan), the seven-member South Korean act composed of leader RM, rappers Suga and J-Hope, and vocalists Jin, Jimin, V, and Jungkook, has reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart with their latest single, ‘Dynamite’ in its first week of release. This milestone makes BTS the 43rd artist to debut a song at No. 1 and the first all South Korean group to do so. 

Forbes also reported that the hit-single sold over 265,000 copies on its first week, outselling the rest of the Top 50 Best Selling Songs in the U.S. for the said week — combined. 

Known for their messages of healing, comfort, hope and self-love as incorporated in their songs, BTS reiterated, prior to the song’s release, that they just wanted to give the energy back to the world during these difficult times. In an interview with the Associated Press (AP), RM admitted that the single was not even supposed to be released, as they were scheduled to be on tour. 

During the Online Global Media Day for Dynamite, they were asked why they were able to attract the general public with this particular song.

RM answered,

“It’s not something you can achieve only with fan support. When someone does something with sincerity it doesn’t always resonate with other people. I think Dynamite was more familiar because of the language as well as other elements. The language and disco pop were familiar to the American public. It is something that’s easy to sing and hum along with. It doesn’t have an overarching macro-level message. Sometimes, a simple message is what connects the most.” 

‘Dynamite’, the group’s first full-english song, was released on Friday, August 21 at 1pm (KST) and immediately conquered the world by storm. It broke the record for the biggest YouTube premiere with more than 3 million concurrent viewers and the record for most viewed video on the said platform, with a massive 101.1 million views, within the first 24 hours, as confirmed by YouTube and the Guinness World Records. 

From ‘No More Dream’ to ‘Dream Come True’ 

The day before Billboard’s announcement, the group got to perform Dynamite for the first time at the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) where they were nominated for ‘Best Group’, ‘Best K-pop Group’, ‘Best Pop’ and ‘Best Choreography’. They ended up winning all 4 nominations. 

With that, BTS is now the first and only Korean artist to have performed in all four major American music award shows namely: American Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, Recording Academy Grammy Awards, and MTV VMAs, respectively.

On Tuesday, September 1 around 2:42 a.m. (KST), Billboard dropped the announcement, just as their fans, ARMYs, from all over the world were celebrating Jungkook’s birthday. ARMYs and respected music artists including: The Weeknd, Jonas Brothers, Max Schneider, PSY and Eric Nam to name a few, sent their congratulatory messages via Twitter and Instagram after hearing the news. South Korean President Moon Jae-in offered his heartfelt congratulatory message in a tweet saying “(BTS is) writing a new chapter in K-pop history” and that “It will bring huge consolation to Koreans suffering from the national crisis caused by COVID-19.” 

The members were in shock and in tears as they flooded Twitter and Weverse with consecutive tweets and posts, celebrating their “dream come true” as Suga puts it. The septet also said this is the best birthday gift for Jungkook who reminded their fans that this is also their achievement. J-Hope also tweeted “ARMY needs to be congratulated too!” 

The morning after the announcement, all the members gathered for a V Live to celebrate the good news with everyone. As Jin said during the Media Day, “we want to share the good news with ARMY first.” 

Up to this day, the disco-pop chart topping tune continues to dominate the world music scene: earning over 100 Perfect All Kills (PAKs) on Korean streaming platforms (MelOn, Genie, Bugs, FLO and Vibe); over 300 million views on YouTube; and, over 100 million streams on Spotify. 

Just this Tuesday, September 8, Billboard announced that the hit remains on top of the Hot 100 Chart for the second week. In celebration, the group tweeted a video of them expressing their emotions (through screams as they seem to be in shock and somewhat speechless) with the caption “This is just… #우리아미상받았네” (trans. #OurARMYReceivedAnAward). Not long after their video broke the internet, they tweeted: “Teamwork makes the dream work” which has always been their motto, once again proving that they are men of their words. 

What’s Left in Store this 2020? 

After the huge successes of Map of the Soul: 7 and their Japanese album Map of the Soul: The Journey, and Agust D’s second mixtape D-2 earlier this year, the members revealed that they’re working on their upcoming album to be released later this year. Jungkook assured their fans, “We can’t reveal any details but you won’t be disappointed!” His statement was backed-up by Jimin saying that it will satisfy the varying tastes of ARMYs. 

V has also teased their fans on numerous occasions with snippets of his songs which are believed to be from his first mixtape which is expected to be released later this year too. 

BTS’ label, BigHit Entertainment also announced the upcoming movie Break the Silence: Persona in cinemas this September and their plans for the Map of the Soul ON:E which is scheduled on October 10-11 as a ‘simultaneous online streaming and offline performance event’. But because of the recent resurgence of COVID-19 group infections in metropolitan Seoul, the label is closely examining the situation. 

For ARMYs everywhere, there’s still much to look forward to this year. So grab a cup of milk… let’s rock and roll! 

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