Photo: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images
BTS at the 2020 GRAMMYs
BTS Cancel 2020 Map Of The Soul World Tour Dates Due To COVID-19 Restrictions
The North American leg of the K-pop superstars' 2020 tour, originally slated to begin in April, was already postponed last month—now all upcoming dates have been put on hold due to the coronavirus crisis
All shows for BTS' Map of the Soul 2020 World Tour have been put on hold due to coronavirus concerns. New dates will be announced at a later time, for whenever it is safe to gather huge crowds again. While no one can currently predict exactly when that date will be, the BTS Army received some good news today, in the form of a trailer and release date for the group's new docuseries, "Break The Silence."
"The decision has been made to completely reschedule the 'Map of the Soul' tour, originally scheduled to begin in April 2020," Big Hit Entertainment, the South Korean label who manages the K-pop powerhouse act said today, April 28, via a statement translated by K-pop news outlet Soompi.
The tour was originally slated to begin in their home country in April with four nights in Seoul. Per Soompi, these dates were canceled back in February due to the emerging danger of coronavirus. The North American leg of the tour was set to begin in late April, but those dates were put on hold in late March, to be "rescheduled at a later date." The summer dates across Europe and Japan, previously set to wrap up in September, were still on the books until today.
"This tour involves the participation of staff and crew from around the world as well as global logistics systems. While there are certain countries, regions, and cities where conditions have improved, including Korea, it is difficult to make the decision to begin the tour based on these recent developments. Due to the nature of BTS concerts involving travel by thousands of international fans no matter where the performances are held, it is also difficult to resume the tour with the current strict restrictions on cross-border movement still in place. Moreover, it is impossible at this time to predict when the first performance marking the start of the tour will be able to begin," the statement continued.
"Therefore, we have made the difficult decision to suspend the previously-announced tour schedule and develop a new schedule. Big Hit Entertainment will completely reschedule the tour and provide a new tour schedule to our fans as soon as it becomes clear when the tour can begin. This may require considerable time as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve. However, we will work to ensure that BTS and their fans will be able to meet each other as soon as they can. We will also create new ways for our artists to engage with their fans and respond to the 'New normal' while we wait to resume activities halted by COVID-19."
Earlier this month, the band brought their energy and music (virtually) to fans homes with their streaming home concert series, "BANG BANG CON," where they aired past concerts as far back at 2014. Today, they revealed more exclusive concert footage and behind-the-scenes content is on the way in the form of their new docuseries, set to air on Korean app WeVerse on May 12. You can see all seven smiling faces in the trailer below—where you also get a taste of how massive the crowds they draw really are.
BTS' latest album is Map Of The Soul: 7, released on Feb. 21, the project the tour is in support of. Less than a month before that highly anticiapted fourth studio album dropped, the lovable septet brought "Seoul Town Road" to the 2020 GRAMMYs stage with their fiery performance during Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road" spectacular—rewatch it below.
6 Takeaways From 'BTS Monuments: Beyond The Star'
In honor of BTS' 10th anniversary, Disney+ released 'BTS Monuments: Beyond the Star.' Two of the eight episode docuseries are available to stream; read on for a deeper look at the septet's history, accomplishments, and behind-the-scenes moments.
Today, it’s hard to avoid BTS. You might have heard their GRAMMY-nominated singles "Dynamite" and "Butter" playing at a random store. Maybe you learned about another record they broke in the news. Or, you probably know at least one person in their passionate, loyal fanbase, also known as Army.
But before there was BTS, the international sensation, there was Kim Seok-jin (Jin), Min Yoon-gi (Suga), Jung Ho-seok (J-Hope), Kim Nam-joon (RM), Park Ji-min (Jimin), Kim Tae-hyung (V), and Jeon Jung-kook (Jung Kook), seven hopefuls from across South Korea with one dream and thousands of hours of dedication to their craft.
A decade ago, it might have seemed impossible for a group like BTS to be at the top in their home country — let alone one of the biggest groups on the planet. In Korea, it was only likely to become successful if you had one of the legacy names, such as SM Entertainment, backing you, and they came from the virtually unknown Big Hit Entertainment (now Big Hit Music under conglomerate HYBE).
Year after year, the septet defied odds, from winning Best New Artist at the esteemed Melon Music Awards in 2013 to earning Top Social Artist across the globe at the Billboard Music Awards consecutively between 2017 and 2021. They have amassed 26 Guinness World Records and became the first Korean act to receive multiple nods from the GRAMMYs.
In honor of their 10th anniversary as BTS, Disney+ released BTS Monuments: Beyond the Star. The docuseries offers a deeper look at the septet's massive accomplishments, tracing back to their initial auditions in 2010. The first two of eight episodes are available to stream now.
Below, discover everything we learned thus far about the icons in their latest docuseries, BTS Monuments: Beyond the Star.
The BTS Grind Never Stops
You see their flawless choreography, calculated facial expressions and glamorous outfits, but you never know the amount of preparation it takes to get there.
For example, BTS rehearsed the lead single, "Danger," from their debut studio album, Dark & Wild, until the wee hours of the morning for weeks. They then traveled to Los Angeles to promote the single and, despite Big Hit’s unstable financial state, implemented a huge budget to produce the music video. The goal was to win the television competition "SBS Inkigayo."
"As expected, we didn’t place first and left the charts in a day," RM remarks in the episode.
The intense training and dieting caused them to question if their slow traction was worth the battle. "To be honest, I didn’t think this was fun in the past," Jin tearfully mentioned in a 2013 fan meeting. "There were a lot of things they couldn’t get started because they weren’t sure what path we were on."
Through their frustrations, BTS never gave up, and eventually, the perseverance led to their first mega-hits, "I Need U" and "Fire" in 2017. They obtained their desired results and still never decreased their work ethic, which skyrocketed their career to an even higher level. "We’ve always worked hard, whether there was a crisis or not," Jin explains.
Everyone Had Their Unique Strengths
What makes BTS a powerhouse is that each member had a clear-cut reason they joined, and as Suga notes, it took "countless" changes to perfect it into the current lineup.
According to HYBE chairman and the group’s creator, Bang Si-hyuk, he was impressed by RM’s "depth of character and base of knowledge"; Suga had a unique sarcastic, dark side; J-Hope was "the personification of diligence" and a strong dancer; Jin’s handsome features would easily attract a fandom; Jung Kook had "a lot" of potential; V was effortlessly charming; and Jimin was instantly talented and intrigued the team.
They’re More Than Colleagues — They’re Family
It’s common for manufactured groups not to bond beyond the stage. However, BTS see themselves more like family than co-workers.
Showing up for one another’s personal affairs was second nature. Without question, they watched Jung Kook enter high school, taking photos and teasing their younger brother, or maknae. The docuseries also flashes back to J-Hope’s surprise birthday party, where the six created a sentimental video of his family.
"I had found my place," J-Hope shares. "I believe that [joining BTS] was the most fateful moment of my life."
Being A K-Pop Idol Wasn’t Always Respected
For many aspiring musicians, especially those of Asian heritage, becoming an idol is the ultimate goal. You completely surrender to your art, spending nearly every waking hour doing what you love. If you’re lucky enough to debut at a company like HYBE, you will undoubtedly join the ranks of K-pop’s most influential. Better than anyone else, BTS knows that wasn’t always the case.
"There was a strong negative view of idols," Suga recounts of their breakthrough EP The Most Beautiful Moment in Life. "Nowadays, we are acknowledged for our achievements and performances overseas, but it was a really agonizing time for us back then. We had a lot of unreasonable controversies."
They became "desperate and spiteful," but because of the support from the Army, they overcame the rough patch and switched the narrative. As a thank you to their fans, they wrote "2! 3!" to say, "Let’s forget it all."
The United States Was A Turning Point In Their Career
By 2016, BTS knew they were stars in Korea. They performed in the biggest venue at the time, the Olympic Gymnastics Arena, with a capacity of 25,000 people. They won the Mnet Asian Music Awards' most coveted honor: Artist Of The Year.
"In a movie, the credits would start rolling. At that point, we’d done everything we could as Korean artists," Suga says with a laugh. So, what’s next? Conquer the rest of the world.
The following year, BTS performed at the Billboard Music Awards, certain that nothing would come of it. To their surprise, they won Top Social Artist, which had previously only been awarded to Justin Bieber.
"It was the start of raising people’s awareness of us as the group BTS," RM reveals. Things continued to snowball: they performed at the American Music Awards and dropped a remix with Steve Aoki.
By early 2022, BTS were making history. The group performed their smash hit "Butter" onstage at the 64th GRAMMY Awards.
They Believe In The Power Of Art
When the pandemic began in 2020, entertainment was the first sacrifice. "‘Concerts may never be held again. People are unable to gather,’" Suga recalls hearing on broadcasts. They began to wonder if there was a point in releasing music.
After two years of self-reflection and improvement, they knew COVID-19 could not be the end. Music gave them purpose. "That was the driving force," J-Hope says. "I wasn’t completely aware of how important music and dancing was to me. I realized that I shouldn’t take it all for granted."
The lockdown also showed them the impact Army had on their lives. They motivated them to keep going because they knew how much the band meant to their fans. They witnessed it constantly when they saw the fervent cheers and tears on tour. BTS has brought together millions of people. As Namjoon promises, "Art can change the world," and "Music transcends languages, nationalities and races."
Photo: SOURCE MUSIC
Global Spin Live: LE SSERAFIM Spends A "Perfect Night" With Fans On The GRAMMY Museum Stage
K-pop quintet LE SSERAFIM hit the GRAMMY Museum stage for an energetic live performance of "Perfect Night," their latest English single.
For the rising K-pop girl group LE SSERAFIM, their most “Perfect Night” might consist of partying with your closest friends from dusk to dawn. Or, in this case, spending an evening in Los Angeles with their loyal fanbase, FEARNOT.
In this episode of Global Spin Live, watch the quintet light up the GRAMMY Museum stage with a premiere performance of their latest single. They take turns at the center before quickly positioning into a new formation.
“I got all I need/ You know nothing else can beat/ The way that I feel when I'm dancin' with my girls,” they cheer in the chorus. “Perfect energy/ Yeah, we flawless, yeah, we free/ There's no better feelin' in the whole wide world.”
Released on Oct. 27, "Perfect Night" is LE SSERAFIM's first all-English track, co-written by member HUH YUNJIN. The group teamed up with the video game 'Overwatch 2' to create the animations for the music video; they later promoted the track at the gaming convention BlizzCon 2023.
Global Spin Live is held in conjunction with GRAMMY Museum and GRAMMY.com as a live extension of the popular online series Global Spin, showcasing Global Music artists. Press play on the video above to watch LE SSERAFIM's infectious performance of "Perfect Night," and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of Global Spin.
ZEROBASEONE's Big Year: From Winning "Boys Planet" To The World Stage
The nine-member K-pop act have seen a stratospheric rise over the past year. GRAMMY.com spoke with ZB1 about the most exciting moments of their career and their recently released EP, 'Melting Point.'
Rising K-pop stars ZEROBASEONE have experienced a rapid transition from boy group hopefuls to full-blown idols. While they're full speed ahead promoting their latest EP, Melting Point, it's necessary to turn back the clock and go into the very beginning to fully grasp how their growth has been unfolding.
Last fall, Zhang Hao, Kim Taerae, Sung Hanbin, Seok Matthew, Ricky, Park Gunwook, Kim Gyuvin, Kim Jiwoong, and Han Yujin received an announcement that changed the course of their personal journey: they were accepted into "Boys Planet," a televised K-pop survival series. This platform would introduce more than 90 idol trainees, each of whom strived for the opportunity to debut in a boy group.
Each week of the competition was an uphill climb, but the nine singers were resilient. ZEROBASEONE (shortened as ZB1) emerged as the victors of "Boys Planet," voted by hundreds of thousands of fans around the world who watched them unlock their artistic potential that drafted sky-high expectations.
That summer, the multicultural ensemble from South Korea, China, and Canada released their first mini album, Youth In The Shade. The six-track collection was helmed by "In Bloom," which alludes to the sentiments of flourishing despite the finite nature of a path. "Nothing lasts forever," they sing in the pre-chorus, later reassuring: "But I can change that, my fate."
It was a captivating entry into the world of K-pop and is now the best-selling debut record in K-pop history with almost two million copies sold to date — a milestone that elevated them as "monster rookies." And as such, in true K-pop fashion, they have been busy.
ZEROBASEONE have graced the covers of some of the most prestigious South Korean magazines, made television appearances and circled the globe, all while preparing for Melting Point. In addition to their first performances in Europe, Japan and the U.S., ZB1 performed at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, an event that sold out in a matter of minutes.
But what makes ZB1 truly shine is their essence as artists and individuals. "We have become one," Seok Matthew tells GRAMMY.com over a video call from Seoul. "I just get these random feelings that make me think how grateful [I am] that I got to be a part of this group, and that I have these eight amazing members beside me."
Before ZEROBASEONE continues forging ahead with Melting Point, the group spent some time reminiscing about their big year. From how far they've come since "Boys Planet," to fully stepping into their new facet as K-pop idols, this is the initial stride of nine youngsters etching a future together.
The following interview has been edited for clarity.
Winning Big On "Boys Planet"
Seok Matthew: To be honest, I didn’t even think I was going to pass the audition for "Boys Planet" because I went from company to company [when I was a trainee]. But, when I did get in, I was super happy because I found that Hanbin hyung also got accepted [into the show], and that made me feel a lot more relieved. I didn't have high hopes and I knew it was going to be a fierce competition…but he made me feel like I could go into this with a bit more confidence than I would have if I didn't go with him.
Sung Hanbin: When I met [my fellow ZB1 members] as trainees, I could tell from their eyes that they were not expecting "Boys Planet" to be hugely popular. We were all there because we just wanted to show off our potential and present something we hadn't been able to share with the world.
We cannot forget about all the hard work from the program's producers, writers, and all staff members, but on top of that, all trainees' passion is what I believe made the program do so well.
Kim Gyuvin: "Boys Planet'' was the program that made the dreams we have been desiring for a long time come true. I think it was the first step for us to receive the Rookie Of The Year awards [at The Fact Music Awards and the K-Global Heart Dream Awards], which [are] not easy to come by, so we are very thankful and feel extremely fortunate to receive that. "Boys Planet'' really served as a stepping stone for us, and I would say it was truly a life-changing experience.
Officially Becoming ZEROBASEONE
Park Gunwook: The realization [that my life was about to change] came pretty soon because after the final episode aired, we went to the dorm where we were going to live together. It was very exciting to learn that I was going to be starting my group activities and living together with these members that I love and respect so much. I felt like my stomach was full of butterflies every time I thought about that.
Ricky: For me, even before the final lineup was out, we already knew that "Boys Planet'' was getting bigger than we thought it would be. Honestly, I wasn’t not sure if I was going to make it into the group, so the moment my name was called, and I went upstairs to sit in [one of the] top nine chairs, I thought, Oh, this is a big turning point in my life.
Kim Jiwoong: Something I want to mention is that we are a very funny group. [Laughs.] I think it shines through the content that we share with our fans and the general public, and they are getting to know a different side of ZEROBASEONE.
Something that I learned by being close with the members is that I'm really cute — even more than I expected. [Laughs.] I'm the oldest member in the group and as I spend more time with the younger members, I find more pure and childish sides of me that I didn't even know. My relationship with the members has made me feel like a flower that is just blooming, and I'm glad I get to enjoy my youth with them.
Making A Statement At KCON Japan
Zhang Hao: It was our first [official] performance as ZEROBASEONE, and we wanted to show who we are as a group to the world. We wanted to demonstrate what we could do as artists because people have been seeing us since we were trainees, and now we are a debut group. I truly think that the KCON Japan performance was my life’s turning point because it announced the birth of ZEROBASEONE in front of everyone.
Kim Taerae: After we finished the performance, I felt very proud of our group because I think we did well. I also thought that we have a long way to go, and [I know] that we can do better, so we need to work even harder… and truly grow as artists while maintaining our youth and beginner's minds. That was something I was looking forward to right after coming off the stage.
Seok Matthew: I just remember vividly that we got to play with the fans, and we were handing out all these gifts to them. Everyone was having such a great time and I felt like we were actually giving back all the love that they gave us.
At the end of KCON, we all went to the stage to say goodbye [to the audience], and we got to see our sunbaenims [senior groups] we have always admired…it was really an honor. I think that was the big point for us where, after we finished our performance, we thought, wow, I can't believe we just did that. At that point, that's when we were like, "we need to get as good as our sunbaenims."
Releasing Their Debut EP, Youth In The Shade, & Continuing To Grow
Han Yujin: On our debut day, I remember looking at the members and feeling absolutely proud of each and every one of them. And I had this thought that if we work harder, we are going to succeed and improve to be even better. I could just feel it. I also thought that, personally, I wanted to work even harder to resemble my amazing hyungs [older members]. I've been enjoying every single day since our debut.
Sung Hanbin: We chose this path because we've been enjoying the process and we love what we do. While preparing for Youth In The Shade, I learned that there are so many more things to learn — and it's not just about improving ourselves as performers, but also building our experience, attitude, and stage [presence].
We also need to consider our relationship with other seniors and colleagues as well, which I think is essential in this industry. The most important thing that I learned and I'm still figuring out is to be open about new things and grow every day.
Performing At Seoul's Gocheok Sky Dome
Han Yujin: I remember stepping out [to the stage] for the opening song, which was "Back to ZEROBASE." As we started singing the very first part of the song, the door in front of us opened and we were able to see all the audience cheering for us. It was just a very grand moment and I felt overwhelmed and somewhat emotional as well.
It immediately motivated me to give my best throughout the whole concert. I think that specific memory of just being on that stage for the first time and seeing our fans through an opening door will stay in my mind forever.
Conquering Big Stages Around The World
Ricky: KCON L.A. was special for me because Los Angeles is my second hometown, and it was my first time going back since we debuted. As soon as we got there, it made me realize that all the hard work was worth it.
Zhang Hao: And we met Ricky's mom! [Laughs.]
Ricky: It was the first time my family came to see us perform [as ZEROBASEONE], so it was an unforgettable moment.
Seok Matthew: I'd say that one really good memory I have right now is [M Countdown] in France because I was a special MC. It was my first time being able to do something like that, so I did have a bit of pressure. Hanbin hyung was the main MC, and the fact that I was able to do it with him, it was a very cool experience.
After that, I wanted to also get better at all the three languages that I speak, which are French, Korean, and English. And then, maybe in the future, I can get another chance to be an MC. It felt so different because France is really far [from South Korea], right? It was everyone's first time [visiting the country], and it was beautiful.
Releasing Their New Album, Melting Point
Park Gunwook: I think our intention to tell our stories has never altered from our debut album, but we also wanted to show another side of us. In [Youth In The Shade], we wanted to talk more about our identity and who we are as ZEROBASEONE. But Melting Point serves as a chapter where we expand our sound and share our story with the audience and our fans.
We wanted to include some new sounds and powerful performances that we had never presented before. We wanted to show how much we had grown as a team, and how much chemistry we were able to build. Of course, we practiced very hard, but we also had a lot of discussions among ourselves, and we were very open [when] talking with each other.
Kim Taerae: Our debut track "In Bloom" and Melting Point are aligned in the message that we want to walk along with [our fans]. For "Crush," it’s more about, "with all your love and support so far, we are determined to protect you." I think our new album serves as our future direction and our determination for our fans and our music.
Photo: Choi Na Rang
Global Spin: POW Offers A "Dazzling" Performance Of A B-Side From Their Debut EP, 'Favorite'
Just after making their official debut on Oct. 11, K-pop quintet POW deliver their first performance of "Dazzling," an easygoing love song from their mini-album, 'Favorite.'
There's nothing quite like a summer fling; the feelings are high and the stakes are low. And as POW's love story "Dazzling" proves, sometimes a relationship — fling or not — can make every day feel like "a summer night," regardless of the season.
"Love and peace, young and free/ Here, good vibes only/ Hot and cold, fast and slow/ Life is sweet and salty," POW sings in "Dazzling," switching between English and Korean. "Let's seize the day/ For that someday when this becomes a gleaming memory."
In this episode of Global Spin, POW — the new K-pop group that just debuted on Oct. 11 — delivers a lighthearted premiere performance of "Dazzling." Each member takes a turn at the microphone as they sit in a clay room.
"Dazzling" is a B-side from their debut mini-album, Favorite. The K-pop quintet is the first group under GRID Entertainment. According to a press statement, POW hopes to "make a bold entrance to the music scene with a bang, promising an ambitious quest to deliver a refreshing and entertaining experience to global listeners."
Press play on the video above to watch POW's feel-good performance of "Dazzling," and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of Global Spin.