The successful climb of BTS in the western music industry

BTS climbed little by little and today they're a huge act in the music industry


BTS had a great night at the American Music Awards last Sunday. The group swept three major awards that night, including Artist of the Year for the first time in their career – another huge milestone since their debut in the western music industry.

The said debut happened back in 2017 when BTS was nominated for Top Social Artist at the Billboard Music Awards. The group attended the show for the first time and attracted a lot of attention from different entertainment news outlets that were more than curious about the ascending group back then. That night, BTS won their first American award becoming the first Korean act to do so. That same year, BTS performed for the first time at an American award show with DNA at the AMAs.

LAS VEGAS, NV – MAY 21: Music group BTS accepts Top Social Artist onstage during the 2017 Billboard Music Awards at T-Mobile Arena on May 21, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

From then on, the group’s name became a common one among the nominees and winners at every award show and so did their attendance. In 2018 the group went back to the Billboard Music Awards, this time to perform ‘Fake Love’, not only attracting attention from media outlets but from other celebrities as well. Taylor Swift, John Legend, Pharrell Williams and others took the time to get to know the guys and take pictures with them that night. After that, BTS soon began to be invited to TV shows such as Ellen, America’s Got Talent, The Tonight Show and more.

BTS’ history in the American charts started early in their career, with their albums appearing on the US World Albums charts in high positions and their songs making it to the Billboard World Digital Songs. In 2017, BTS entered the Billboard Hot 100 with ‘DNA’, becoming the first Korean boy group and the second Korean act to put a Korean-language song in the chart.

Their songs started climbing more and more on the Hot 100 through the years; in 2018 ‘Fake Love’ made it to the top ten and in 2019 ‘Boy With Luv’ made it as well. In the beginning of 2020, the lead single for their album Map Of The Soul: 7 made it to number 4 on the Hot 100 chart and a few months later, BTS got their first number one with ‘Dynamite’, their first English single.

Dynamite was the cherry on the top for BTS in the western music industry; the song was a huge success on radio everywhere. It broke records and put BTS’ name on the spot for those who didn’t know them quite well yet.

After taking Dynamite to number one on the Billboard Hot 100, BTS and ARMY began to do the same thing over and over again. In 2020, BTS got three number one songs on the Hot 100, including ‘Life Goes On’, a Korean-language song.

This year, BTS released two new English-language singles, ‘Butter’ and ‘Permission To Dance,’ which both became number one singles on the Hot 100 as well. ‘Butter’ broke ‘Dynamite’’s records and became BTS’ longest-running number 1, breaking the record previously held by Aerosmith for 23 years.


BTS have also had collaborations with western artists: Steve Aoki in ‘MIC Drop’ and ‘The Truth Untold’, Halsey in ‘Boy With Luv’, Megan Thee Stallion in the remix of ‘Butter’ and their most recent one with Coldplay in ‘My Universe’. Other less known collaborations happened for the group’s original soundtrack of their game BTS World. Zara Larsson, Charli XCX and Juice WRLD shared their voices with the BTS members for the tracks.

Halsey and MAX worked on songs with SUGA for their albums, while Becky G worked with J-Hope in his solo work. Ed Sheeran and Troye Sivan are names behind some of the group’s hits. BTS’ popularity among western artists continues to increase as the group makes a name for themselves in the music industry. You can’t find a single person they’ve worked with having something bad to say about the members, the compliments are always about how humble and great they are.

It’s also part of their history that BTS went from having a concert for free in the US, to selling out arenas, then selling out stadiums all over the globe. In their last tour Love Yourself: Speak Yourself, BTS had to add extra dates in a few places and the tickets were sold out a few hours after the sales were open to the public. They also became the first non-English artists to headline and sell out Wembley Stadium.

The little spark that began in 2017 with their first American award is now an unbeatable flame, as BTS get their second Grammy nomination for the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance category two years in a row.

Some might question the phenomenon that is BTS, especially in the western music industry, but they’ve proved that all these achievements have nothing to do with luck. It’s all about the seven guys and the hard work they’ve done every single day since the start of their career in 2013.

During their acceptance speech last Sunday, RM said “Four years ago we had given this first-ever TV live performance on the AMAs stage – it was ‘DNA’. We were too excited and nervous at the time and it’s been a long and amazing ride since then, but nobody could have ever bet on the odds of us standing here receiving this award. Except y’all ARMY. Seven boys from Korea, united by a love for music, met the love and support from all the ARMYs all over the world.”

We believe that’s their secret to their huge success – their love for music and the amount of people they’ve touched with it. BTS have created an ARMY and they are proof that when you look past your preconceptions and overcome language barriers, there’s no limit to what can be done.

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