K-pop stars BTS are releasing a new album on Friday, a few months after the historic and global success of “Dynamite”, a hit entirely in English.
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In August, the boys band pulled off the performance of becoming the first all-South Korean band to top the benchmark US album sales chart, the Billboard.
BTS (short for Bangtan Sonyeondan, meaning “bulletproof boy scouts”) generates billions of dollars in revenue for the South Korean economy and in October their listing on the South Korean Stock Exchange was successful.
The worldwide release of their latest opus, “BE”, will be simultaneous at 2:00 p.m. in South Korea.
The new eight-track album, the fifth in the Korean language, is billed as “the most + BTS-esque + to date,” BTS label Big Hit Entertainment said in a statement.
“BTS has experienced tremendous growth this year, an astonishing achievement considering how they have continued to attract new fans over the years,” said Jenna Gibson, University of Chicago researcher.
“Before this year, some skeptical people may still have thought that BTS was just a fad, that their boom was about to end. This year has clearly put an end to those doubts, ”she told AFP.
“Dynamite” is one of eight tracks on the album and the first, “Life Goes On,” aims to deliver a “healing message” in the face of the novel coronavirus pandemic, Big Hit said.
“Our goal with the music of + BE + is that it brings comfort to a lot of people,” Jiminn, one of the band members, said Friday at a press conference. “If a lot of people can relate to it, I will be really grateful to them.”
Since their debut in 2013, BTS has been one of the flagship groups of the international music scene, and last year their concerts in Los Angeles, Paris and London have been sold out.
Their lyrics are often socially engaged – themes include competition within society and the harms of consumerism – and they constantly communicate with their fans, both at home and abroad, via social media.
On Twitter, they are followed by some 30.7 million people.
The band are scheduled to perform “Dynamite” and “Life Goes On” Sunday at the Music Awards in Los Angeles.