December 25, 2018 08:31
This year's keyword on the K-pop scene was Bangtan Boys, also known as BTS. The boy band topped the Billboard 200 chart twice and became the first Korean combo with two top 10 finishes in the Hot 100, in May and September.
In May, BTS said they hope to become the most influential musicians in the world by topping the Billboard charts, attending the Grammy Awards, and doing a big stadium tour. They achieved most of their aims within a space of just half a year, except for attending the Grammys.
Their concert at Citi Field in New York, a venue reserved for only the biggest stars, was another first for a Korean band. Their fans from around the world, called "the Army," camped outside to get to the front rows, and the New York subway added more trains for concertgoers.
U.S. media compared the event to Beatlemania in the 60s.
The influence of BTS has already gone beyond the popular music industry. They were the first Korean pop band to give a speech at the UN General Assembly in New York in September and they were on the cover page of the global edition of the TIME magazine on Oct. 22.
The World Economic Forum in Davos chose BTS as one of the global agendas in culture for next year's forum.
But not everything went smoothly. A T-shirt worn by Ji-min shown in a YouTube video stoked anti-Japanese sentiment, and Japanese broadcasters canceled BTS' scheduled appearances. But it did little damage to their popularity. Their concert at the Tokyo Dome on Nov. 13 still drew over 50,000 fans, and a single released in Japan went straight to the top of Japan’s leading Oricon chart without a single TV appearance.
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