International Korean boy band, BTS returned to the music scene in April with their new funky-fresh EP, Map Of The Soul: Persona. The band made their comeback almost eight months after the release of their repackaged album, Love Yourself 結 Answer, which marked the end of their Love Yourself series. The group stepped into the new era, “Map Of The Soul” with the release of the EP, Persona which is presumably the first installment of the band’s new series/era.
The group shared what this era means on their official website, “As global superstars who play stadiums and are loved by countless fans across the world, BTS now looks to shape the future reflecting on and using the power they have gained while embracing all its shadows. Opening the Map Of The Soul series with Persona, BTS talks about the joy in finding love and reaches out to the world with the messages they want to share with their fans. The band is especially curious about the stories of each and everyone who have helped them become who they are today.”
Stepping into this era, BTS has continued to excel as each day goes by. First and foremost, according to the music distributor Dreamus, Map of the Soul: Persona recorded 3,021,822 stock pre-orders until April 11. This is the first time that the group surpassed 3 million pre-orders. The group’s previous record was 1,511,910 stock pre-orders for Love Yourself: Answer. Map of the Soul: Persona has an endless list of achievements but notably, the group made history with this EP becoming the third BTS album to enter the charts at No. 1, making BTS the first Korean artist ever to top the Billboard 200 with three different albums—and it took them less than a year to attain this achievement making them the only group to achieve that feat since The Beatles in 1995-96. Additionally, the title track “Boy With Luv” feat. Halsey became the fastest Korean group music video ever to hit the 100 million mark in just 1 day, 13 hours, and 38 minutes, breaking the previous record of 2 days, 14 hours, and 15 minutes set by BLACKPINK’s “Kill This Love.” Let’s not forget that the group won two Billboard Music Awards — for Top Group and Top Social Artist where they also performed “Boy With Luv” with Halsey. There are hundreds of more achievements that BTS made with the exquisite EP, Map of the Soul: Persona but to name them all would take years.
A few days after their comeback, TIME revealed their annual list of 100 people considered to be the most influential “pioneers, leaders, titans, artists and icons” in the world. BTS was able to make the list through its “Artists” section alongside notable names such as Regina King, Rami Malek, Ariana Grande, and Brie Larson. Other figures from different fields to be included in the list include Sandra Oh, Michelle Obama, Lebron James, and many more. BTS was chosen as one of Time Magazine’s “Next Generation Leaders,” last year and they continue to break barriers and excel in everything they do.
Besides from BTS breaking music-related records on a regular. They embarked on their stadium tour, titled “Love Yourself: Speak Yourself”. The group played at sold-out shows across the US and Europe being the first ever Korea artists to hold a stadium concert tour, at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Los Angeles, Soldier Field in Chicago, Metlife Stadium in New Jersey, Allianz Parque in Sao Paulo, Wembley Stadium in London, and Stade de France in Paris, and they’ll be performing in Japan next month in Osaka and Shizuoka. Performing at all these stadiums was a dream come true for the group, to be in front of thousands of Army’s who’ve become their wings ever since the group debuted in 2013. Notably, the group recently performed at Wembley Stadium which is something they never even thought they’d be able to do. Namjoon, the group’s leader shared at the concert, “So the UK was like [a] big, big wall to me. But tonight we, and you guys, just broke the wall.” To commemorate this beautiful experience, on the last day of the Wembley shows, BigHit arranged for Army’s to sing the song, “Young Forever” which holds a special meaning for BTS and Army’s. BTS are achieving things that many said they’d never be able to achieve and things they never ever thought they’d be able to do but BTS is a testament to the saying, “teamwork makes the dream work.”
— BTS Pics⁷ |2025| (@btspiics1) June 2, 2019
As of yesterday, it was announced that BTS and CEO of Big Hit Entertainment and executive producer, Bang Si-hyuk were invited to join The Recording Academy. The 2019 class is comprised of music creators and professionals from across the music industry and their talents and backgrounds span many genres, crafts, ethnicities, genders, ages, locations, and professions. The members of BTS have been invited to join the Recording Academy as voting members, meaning that they will be eligible to vote for the annual Grammy Awards. While, Bang Si-hyuk has been invited to join as a professional member—a type of membership for music executives, managers, publicists, agents, and other team members that work to support music creators. If the group and Bang Si-hyuk are to accept the invitation, the band will be eligible to vote in the 2020 Grammy Awards, the highest honors in the music business. For a group who has only been around for five years, they are accomplishing the unimaginable and there is no denying that.
People will continue to downplay BTS’s success and do anything to bring the group down but as you can see from the few achievements mentioned, there’s no one stopping them now or anytime soon. The group’s sixth-year debut anniversary is just around the corner and this news couldn’t have come at a better time. Congratulations to BTS on all of their achievements!
If you haven’t listened to Map Of The Soul: Persona make sure to listen to the EP!
Featured Image via Big Hit Entertainment