BTS, known as Bangtan Sonyeondan (Bangtan Boys) and now Beyond The Scene, is a 7-member South Korean group under Big Hit Entertainment. They debuted on June 12, 2013 with “No More Dream” from their first album 2 Cool 4 Skool (2014).
The group’s name, BTS, is an acronym for the Korean expression Bangtan Sonyeondan (Hangul: 방탄소년단; Hanja: 防彈少年團), literally meaning “Bulletproof Boy Scouts”. The name was conceptualized with the thought that BTS would block out stereotypes, criticisms, and expectations aimed at adolescents like bullets and protect the values and ideals of today’s adolescents. In Japan, they are known as Bōdan Shōnendan (防弾少年団), which translates similarly. On July 2017, BTS announced that in addition to being known as Bangtan Sonyeondan or Bulletproof Boy Scouts, the acronym would also stand for “Beyond The Scene” as part of their new brand identity. This extended their name to mean “growing youth BTS who is going beyond the realities they are facing, and going forward.”
In November of 2016, The Most Beautiful Moment in Life: Young Forever (2016) won the Album of the Year award at 2016 Melon Music Awards. Their second studio album, Wings (2016), peaked at #26 on the Billboard 200, the then highest chart ranking for a K-pop album. Wings sold more than 1.5 million copies, making it the group’s first “million seller”, and at the 2016 Mnet Asian Music Awards BTS was awarded Artist of the Year. Love Yourself 承 ‘Her’ (2017) debuted at #7 on the Billboard 200, making history as the highest rank for an Asian artist. The lead single “DNA” debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at #85 and peaked at #67 while “MIC DROP” peaked at #28 on the Billboard Hot 100. Both tracks are certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America, a first for any Korean act ever. The album sold 1.2 million on Korea’s Gaon Album Chart, breaking a 16-year-old record as the best selling album and becoming the biggest selling Korean album. BTS then won Artist of the Year at the 2017 Mnet Asian Music Awards for the second year in a row. Love Yourself 轉 ‘Tear’ (2018), debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, making them the only K-Pop act to do so. Since 2013, BTS has sold over 7 million albums worldwide.
LEADER • MAIN RAPPER
September 4, 1994 (23 yrs) • Ilsan, South Korea
Blood Type: A • Virgo • 6’ 0 • Nicknames: Joonie, Namjoonie, Monie
« I hope the tendency to belittle individuality or a person’s unique way of expression will change. How people do their hair or what they wear are up to a person’s tastes. Hair and clothes? Aren’t the things totally unrelated to what a person actually needs to philosophize over? »
The articulate, well-respected leader of BTS started out as an underground rapper named “Runch Randa” as part of Korean hip-hop crew “Daenamhyup”. In 2010, he was recruited as BTS’s first member during a Big Hit talent audition. Under his new stage name “Rap Monster”, he trained for years with fellow rapper Suga and underground dancer J-Hope. On June 13, 2013, he made his debut as a BTS member with the track “No More Dream“ from their debut single album 2 Cool 4 Skool on Korea’s Mnet’s M! Countdown.
On November 13, 2017, Namjoon announced on BTS’s Official Fancafe that moving forward, his stage name would be “RM”. The decision came after determining that “Rap Monster” was no longer representative of who he was or the music he created. “I’ve become keenly aware of the fact that it’s become different from [what I want] to put at the front of the music I’ve made for the past 5 years, and the music I want to share in the future,” He further expressed how he made the decision to make the switch official because he wants to make music “with an unrestricted and open mind and view.”
With an IQ of 148, RM is known for his intellect and has scored in the top 1% of Korea’s famously competitive university entrance examinations. Rather than settling on a cushy job, he decided to pursue his love for music instead, initially disappointing his family. While performing with BTS, he also attended Global Cyber University and majored with honors in Broadcasting and Performing Art. RM is also fluent in English, having taught himself the language from watching the American sitcom “Friends”. Because of his fluency, RM is often considered the unofficial translator for BTS during Western interviews. He has described himself as an atheist.
In 2015, he released his first solo mixtape, RM. It was ranked 48th on Spin’s “50 Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2015”. On December 15, 2017, a remix of Fall Out Boy‘s “Champion” ft RM was released worldwide. It reached #18 on Billboard’s Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles. On December 27, 2017, RM made history as the first K-pop artist to chart on the Rock Digital Songs chart, coming in at #2 on the list. To date, he has recorded with well-respected artists such as Wale, Warren G, Krizz Kaliko, MFBTY, and Primary. He has listed some of his favorite artists as Eminem, Epic High, Dynamic Duo, and Nas.
As one of BTS’s primary songwriters and producers, he has written many of their critically acclaimed songs such as “Spring Day” and “Blood Sweat & Tears”. He also has over 80 songs accredited to his name by the Korea Music Copyright Association.
In 2017, American hip-hop magazine XXL released a list titled “10 Korean Rappers You Should Know,“ which also included RM. Writer Peter A. Berry compared RM to “Pitbull or Flo Rida for those pop vibes,” and promised that “RM rarely fails to live up to his name”. He describes the gifted young star as “one of the region’s most dexterous rappers, capable of switching flows effortlessly as he glides across an array of diverse instrumentals”.
VOCALIST • VISUAL
December 4, 1992 (25 yrs) • Gwacheon, South Korea
Sagittarius • 5’10 • Blood Type: O • Nicknames: Worldwide Handsome, Seokjinnie
« I can see others, but not myself. If I’ve grown from all this experience, that’s because my guys were there to push me ahead »
Jin was born in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea and is the son of a wealthy Samsung CEO. He is the second child in his family with an older brother named Kim Seok-jung. At one point, he was almost scouted by S.M. Entertainment, but he had turned them down, thinking that it was a scam. Jin was later successfully street casted by an agent from Big Hit Entertainment as he got off the university bus and became a trainee. He made his debut as a vocalist in BTS on June 13, 2013.
Jin is famous for his perfect visuals and often goes viral worldwide because of his good looks, earning him nicknames like “Car Door Guy” and “Third Guy from the Left”. A fan of Super Mario and Maple Story since he was 5 years old, he still faithfully plays them during downtime. He’s also a talented athlete who enjoys many sporting activities like snowboarding, scuba diving, and other water sports. Jin is a known food lover and gifted cook, and he hosts an online mukbang show called ‘Eat Jin‘ where he not only enjoys Korean food but also tries different dishes from around the world while casually chatting with ARMY on Vlive.
Jin may be the oldest member, but he is always incredibly humble and aware of his responsibilities and role in the group. He often tries to set the younger members at ease with his great sense of humor, relaxed attitude, and infamous dad jokes. Jin owns two sugar glider pets named Eomuk and Odeng that he adores and regularly shares photos of on BTS’s personal Twitter account.
Jin attended the prestigious Konkuk University, studying acting in the Department of Film. On February 22, 2017, he graduated and has since started on his Masters degree at Hanyang Cyber University. As he had majored in film, Jin had to learn dancing and singing from scratch to become a BTS member. Despite having no initial knowledge in either, he has worked incredibly hard and has achieved exceptional skills in both areas.
March 9, 1993 (25 yrs) • Daegu, South Korea
Sagittarius • 5’9 feet • Blood Type: O • Nicknames: Min Suga, Motionless Min
« Stay innocent, be naive. But still dream big. Dream big to the point that it is beyond your ability and endeavor to achieve it. So dream big and don’t lose your innocence »
Born in Daegu, Suga’s family consists of his mother, father, and older brother. Coming from a background of poverty, Suga’s family did not initially support his musical dreams and he was left to pursue music in Seoul on his own. They soon came around and are now incredibly proud and supportive of their son.
Suga is a talented pianist and used to perform under the stage name “Gloss” during his underground rapper days. Since young, he has always been politically aware and socially conscious. In 2010, with his hip-hop crew “D-Town”, he released a song titled “518-062” in commemoration of the Gwangju Uprising, a mass protest against the South Korean military government in 1980 where nearly 250,000 citizens participated in the rebellion. For his 25th birthday, Suga secretly donated ten kilograms of prime Korean beef to 39 orphanages in Korea under the name of BTS’s fandom, ARMY.
In 6th grade, Suga was inspired to pursue a career in music after hearing “Ragga Muffin” by Stony Skunk and “Fly” by Epik High, a famous Korean hip-hop group. By the age of 13, he began to write music lyrics and learned about MIDI. At 17 years old, he had a part-time job at a recording studio and soon began composing, rapping and performing. Back then, he had only basic MIDI gear and equipment that he had bought as a lyricist after saving up enough money by skipping meals every day.
His current stage name Suga (슈가) is derived from the first syllables of the term shooting guard, the position he played in basketball. Suga originally joined the company as a music producer, but eventually trained to be a BTS member under Big Hit Entertainment for 3 years alongside early members J-Hope and RM.
Suga adopted the solo alias “Agust D” in 2016, which is derived from the initials “DT” (short for his birthplace Daegu Town) and “Suga” spelled backwards. On August 15 of that year, he released a self-titled mixtape where he delved into difficult subjects such as his own struggles with depression, fame, and social phobia. His lyrics often involve themes that are “full of dreams and hope,” conceived with the desire for his music to become many people’s strength. Fuse TV rated Agust D as one of the top twenty mixtapes of 2016.
Suga is a major contributor to BTS’s critically acclaimed discography and a respected producer/songwriter with over 62 songs attributed to him by the Korea Music Copyright Association. Some of his solo production work includes singer Suran’s “Wine”, which peaked at #2 on the Gaon Digital Chart and won Best Soul/R&B Track of the Year at the 2017 Melon Music Awards. In January 2018, Suga was promoted to a full member of the Korea Music Copyright Association.
MAIN DANCER • RAPPER
February 18, 1994 (24 yrs) • Gwangju,South Korea
Aquarius • 5’10 feet • Blood Type: A • Nicknames: Hobi, Sunshine, Golden Hyung
« It’s hard at times, but it’s as if I’m addicted to basking in your love. When I awake, I want to hurry on stage just for you »
J-Hope lived in Gwangju with his parents and older sister Jung Da-won, who owns a fashion line called Mejiwoo. He was part of an underground street dance team called “NEURON” which had won multiple contests, including placing first in a national dance competition in 2008. His natural talent and love for dancing eventually led him to gain interest in performing and motivated him to audition to be a trainee in the idol industry. In his solo song “MAMA” on Wings (2016), J-Hope openly shared his love and gratitude for his mother, praising her unconditional devotion and how she supported his dreams of dancing, even though it drove his family into great debt.
His stage name, “J-Hope (제이홉)”, comes from his desire to represent hope for fans, as well as to be “the hope of BTS”. It is also a reference to the myth of Pandora’s box, as after the box was opened and all the evils inside were released to the world, only Hope was left. His nickname among BTS’s ARMY fandom is “Golden Hyung” due to J-Hope being incredibly talented in all areas of performing.
On March 1, 2018, J-Hope released his first solo mixtape, Hope World which was well received for its wide variety of musical genres, including synth-pop, trap, house, hip hop, funk-soul, and retroelements. The lyrical elements of the mixtape, notably “Daydream“, was praised for its discussion of the difficulties an idol faces in their career, various literary references, and fun presentation of the serious subject matter.
J-Hope cites French author Jules Verne’s book ‘Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea‘, KYLE, and Aminé as influences on his work. The idea of peace has also provided an inspiration for most of his lyrics. In a Time magazine interview, he expressed that he wanted to show that behind this public figure is an ordinary guy named Jung Ho-seok. “I wanted to use this as an outlet to talk about the desires and wishes that every person in the world has but that I have to hold down and cover up because of having chosen this line of work. Daydreaming is, of course, dreaming while wide awake about things generally outside our reach. But even if these dreams might never become reality, lining these dreams up in my head still gave me comfort.”
Hope World debuted at #63 and peaked at #38 on the Billboard 200, making J-Hope the highest-charting K-pop solo act on the chart. Hope World also peaked at #19 on the US Top Rap Albums chart with multiple tracks – “Daydream”, “Hope World”, “Hangsang”, “Airplane”, “Base Line”, and “P.O.P (Piece of Peace) pt. 1” – all charting on the World Digital Songs Chart.
With “Daydream” peaking at #1, J-Hope became one of only ten K-Pop acts, including his own band BTS, to reach #1. The success of his solo debut led him to rank 3rd on the Emerging Artists Chart and 97th on the Artist 100 Chart. He is only the 2nd Korean soloist after the legendary Psy, to place on the Artist 100.
VOCALIST • DANCER
October 13, 1995 (22 yrs) • Busan, South Korea
5’9 • Blood Type: A • Libra • Nicknames: ChimChim, Mochi, Mang-gae-ddeok
« It’s like I’m at another time and space, it feels like when I first loved dancing. The stage is the world that heals me. »
Jimin was born in Busan and is the oldest son with one younger brother, Park Ji-hyun. Exceptionally talented and hardworking, Jimin was the top student in Busan High School of Arts‘s Department of Dance.
A naturally gifted dancer since childhood, Jimin gained significant interest in the entertainment industry after watching K-Pop superstar Rain’s performances. With his dance instructor’s encouragement, he auditioned for Big Hit Entertainment and was accepted as a trainee. After moving to Seoul, he attended Korean Arts High School with future bandmate V and they both graduated in 2014. They both remain close friends to this day. Some of his BTS stage name choices included “Baby J”, “Baby G”, and “Young Kid”, but he eventually decided that his real name fit him best.
Often acknowledged as the hardest worker in the group, Jimin is notoriously hard on himself and a perfectionist who used to relentlessly train from dusk to dawn, almost never leaving the practice room. For BTS’s second studio album Wings, Jimin co-wrote his solo song “Lie”. It was implied that the song was about his past insecurities and struggles with himself. Jimin is often known as an angel among his peers because of his sweet, thoughtful personality and is credited with starting BTS’s celebratory tradition of surprising each member on their birthday with gifts, flowers, and a cake. His famously caring, affectionate nature also means he’s usually the one they turn to for a shoulder to cry on during their most difficult moments.
Since 2016, Jimin has been supporting graduates of Busan Hodong Elementary School, his alma mater, by covering uniform expenses. After news of the school’s closing was released, he donated summer and winter middle school uniforms to the final graduates and gifted autographed albums to the entire student body.
December 30, 1995 (22 yrs) • Daegu, South Korea
5’10 • Blood Type: AB • Capricorn • Nicknames: CGV, Vante, TaeTae
“When things get hard, stop for awhile and look back and see how far you’ve come. Don’t forget how rewarding it is. You are the most beautiful flower, more than anyone else in this world”
V was born in Daegu and lived with his parents and two younger siblings. He was later raised by his beloved grandmother and says that he would have been a humble farmer had fame not sought him out. He started playing the saxophone in the 12th grade and continued for almost three years with his father’s support because he believes that a singer should at least learn to play an instrument. V is a self-described family man with a desire for a large one of his own in the future. He’s very close to his parents and has expressed great admiration for his father who takes care of the family well and often calls his mother for advice and comfort while on tour.
While still in school, V accompanied a classmate to a BigHit audition but was offered a trainee spot instead of his friend. He went on to join BTS in 2011 but wasn’t revealed to be an official member until 2013. V attended Daegu First High School and then moved to Korean Arts High School along with fellow BTS member Jimin. They both graduated in 2014 and to commemorate it, the two remixed Lupe Fiasco’s “Old School Love ft. Ed Sheeran” into the “95 Graduation” song.
V is credited for music composition in The Most Beautiful Moment in Life pt.1 where he co-wrote and co-produced the song “Hold Me Tight”. He also co-wrote “Fun Boyz” with Suga and his solo song “Stigma” from their Wings album, which charted at #26 on the Gaon Music Chart and at #10 on the Billboard World Digital Singles Chart.
In 2016, V made his acting debut with a supporting role in KBS2’s Korean historical TV drama Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth, He also collaborated with group mate Jin for the drama’s soundtrack titled”Even If I Die, It’s You”. In 2017, he released a self-produced song “4 O’Clock” which featured BTS leader RM to celebrate BTS’s 4th-anniversary party.
A lover of fashion and the arts, V pursues his creative, artistic side with hobbies like drawing, songwriting, and photography. He is well known for his eclectic, exquisite style and love for Gucci. With his famously flawless visuals, V recently topped TC Candlers’ list of the “The 100 Most Handsome Faces”. His favorite photographer Ante Badzim would sometimes dedicate photos back to him. V has named Vincent van Gogh as his favorite artist and Starry Night as one of his favorite paintings. He was also spotted visiting the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago during BTS’s 2017 Wings Tour.
CENTER • MAIN VOCALIST • DANCER
September 1, 1996 (20 yrs) • Busan, South Korea
5’10 • Blood Type: A • Virgo • Nicknames: Jungkookie, Nochu, Golden Maknae
« Effort makes you. You will regret someday if you don’t do your best now. Don’t think it’s too late but keep working on it. It may take time, but there’s nothing that gets worse due to practicing. So practice. You may get depressed, but its evidence that you are doing good. »
Jungkook grew up in Busan with his parents and older brother Jeon Jung-hyun. His childhood dream was to be a badminton player, but later changed his ambitions to become a singer instead after listening to K-Pop star G-Dragon. Jungkook attended an audition program called Superstar K to pursue his dreams in the idol industry but was eliminated. However, 7 different entertainment agencies scouted him afterward (including JYP, Cube, Big Hit Entertainment, Starship, FNC, and Woolim). He eventually chose BigHit after being impressed by future group member RM’s rapping skills and charisma.
In 8th grade, Jungkook signed with Big Hit Entertainment and became a member of BTS. When he was only 13, he was sent to Los Angeles for dance training, where he learned many different styles of dance. Bang Sihyuk, BigHit’s CEO, spoke about how Jungkook nearly didn’t debut with BTS because of how painfully quiet and reserved he was. He used to be so shy that when asked to sing, he would start to cry. He eventually was able to overcome his fears and went on to debut on June 13, 2013 at the age of 15. Jungkook entered School of Performing Arts Seoul (SOPA) in early 2014 amidst Skool Luv Affair album promotions and graduated in February of 2017. The members are extremely supportive of him and have all attended his school entrance and graduation ceremonies.
Jungkook is the youngest member of BTS and is often called their “Golden Maknae” due to being exceptionally talented in whatever skills he chooses to pursue. His various hobbies include video editing vlogs (under his Golden Closet Films alias – Tokyo, Osaka, U.S.A), photography, and making song covers which he often posts on the group’s SoundCloud for ARMY to enjoy. He has also shown great interest in producing and songwriting. Most recently, Jungkook produced and wrote the lyrics for “Magic Shop” on BTS’s latest album Love Yourself 轉 ‘Tear’.