BTS to take hiatus as members pursue solo careers



Members of BTS speak to the media in the brefing room of the White House on May 31, calling for an end to anti-Asian hate. Photo by Oliver Contreras/UPI | License Photo

June 14 (UPI) — South Korean boy band BTS is going on hiatus.

The K-pop group announced the break Monday while celebrating BTS Festa, an event honoring its ninth anniversary as a band.

BTS shared the news in a video that showed them enjoying dinner together as a group.

“We’re each going to take some time to have fun and experience lots of things,” Jungkook said. “We promise we will return someday, even more mature than we are now.”

The members will pursue solo careers during the hiatus.

“I’ve always thought that BTS was different from other groups. But the problem with K-pop and the whole idol system is that they don’t give you time to mature. You have to keep producing music and keep doing something,” RM said.

RM and other members teared up as they discussed the break.

“I want BTS to go on for a long time. We have to go through this to do that,” RM said. “I want it to last long and for BTS to last long, I think I have to retain who I am.”

Jungkook ended by promising, “There’s so much more to come.”

BTS consists of Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V and Jungkook. The group is signed to HYBE, formerly Big Hit Entertainment, and made its debut in 2013.

BTS experienced a surge of popularity in 2015 and had become a global phenomenon by 2017. The group has helped expose people from around the world to Korean music and culture, as well as paved the way for other Korean artists to find global success.

According to a 2019 report, BTS adds $3.5 billion a year to the South Korean economy with its concert, album and music streaming sales. The group is also credited with increasing merchandise exports and linked to a spike in tourist visits.

Bang Si-hyuk, the music producer and record executive who founded Big Hit Music and HYBE, joined South Korea’s stock-rich list in July at No. 9, worth $3.2 billion.

The popularity of BTS and other K-pop acts has drawn criticism from North Korea, which likened such artists to “slaves” in March 2021 as it continued to crack down on banned media and “corrupting influences.”

Band members have spoken at the United Nations, praising the world’s youth for their response to COVID-19. In a visit to the White House on May 31, they called for an end to anti-Asian hate.

BTS has released five full-length Korean albums since its debut.

News of the hiatus follows the release of the anthology album Proof and a music video for the new single “Yet to Come (The Most Beautiful Moment).”

BTS performs on “Good Morning America” at Rumsey Playfield/SummerStage in Central Park in New York City on Wednesday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo



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