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What does BTS stand for? How many members are in the K-pop group?

Where did K-pop sensation BTS get their name and what does it mean? We took a look at its interesting origins.

Where did K-pop sensation BTS get their name and what does it mean? We took a look at its interesting origins.

With a new single Take Two due to be released on digital platforms on 9 June to celebrate their 10th anniversary, South Korean pop band BTS are back in the news. All of the band members have been keeping themselves busy with their own respective solo careers and offshoot projects. Jimin recently became a global brand ambassador for Dior and J-Hope followed up his New Year’s Eve performance in Time Square with a similar move into the fashion world, because House Ambassador for French luxury brand Louis Vuitton.

A two-week-long celebration, BTS Festa 2023, to celebrate their decade together is planned in June at various locations throughout Seoul. Details will be gradually released via a vibrant, online boardgame.

With BTS back in the news, some fans have been wondering where their name comes from...

How did the band form?

In 2010, a top executive at Big Hit Entertainment, CEO Bang Si-hyuk, was interested in taking rappers from Seoul who had gained a following and create a rap group. However, plans changed and in the end a pop boy band. The model was the Seo Taiji and Boys, a band that was popular in the 1990s. The members ended up bringing brought together in 2013 when clips of the group’s music were released, it attracted attention on social media including SoundCloud and YouTube.

The name in Korean is Bangtan Sonyeondan, or the Bangtan Boys. Affinity Magazine, highlighted remarks made by BTS member J-Hope that the name is “profound” and that “Bangtan means to be resistant to bullets, so it means to block out stereotypes, criticisms, and expectations that aim on adolescents like bullets, to preserve the values and ideal of today’s adolescents.”

When the members were brought together they lived together in a house paid for by the record label where they practiced fifteen hours a day. In 2017, the band underwent a sort of rebranding and the group announced that their name would from then on stand for “Beyond the Scene” as part of their new brand identity.

How many members are in the group?

There are seven band members: Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V and Jungkook.

Diplomatic power of BTS

Since 2018, the South Korean government has used the band as a cultural and political envoy abroad.

That year in September, the band was invited to address the United Nations General Assembly. Later in the year BTS was invited to an event to celebrate the diplomatic relationship between France and South Korea. The group performed at the Korea-France Friendship Concert in Paris.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has made the group a Special Presidential Envoy for Future Generations and Culture.

In this role they are tasked with raising “awareness on global agendas, such as sustainable development, to our future generations and to strengthen the nation’s diplomatic power across the world.” Last summer, BTS were invited to the White House and held a 35-minute conversation with US president Joe Biden in the Oval Room, in which they discussed many of the topics affecting young people today.