BTS were one of the hottest acts in the world in 2020, with three Hot 100 number one hits to their name. The first of these was ‘Dynamite,’ a ridiculously catchy track far superior to the Taio Cruz one of the same name, then a remix of the TikTok hit ‘Savage Love (Laxed – Siren Beat),’ and finally, in December, the melancholic ‘Life Goes On’ went number one. October 2020 also marked BTS joining an exclusive club, as they occupied the two top slots of the Hot 100 with their Savage Love remix and ‘Dynamite,’ joining The Beegees, The Beatles, and OutKast as the only groups to do this.
As well as the Hot 100, BTS topped the Billboard Global Chart and the album chart twice in 2020. Even before 2020, BTS had performed well in the west, however, with their earliest entry into the Hot 100 coming in 2017 with ‘DNA,’ as well as an odd collaboration the same year with one-hit wonder Desiigner.
BTS were also nominated in the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance category for the 63rd Grammy Awards for ‘Dynamite,’ making them the first K-pop group to ever be nominated.
In a recent interview with SCMP, EDM DJ Steve Aoki spoke about how he felt K-pop represented the future of pop music, and that K-pop groups “push the envelope constantly, they’re really putting it in a way that others haven’t done yet. Others haven’t even come close to it yet. I feel like everyone else is six months to a year behind.”
With their collection of sounds, it’s easy to see why Aoki feels this way. Although their number one hits could be considered pop songs, the band is very heavily hip-hop influenced, particularly as some of their members are rappers: most notably SUGA, who was an underground rapper under the name Gloss before joining BTS, but also RM and J-Hope. The three rappers also have solo material to their name, and the band’s debut album 2 Cool 4 Skool is a hip-hop record with ending in a cypher freestyle track between the members.
Their music videos are consistently spectacular as well– as well as their music, BTS is known for the incredible choreography of their dancing in both music videos and live performances– with the performance of these on YouTube constantly breaking records, with the video for ‘Dynamite’ holding the record for most views in twenty-four hours with over 100 million, and ‘Boy With Luv (feat. Halsey)’ holding this same record previously as well. With BTS’ clear dominance of the charts in 2020, there is no reason for them not to see similar success in 2021, particularly with the volume of work they release.