BTS has had an incredible year. The South Korean boy band has left an indelible imprint in the hearts of millions of fans across the globe. Some have even likened their massive popularity to Beatlemania.
Like diehard Beatles fans, BTS fans (known collectively as ARMY) have screamed, cried, and fawned over the seven-piece K-pop band at live shows everywhere - even here in the U.S., even though BTS sings most of their songs in their native Korean language. RM, Jimin, J-Hope, Suga, V, Jungkook and Jin have effectively transcended language barriers and formed fast connections with their fans via the universal language of music.
Beyond garnering fierce global adoration, BTS has broken records, made history and hit multiple milestones in the music industry this year. Most recently, the group topped Time Magazine’s Reader’s Poll for the 2018 Person of the Year. Just in case you’ve missed any of their astounding achievements, we’ve compiled a list of 11 of the greatest moments BTS had in 2018 below.
1. Delivered a Bold Message at the UN
BTS made history back in September by becoming the first K-pop group to address the United Nations. BTS leader RM delivered a powerful and heartfelt speech that carried a big message for today’s youth who will lead us into the next generation: Speak yourself and love yourself. RM’s wise words were well-received in the important setting and by fans and critics around the world.
2. Earned a Rare Billboard 200 Chart-topping Double
BTS burned up the charts and clinched a rare Billboard 200 chart-topping double with two of their Love Yourself trilogy albums in 2018. Love Yourself: Tear and its follow-up Love Yourself: Answer both shot to the top of the Billboard 200 all-genre albums chart in the U.S. just three months apart. The “Idol” singers were the first pop band to have two chart-toppers in less than 12 months since One Direction did it in 2014.
3. First K-pop Group to Score a UK Top 40 Single
BTS is loved all over the world, including the UK, where their track “Idol” claimed a Top 40 spot on the UK Singles chart. The feat notably made them the first K-pop band to reach the Top 40 on this chart. “Idol” is the lead single from Love Yourself: Answer. BTS sings of self-love and pride in what they’ve achieved in the song.
4. Set YouTube Records
BTS' ARMY couldn’t get enough of the music video for “Idol.” The band crushed YouTube records by scoring the most views within 24-hours of its release (beating the tally lead previously held by Taylor Swift) and by also becoming the fastest video to soar past 100 million views (it achieved the mark in less than six days). To date, it has amassed over 294 million YouTube views.
5. Set Two Guinness World Records
BTS earned two entries in the internationally-esteemed Guinness Book of World Records in 2018. The first was for having the most Twitter engagements (repeats, likes, retweets or other interactions). They notably ousted former One Direction member Harry Styles from his Twitter throne for that one. The other was for scoring the most-viewed online video in 24 hours by a K-pop group for “DNA.” The video logged over 21 million views.
6. Made Stadium History
BTS spent a good portion of 2018 playing live to thousands of screaming fans at multiple sold-out shows. The “Fake Love” singers made history on Oct. 6 when they performed at Citi Field in New York’s Flushing, Queens borough. BTS hit the stage in a milestone moment, becoming the first Korean act to headline a U.S. stadium concert and the swooning fans in the audience were thrilled to revel in the historic event.
7. Time Next Generation Leaders List Honorees
Nothing arguably speaks louder to BTS’ widespread global influence then making Time magazine’s prestigious Next Generation Leaders list in 2018. Suga talked about the connection BTS has with fans in an interview with Time about the accolade saying, “Even if there is a language barrier, once the music starts, people react pretty much the same wherever we go,” Suga explained, “It feels like the music really brings us together.”
8. Set Streaming Record
Just last month, BTS hit a huge music milestone by becoming the first Korean act to earn more than one billion streams on Apple Music. Amassing this huge streaming tally puts the K-pop sensations in an elite club with music superstars like Drake and Rihanna.
9. Consecutive Top Social Artist Billboard Music Awards
Given their Guinness World Record for Twitter engagements, it makes sense BTS took home the Top Social Artist Award at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards. Their win was their second consecutive win in this category. They also won the award in 2017, effectively becoming the first Korean act to win the award. With two now under their belt, they are also the first Korean artist to win this BBMA for two years in a row.
10. Favorite Social Artist American Music Award Winners
BTS picked up their first-ever fan-voted American Music Award for Favorite Social Artist at the 2018 American Music Awards. American fans aren’t shy about showing the BTS boys some mad love. Camera pans of the audience during the group’s performance of “Idol” on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" found tears streaming down fans’ faces. BTS notably beat out Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato, Cardi B and Shawn Mendes for the AMA win.
11. First K-pop Group to Score a Grammy Nomination
The 2019 Grammy nominations were recently announced and BTS made history once again by becoming the first K-pop group to be nominated for a Grammy Award. Their album Love Yourself: Tear is nominated for Best Recording Package. Per Billboard, the album is nominated along with HuskyFox, a Seoul-based professional branding company who is credited for art work on the album. Given the amazing streak, BTS has enjoyed in 2018, starting off 2019 with a Grammy win doesn’t seem like too far of a stretch.