BTS' Big 2018: 11 Times the K-Pop Boy Band Broke Records and Made History

If anyone had a big year, it's BTS.

If anyone had a big year, it's BTS

The K-pop boy band's popularity and exposure has only grown year after year, but this one was pretty special. RM, Jungkook, Jimin, Jin, J-Hope, V and Suga continued their global domination with a world tour, and two No. 1 albums -- and ended the year with a historic GRAMMY nomination

The boys rang in the new year as the first K-pop act to perform on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, but that's not the only time they left their mark. In fact, it's far from it. Check out the 11 times BTS broke records and made history in 2018 below.  

Top Social Artist 

In May, BTS became the only K-pop act to be nominated for and win Top Social Artist two years in a row at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards. This year, they beat out artists like Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato and Shawn Mendes. 

"Thank you so much, Billboard Music Awards, for this precious award two years in a row," RM told the crowd at the show. "This time we had a chance to think about what social really means to us. And now, we realize our words truly carry weight, thanks to you guys and ARMY out there." 

Crushing the Charts

The same month, the boys' single, "Fake Love" debuted at No. 7 on Billboard's Streaming Songs chart. It marked the group's first time in the top 10, as well as the first K-pop song in the top 10 since Psy's "Hangover" in 2014. 

RM told ET in May that "Fake Love" was the hardest song for them to write on the album. "[The main single] is always the hardest," he explained. 

No. 1

From No. 7 to No. 1! It didn't take long for BTS to dominate the charts. In May, their album, Love Yourself: Tear debuted at No. 1 on the US Billboard 200 chart. 

"This time around, it's about honesty and love," RM told ET that month of how they were following up their 2017 EP, Love Yourself: Her. "Sometimes we just turn away from some sort of situations, because in love and life, it's not like a fairytale. We always have a dark side, so we want to talk about like, the dark sides of love." 

"[It's] kind of deep," he added. 

Real Influence 

By June, the band's reach was undeniable. The group was named one of Time Magazine's "25 Most Influential People on the Internet." 

"We always feel the responsibility," RM told ET in May of the group's impact on the outside world. "But if we just keep focusing on like, the responsibility and many people, then we will change. We always want to keep the things like [that] we tried to do... years ago. [We want to] keep that vibe and what we do and it's up to the other people that love us or hate us."

Repeat Performance

In August, the group hit No. 1 on the US Billboard 200 chart again with their compilation album, Love Yourself: Answer, which featured seven new original songs. 

Take That, Taylor Swift

BTS' stunning music video for "Idol" dropped in August, and almost instantly broke records. The boys surpassed Swift for the most-viewed video within 24 hours on YouTube, when "Idol" racked up over 45 million views on the first day of its release, beating Swift's "Look What You Made Me Do." They continued to hold onto the top spot until Ariana Grande's "Thank U, Next" released this month.  

Doing Good at the UN

The band proved they're just as passionate about giving back as they are about their music when they spoke at the United Nations as part of a UNICEF collaboration with their Love Yourself campaign in September. 

"I trained for it like, a thousand times. Like, I imagined it," RM, 24, later told GMA's Michael Strahan and Robin Roberts of the experience. "I think I did it OK. I was holding the paper... and my hands were shaking like a thousand times for a second. It was a nervous thing, but it was like the best moment in my life."

Stadium Size

In October, BTS became the first K-pop act to play a U.S. stadium, when their Love Yourself world tour stopped at New York's Citi Field. Thousands of fans filled the 42,000-seat venue to cheer on the boys. Way to go, ARMY! 

Next Generation Leaders

As the year started to wrap up, the band was recognized by Time again, and this time, they were named as one of the magazine's "Next Generation Leaders." Actress Amandla Stenberg and soccer player Kylian Mbappe also got their own covers, while comedian Hasan Minhaj, Argentinian women's rights activist Sabrina Cartabia, marine conservation biologist Christine Figgener, Saudi storyteller Fatima al Banawi, cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, computer scientists Rasha Abu-Safieh and Bassma Ali and inventor of Africa's first medical computer tablet Arthur Zang also made the list. 

"We started to tell the stories that people wanted to hear and were ready to hear," BTS said of their global success. 

Burn the Stage

The band followed up their YouTube series with a film, called Burn the Stage: The Movie, which released in November -- and quickly broke records. The movie became the highest-grossing cinema musical production, which was previously set in 2014 by One Direction. 

The group opened up about the significance of Burn the Stage after the launch of the YouTube series earlier this year. 

"When we burn something, we always have the ashes left... there's always the ashes," RM expressed. "I know some say it's really hard to watch the pain, the sweat backstage. We wanted to share many more things, be really closer [to the fans]." 

GRAMMY History

On Friday, BTS' Love Yourself: Tear, and the album's art director, HuskyFox, were nominated in the Best Recording Package category, which celebrates the visual look of an album. While the award itself will be officially presented to the art director (and not the musical act), it's still a major move for the group -- as no other K-pop act has been recognized before. 

During a May interview with ET, the band gushed about how they owe all their accomplishments to their fans. "The fans gave us the wings that allow us to be where we are,” V gushed of ARMY. “That’s why we have that special relationship.”

See more in the video below. 


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