Logos of BTS and its fans ARMY

Who is behind the success of BTS?

The K-pop super-group BTS is composed of seven members; but behind its huge success, there are many supporters. So who might be the eighth member of the boy band, which has just come up with its fourth studio album, “Map of the Soul: Persona?”

A few names could be on the lips of K-pop fans including BigHit Entertainment chief Bang Si-hyuk.

Indeed, Bang has played a major role in catapulting the group to the top of the global charts. The 46-year-old, who founded BigHit Entertainment in 2005 and launched BTS in 2013, orchestrated the rise of the superstars.

However, the BigHit supremo is the boss of BTS and more of a father figure to the group, rather than a member or just a supporter.

In his 2018 book, “BTS, Icon of K-pop,” author Adrian Besley notes that Supreme Boi, a songwriter and producer, is an integral part of BTS and the genuine eighth “Bangtan Boy,” as they are also known in Korea.

The rapper was one of the founding members of BTS but left during training before the group’s 2013 debut. Yet, he still works with BigHit by helping produce many tracks with rap-lines.

Along the same line, other talented producers like Pdogg and Slow Rabbit can be dubbed as the eighth BTS member as the septet is greatly indebted to them for to become the world’s biggest boy band.

Watchers point out that there is an even more legitimate candidate for the eighth member of BTS than Supreme Boi and other producers – the highly royal BTS fans who call themselves ARMY, short for Adorable Representative Master of ceremonies for Youth.

The fans, who come from different cultural and demographic backgrounds, have been incredibly supportive of any BTS activity. They are responsible for running dedicated BTS accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram as well as multiple websites.

In addition, multilingual fans translate almost everything the members utter from tweets to lyrics to interviews – this has helped BTS gain global prominence.

Thanks in no small part to their efforts, BTS was the most re-tweeted celebrities worldwide in 2017 and 2018. And the group became the first K-pop act to hit No. 1 on the Billboard albums chart twice last year and once again this year.


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The publisher studied Korean history in Seoul and management of business administration in the United Kingdom. He has 20-year experiences in the media business. Kim can be reached at voc200@gmail.com or 82-2-6956-6698.