By Hiranmayi Ganapathy (‘24)
By the end of this year, the members of the K-pop group BTS are going to enlist in the South Korean military and are confirmed to be coming back around 2025. The members of BTS include Kim Taehyung (V), Min Yoongi (Suga), Park Jimin (Jimin), Jeon Jungkook (Jungkook), Kim Seokjin (Jin), Jung Hoseok (J - Hope), and Kim Namjoon (RM). South Korean men are required to serve in the military because of the ongoing conflict with North Korea, while most women stay behind to take care of their families.
This announcement was as unexpected as their announcement that they were going on hiatus on June 14. BTS immediately backed out of that idea when they noticed how bad it was for their company. The people of South Korea didn’t want them to disband since they have a huge fandom and are a large contributor to the South Korean economy. Hybe Labels, the entertainment company BTS is signed to, saw a huge drop in stock due to BTS’ announcement. Their impending pull-out from the music industry for the next two years could cause similar problems for South Korea.
ARMYS, the BTS fanbase, hoped for an extension since Moon Jai-In, the former president of South Korea, told BTS that they had to stay due to their popularity and influence in the music industry. However, they refused and they took their own initiative to go to the military. Many members of ARMYS were so sad that BTS made this decision, and created Tik Toks and edits that center around their own personal feelings about this announcement. Some of these videos included writing questions that they will ask their 2025 selves when BTS comes back.
Senior Shaiyma Rasheed said, “The purpose of BTS going to the military is for the sake of serving their own country, so I fully support them for that. Other ARMYS may be sad that their group is leaving for a while, but they have already given us so much, and it is not up to us to judge them for their decision.”
Although one of the biggest boy bands in the world, BTS is not just known for their music but for their amazing personalities and talent. BTS writes and produces their own songs, giving them a personal touch that connects many people with their music in one way or another.
Many of BTS’s music videos have gotten over millions of views as well as songs like “Don’t Leave Me” and “Dynamite” which are sung in Japanese and English. BTS is so popular because their songs have beautiful themes such as loving yourself and they dedicate many of their songs such as “Magic Shop” and “Idol” to ARMYS. Also, their faces can be seen everywhere in South Korea.
They have collaborated with Halsey in “Boy with Luv” and Nicki Minaj in “Idol.” They have also collaborated with Korean artists for their solo songs. Suga sang “That That” with PSY who is famous for singing “Gangnam Style” and J - Hope recently collaborated with Crush for their song “Rush Hour.”
BTS’s underrated songs include “24/7 Heaven” and “Rain.” BTS has collaborated with a lot of American artists in the past and are still collaborating with more. Jungkook sang “Left and Right” with Charlie Puth. Jin’s song Astronaut came out on October 28. The music video is very unique and people are saying that the little girl in the video represents ARMY. For his song “Astronaut,” Jin also collaborated with Coldplay. Other solo songs include “Filter” by Jimin and “Singularity” by V.
These huge hits and collaborations are more reasons why this decision is so painful for fans all over the world to process. Their catchy songs, heartfelt lyrics, and dancing skills will be missed by so many. However, this pause in their careers is only for a limited amount of time, ensuring us that in the future, the group will unite once more to make even more music for all to love.