South Korean pop group BTS Photo: AFP
entertainment

K-pop superstars BTS to take 'long-term break'

15 Comments
By Noam Galai

K-pop superstars BTS will take a "long-term break" from the music scene, their agency said Monday, after the boy band topped charts in the U.S. and Britain earlier this year.

But the pause may only last a few weeks, with the septet due to play a controversial show in Saudi Arabia in October.

The K-pop industry is known for cutthroat competition and around-the-clock work hours that include concerts, press events and grueling singing and dancing training when the stars are offstage.

BTS will take their "first official long-term break since their debut" six years ago, managers Big Hit Entertainment said, adding it will be a time to "recharge and refresh as musicians and creators".

It would also be a time for them to "enjoy their daily lives as normal 20-something young men", the agency said in a midnight statement.

"If you run into BTS at an unexpected place, we ask for the fans' consideration to allow the members to enjoy their private time."

BTS -- or Bangtan Sonyeondan, which translates as Bulletproof Boy Scouts -- have gained a massive global following in recent years, becoming the first K-pop group to top charts in the U.S. and Britain with a string of sold-out shows in Los Angeles, Paris and London's Wembley Stadium.

The floppy-haired musicians, all in their 20s and often sporting earrings and lipstick, appeal to a generation that feels comfortable with the idea of fluid gender identity.

They maintain close relationships with their fans, flooding social media with selfies, videos and tweets in Korean and English.

The statement did not say how long the break will be but the band is scheduled to perform in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Oct 11.

Hundreds of thousands of fans wrote on the BTS Twitter account -- which has 21.3 million followers -- to wish them a happy vacation.

"I love you very much and hope you enjoy your break to the fullest," a fan commented.

Another wrote: "We are going nowhere and will be here to welcome you back with fanfares!"

The group's popularity has generated huge profits for Big Hit Entertainment, which is even collaborating with Barbie maker Mattel for BTS dolls.

South Korean performers such as Psy -- whose 2012 hit "Gangnam Style" became the first video to top a billion views on YouTube -- have previously broken into Western markets, but none have achieved BTS' sustained success.

© 2019 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

15 Comments
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Amen to that

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I hope it will be a "For-Ever" brake..

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Playing in Saudi Arabia is a dumb move, guys. Don't do it.

Now that BTS has made its splash, how about focusing on some good K-rock acts? Recently I saw and met the K-rock/K-punk/K-noise duo (styled like the White Stripes) '57' (pronounced 'Oh chill'). They are outstanding, wicked! They awed everyone in the club and the whole joint erupted in wild applause after their 45 minute set. They had already sold out of CDs earlier during the tour, they're that good!

'K' standing for 'Korean' but for 57 it means 'kick ass'! Check them out.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The entertainment world will be poorer for their short break.........

Bulletproof Boy Scouts.   A bit at odds with their actual image.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Lamily,

Awesome reply and echoed by many,lol!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Check them out.

I think your enthusiasm is enough for the both of us...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japan has supported BTS when very few knew their name in the West.

Japan has supported S. Korea economy and culture rise, while S. Korea sees Japan as an enemy in the past, present and future once they unite with North Korea.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

@AlexBecu

Japan has supported BTS when very few knew their name in the West.

Japan has supported S. Korea economy and culture rise, while S. Korea sees Japan as an enemy in the past, present and future once they unite with North Korea.

That's exactly what I said in another article and I totally agree. This is a very immature and outright horrible way to treat the very country that took you from... rags to riches.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@AlexBecu

Japan has supported BTS when very few knew their name in the West.

Not true. BTS entered Japan only AFTER they took off in the US.

Japan was dominated by SM's EXO and YG's BigBang, so BTS's agency stayed clear of Japan and China and went on an uncharted territory, the USA.

This was a risky gamble as all prior attempts to penetrate the US market failed, but the gamble paid off handsomely. How BTS and BlackPink succeeded in the US where everyone else failed is a subject of research for Asian studies.

This is why BTS never released Japanese language albums, unlike others.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Never heard them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Sounds more like they are needed for their conscriptions.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is why BTS never released Japanese language albums, unlike others.

Fascinating!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Now let's get behind some Japanese talent!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

sourpussAug. 13 08:44 pm JSTCheck them out.

I think your enthusiasm is enough for the both of us...

There are some good 'K' and 'J' rock acts out there worth exploring. The Orient/East Asia scene isn't all just teen/kiddy idol pop.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Steven GuyAug. 16 03:59 pm JSTNow let's get behind some Japanese talent!

Yes, and here's a few examples.

Shonen Knife - a 3 woman punk rock band from Osaka. Good fun.

Acid Mothers Temple - psychedelic/motorik/space rock. Their wonderful Pink Floyd-ish music is WILD AND CRAAAA-ZEE!!! 

Boris - Japanese experimental noise-rock band.

Japan rocks

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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