ARMYs old and new, grab a Jungkook-sized bag of snacks and get comfortable, as we settle down for an in-depth look at BTS living their best life at tonight’s 2018 Billboard Music Awards (BBMAs)!
Red Carpet realness
When it comes to red carpet looks, BTS are one group who never disappoint. Although all members were united in their choice of Gucci, their styling was distinctly their own; from RM‘s bold, open-neck tiger print, to J-Hope‘s bright yellow ourobouros tee and cap, or the handwritten purple banner tucked into V‘s waistline, which read “내 맘대로“ (Doing as what I want [trans]), there was no chance of any designer tag outshining the men underneath.
Oh, and here’s a bonus slow-motion version for you…
— Billboard Music Awards (@BBMAs) May 20, 2018
BTS and ARMY win Top Social Artist!
We’re not sure what your timelines look like, but ours have been a flurry of BBMA related tweets for the last week dominated by Bangtan‘s ARMY, resulting in BTS‘ second win in a row during tonight’s ceremony.
Leader RM led their acceptance speech in English, while the other members waved enthusiastically at the screaming crowd, saying, this time, we had a chance to think about what social really means for us, and some of our fans told us that our music really changed their lives. And now, we realised that our words truly carry weight, thanks to you guys.
In Korean, Jimin added, This award was made by you guys….thank you so much and I love you! [trans].
BTS’ post-BBMAs ritual
In what is fast becoming their trademark post-event ritual, BTS chose to toast their successful night quietly in their hotel room with each other, instead of blazing a Gucci-draped trail through a series of Vegas after parties. They even took the time to greet their ARMY with a quick VLive celebratory cheese and cracker mukbang (and a handful of selfies) following the end of the award show!
‘FAKE LOVE’ live in America?
BTS chose the BBMAs for the world premiere of their latest title track, ‘FAKE LOVE‘, taken from the album ‘Love Yourself 轉: Tear‘ released last Friday, 18 May. They are the first Korean group to ever perform a comeback stage outside of Korea.
Despite their absence, and therefore delayed promotion in Korea, ‘Love Yourself 轉: Tear‘ has achieved a very grand total of 17 Perfect All Kills or PAKs so far on Korean music charts (such as Melon and Genie). In addition to this being their first PAK, BTS are the fastest group to reach one in Korean music history. Although they have grown incredibly strong in physical sales internationally (already breaking their own records with this new release), until recently, domestic digital sales and streaming have admittedly been harder markets for them to conquer.
It seems like the seven member group have leaped this final domestic hurdle in a BIG way, with members taking to their private fancafe to thank fans for their efforts earlier this evening.
The general consensus amongst Korean music critics to date seems to be that the group have transcended any normal international level simple popularity, fuelling a global phenomenon with their genre-hopping tracks, socially aware lyricism and bold, story-driven concepts. We agree.
Let’s talk comeback stage
After apparently no less than three months of preparation for this stage, and expectations high following the behind the scenes footage unveiled during their recent YouTube Red concert tour series, ‘Burn The Stage‘, BTS were more than ready for their premiere performance.
As the music starts, they flow across the stage in perfect synchronisation, a line of leather harnesses, leopard print, denim, and unbridled youth. Every move is precise and sharp like a knife’s edge; there’s a reason they’re the first Korean group to perform here.
However, following the widespread criticism of the camerawork at the American Music Awards performance last year, even general viewers were surprised to encounter similar difficulties this year at the BBMAs. With noticeably less focus on the group, and an overemphasis on audience reactions, the translation of ‘FAKE LOVE‘ from music video to stage was regrettably a little lost.
All we can say is that this is but the first of many broadcasts for ‘FAKE LOVE‘ over the coming weeks, as BTS enter the gruelling but rewarding promotional period that follows any K-Pop comeback, on their return to Seoul.
An official upload of the performance isn’t available yet, but a little bird told us that this is the best OT7 unofficial fancam in the known universe (sorry Pluto); a little quality content to get you through ARMY!
And finally, our Top 2 BBMAs interactions!
Bangtan caught up with old friends and made more new ones than we can keep track of, so we’re bringing you our top two of the night!
1. BTS x John Legend
BTS are long-time admirers of singer-songwriter John Legend, frequently recommending his songs to ARMY and covering snippets here and there (we strongly suggest you track down V‘s soulful cover of ‘All of Me‘). We hear that John pulled a ‘Love Yourself‘ album out of his bag and asked the group to sign it for him; we love artists who stan other artists!
— John Legend (@johnlegend) May 21, 2018
2. BTS x Tyra Banks
In an unexpected but sensational combination, supermodel Tyra Banks was seen serving looks with six BTS members (RM was apparently using the ah, facilities, again and left them unsupervised – last year’s photo with Halsey anyone?). The internet is peppered with a Tyra vs Jin vs V debate, as everyone argues whose smize slayed the BBMAs!
Smize: That’s Tyra, for smiling with your mouth and your eyes!
— Tyra Banks (@tyrabanks) May 21, 2018
So, what’s next for BTS?
Bangtan‘s immediate schedule involves a local press conference on 24 May, followed by their MNet Comeback Show back in South Korea, which will be broadcast live at 8:30pm KST.
After concluding their ‘FAKE LOVE‘ promotions (and hopefully a short break), BTS‘ ‘Love Yourself‘ stadium world tour kicks off with two days of concerts in Seoul on 25-26 August, before travelling to the US and Europe. With more dates to be announced, make sure you keep an eye on Officially Kmusic, as we stay with you from teasers, to ticketing and beyond!
Writer/Editor: Carmel-Lee Skinner