BTS may be taking a break, but the boy band craze is still going strong (VIDEO)

Nine years after their debut as a group, RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook have decided to temporarily suspend their collective activities. – Photo Rob Latour/Shutterstock via ETX Studio

Friday, July 15, 2022 8:04 PM MYT

SEOUL, July 15 — The news hit like a bomb. South Korean boy band BTS recently announced that they will be taking a break so that each of its seven members can focus on their solo careers. However, projects relating to the K-pop supergroup have multiplied in recent weeks.

Nine years after their debut as a group, RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook have decided to temporarily suspend their collective activities so that each member can find their own voice.

“The problem with the whole K-pop idol system [governed by labels] it’s that he doesn’t give you time to mature. You have to keep producing music, keep doing something,” boy band leader RM explained in a YouTube video posted on June 14.

His teammate Suga reassured their millions of dedicated fans, commonly referred to as “ARMY”, that this doesn’t mean BTS is over.

“It’s not that we’re ending the band,” he said. “We’re just living apart for a while.”

However, the temporary separation caused panic in the K-pop world. Shares of Hybe, the boy band’s powerful label, even fell 27% on the Seoul Stock Exchange following the news.

However, some companies, such as Disney, are trying hard to keep the BTS hype going.

On July 12, the American group announced that it had reached an agreement with Hybe. Together, they will produce three shows featuring BTS or boy band members.

One of them, “BTS: Permission to Dance on Stage – LA”, will allow fans of the group to relive a concert given in Los Angeles in November 2021, while “BTS Monuments: Beyond the Star” will return to the history of the septet. “In the Soup: Friendcation” will follow V’s adventures on a surprise trip with other South Korean stars.

A real slot machine

For Disney+, these BTS shows are a great opportunity to attract and retain new subscribers in Asia and around the world. For its part, Google hopes to encourage Internet users to use its new feature, Street Galleries, by partnering with the seven kings of K-pop. He asked them to share some of their favorite works with their fans. Each of them has created their own “Street Gallery” in cities that are dear to them, including Seoul, Los Angeles and São Paulo.

Suga’s gallery, for example, features virtual reproductions of Frederic Remington’s “Bronco Buster”, William Henry Hunt’s “A Boy Writing” or Wenceslaus Hollar’s “Concert of Cherubs on Earth”, the latter being a nod at BTS.

“Seven band members, just like BTS,” he wrote in his Street Gallery. “And what better description of my band than a ‘Cherubs on Earth Concert’?”

RM’s virtual gallery — who describes himself in an interview with Artnews as “an art enthusiast and an art-loving collector” — is located in Seoul, like Jungkook’s.

It contains digitized versions of Joseph Mallord William Turner Lake Zugby Paul Cezanne Mont Sainte-Victoire and the Arc Valley Viaductand several South Korean works of art.

These business partnerships show how BTS’s business now extends far beyond just music.

The boy band has become a money maker for South Korea since its inception in 2013. It is believed to be worth more than US$3.6 billion (RM16 billion) to the country’s economy, according to reports. Hyundai Research Institute estimates in 2018.

Exports associated with BTS, from clothing and cosmetics to high-tech products, also appear to be worth their weight in gold.

So, break or no break, BTS seems to be riding as high as ever. — Studio ETX

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