BTS' ARMY: A Timeline of Their Fans' Support
From winning their first music show to entering the Hot 100 chart, BTS' fans have been there for it all.
BTS is making history. After achieving the first-ever top 10 for a K-pop act on the Billboard 200 albums chart with the band's new album, Love Yourself: Her, they followed up on Monday (Sept. 25) by earning their first Hot 100 hit with "DNA," which lands at No. 85. Needless to say, BTS is on top of the K-pop world.
The seven-piece is expertly navigating the overseas momentum that's been building since their appearance -- and win -- at the Billboard Music Awards in May. But it’s been a long road for the former underdogs, and the main constant in the boy band’s career has been their fan base, ARMY, who have watched the group go from handing out flyers for their shows on their reality show, American Hustle Life, to selling out the Olympic Park Gymnastics Arena in Seoul last year.
Here’s a timeline of stand-out milestones that BTS couldn't have accomplished without ARMY:
May 5, 2015 - First music show win for “I Need U” on “The Show”:
In a February 2015 interview with The Star, BTS revealed that winning a show was their biggest goal of the year. And they didn’t have to wait long, as they earned their first win three months later. During a May 8 interview, Suga said, “The trophy was very heavy when we received it. I don’t mean the actual weight [of the trophy], but I felt a sense of responsibility to develop even more and work even harder after receiving the award.”
May 15, 2016 - First Inkigayo win:
While “I Need U” racked up wins on three other music shows -- M Countdown, Music Bank and Show Champion -- the music show Inkigayo still eluded them. However, they brought home their first Inkigayo win with “Fire" after ARMYs cracked the 60 percent digital sales portion of the chart's winning formula.
Oct. 10, 2016 - All-Kill for "Blood, Sweat and Tears":
An all-kill is one of the hardest achievements to pull off in K-pop as a group has to shoot to No. 1. on all of the charts at once. According to Soompi, “‘Blood Sweat & Tears’ was in first place on the music charts Melon, Mnet, Bugs, olleh, Soribada, Genie, Naver Music and Monkey3. In addition, all 15 tracks from the album have taken the top 15 spots on Melon, Genie, Mnet and Naver Music.”
Dec. 2, 2016 - Artist of the Year at Mnet Asian Music Awards:
BTS won the highly coveted "Artist of the Year" award at the Mnet Asian Music Awards in 2016 with the help of ARMYs. In an emotional acceptance speech, Rap Monster struggled through tears to thank his fans and crew, while the typically stoic members Suga and Jungkook broke down.
May 21, 2017 - Billboard Music Awards:
Fans pleaded for BTS to be invited to the BBMAs, where they won the award for top social artist -- this was the event that introduced the boys to future-collaborators like The Chainsmokers and made them better known in America after member Jin went viral as the cute one "third from the left" and the widespread news coverage that followed. Notably, their awards speech was used as a skit on Love Yourself: Her.
Aug. 13, 2017 - Choice International Artist at Teen Choice Awards:
Although some ARMYs were upset that BTS was barely mentioned during the ceremony, this award was a sign that the group’s breakthrough in America at the BBMAs was not a one-off win.
Sept. 18-23, 2017 - Fastest K-pop group to get 10 million, then 20 million, then 30 million, then 40 million, then 50 million views for “DNA”:
Sept. 24, 2017 - First K-pop group in Top 10 on Billboard 200:
On Sunday, Love Yourself: Her became the first K-pop album to break into the top 10, placing at No. 7. BTS previously charted on the Billboard 200 four times, breaking the last record for highest-charting K-pop album with Wings at No. 26.
Sept. 25 - The group's first entry into the Hot 100:
During a Sept. 18 press conference, Suga said, “The number of stock pre-orders for our previous album was 700,000, but we had no idea that it would be 1.12 million [for this album]. We also want to appear on the Billboard Hot 100.” In response, ARMYs went to work, coordinating around Billboard chart guidelines so that they could maximize their efforts to help BTS’s chart performance. After hearing the news, Rap Monster tweeted, “We did it !! Just heard it from studio thank you soooo much for everything aRMy XD [⭐️] [⭐️] [--] ”
We did it !! Just heard it from studio thank you soooo much for everything aRMy XD ⭐️⭐️-- pic.twitter.com/8h1lw3CbIZ— 방탄소년단 (@BTS_twt) September 25, 2017