A Full Timeline of BTS in America
From the 'Hustle Life' to the country's biggest award shows.
Next week, BTS returns to America for the 2018 Billboard Music Awards. While their ongoing chart success makes them seem omnipresent in the U.S. pop conversation -- as their Love Yourself: Her EP spends its 29th week on the Billboard 200 -- the actual amount of time the septet has spent stateside is remarkably short.
Still, the amount of hard work RM, Jimin, Suga, J-Hope, Jin, V and Jungkook put in during their time here shows how hard they worked to connect with fans, local media and beyond during these opportunities. In anticipation of their return to the U.S. this Sunday (May 20) -- for their second appearance at the Billboard Music Awards, and first such performance -- take a look back at BTS’ time spent in America so far.
Mid 2014: Filming BTS’ American Hustle Life in Los Angeles
Longtime ARMY fans know that BTS looked to engrain themselves in the world of hip-hop by living in Los Angeles, and learning more about the culture from West Coast greats like Warren G and Coolio. During the show, which aired on Korean broadcasting giant Mnet, the band completed missions to learn more about rap music and culture.
July 13, 2014: Surprise L.A. Concert
An infamous moment in BTS history: During the filming of American Hustle Life the guys were tasked with filling L.A.'s Troubadour for a surprise concert in less than two days. In their early years, the boys worried they wouldn't find 200 fans to fill the venue -- which feels almost laughable in light of the arenas they're selling out today.
Aug. 9-10, 2014: KCON 2014 Los Angeles
With just over a year spent together, BTS became the youngest artist to play KCON 2014 in Los Angeles' Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena -- a fest which featured K-pop superstars like G-Dragon, Girls' Generation, IU and more. Billboard was on the scene that year, noting that "rookie boy band BTS might have been the newest artist on the bill, but the huge crowd reaction could have made you think otherwise." The Korean music and culture festival reported 42,000 attendees that year.
July 16-26, 2015: Live Trilogy in USA tour, "Episode II: The Red Bullet"
For their first U.S. tour, BTS played just four shows in the American leg of their "Episode II: The Red Bullet" tour, hitting the New York, Dallas, Chicago and Los Angeles areas that July. While there was not as much media attention on the guys then, BTS did film one of Billboard's most beloved live performances, with precise renditions of "I Need U" and "Dope" during their first group trip to NYC.
Sept. 22-27, 2015 - Highlight Tour
The group returned later in 2015 for another short set of dates, though the run was overshadowed by poor management from their promoters, and unhappy fans. A collaboration between streetwear brand Community 54 and seemingly now-defunct promoter TGM Events, the tour saw TGM admitting to overselling tickets for certain dates on the tour, which led to fans unable to attend the shows for which they paid (and likely traveled). The term "tour" was also used lightly, as the band only performed a short set. There are fans still waiting for refunds.
June 24-25, 2016: KCON 2016 New York
Now as certifiable superstars, with multiple Billboard 200 entries to their name, BTS headlined K-pop festival KCON 2016 New York at Newark's massive Prudential Center. RM acted as a co-host for the fest's two nights of performances, with the full band closing out the show, performing hits like "Fire" and "Dope," along with album cuts like "Cypher Pt.3: Killer" and "Boyz With Fun." KCON reported more than 42,000 attendees.
July 29-31, 2016: KCON 2016 Los Angeles
A month later, BTS was back for more KCON fun, again closing out the festival that played its West Coast date at the famous Staples Center. More than 76,000 attended its three-day 2016 celebration of K-pop and Korean culture in Los Angeles, including two sold-out nights of concerts.
March 23-April 2, 2017: Live Trilogy "Episode III: The Wings Tour"
With the massive success of their Wings album marking the biggest-selling and highest-charting K-pop album in history to date, BTS wer ready to be arena headliners all on their own. The American leg of their Wings tour garnered two concerts in Newark's Prudential Center, one show at Chicago's Allstate Arena and two concerts at the Honda Center in Anaheim. The band's agency, Big Hit Entertainment, reported 60,000 tickets sold. The guys documented parts of their tour in their "Burn the Stage" YouTube series, while also landing media looks from People, iHeartRadio and JBTV -- and, of course, stopping by the Billboard office.
May 21, 2017: The 2017 Billboard Music Awards
In a major move for visibility for international artists, BTS not only hit the red carpet at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards, but got their win for top social artist aired on ABC, where viewers saw the likes of Ansel Elgort and Miley Cyrus cheering for the boys. The septet charmed outlets like Good Morning America, E! News, Entertainment Tonight, J-14 during their ensuing media tour.
Nov. 14-21, 2017: American Music Awards and Los Angeles Promotions
After the release of their No. 7-peaking Billboard 200 smash Love Yourself: Her, BTS had the world's attention, and snagged a performance slot at the 2017 American Music Awards to perform their new single "DNA," receiving an introduction from friends and collaborators The Chainsmokers. The guys spent this U.S. trip doing a nearly unheard of amount of press, appearing on huge shows like The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Late Late Show, chatting with magazines like Vogue and Rolling Stone, and making themselves as known as possible -- all leading to their next U.S. visit to be all the more major. Are you ready for the next step, Army?