K-Town

BTS' Jungkook Credits Ariana Grande With Inspiring Him to 'Develop & Continue to Grow' As an Artist

BTS' Jungkook reflected on the lessons he learned from watching Ariana Grande perform in his Rolling Stone digital cover on Monday (May 17).

The youngest member of the K-pop supergroup had attended a Los Angeles show from Grande's Sweetener World Tour in May 2019, and later showed off his pink dollar bill memorabilia on Twitter to commemorate the concert. "I felt and learned a lot after seeing her stage. I am really challenged by her stage and will try harder!" he captioned the photo at the time.

The 27-year-old pop superstar also shared a picture of the two from that night, expressing gratitude to Jungkook for his support. "Screaming. thank u soooooo much for coming to my show, Jungkook. it meant so much. love u sm," she wrote.

Two years later, he told Rolling Stone, who recently featured all seven members of BTS on its May 2021 cover and is rolling out digital covers for each member, about what specific highlights he took away from Grande's show and how he's trying to emulate it in his own on-stage presence.

"I was really impressed by her stage presence. She’s a very small person, and the volume of her singing and what she was able to do was really moving, really impressive," said Jungkook. "And it just seemed like something I wanted to emulate and learn from. It made me want to develop and continue to grow."

The 23-year-old superstar also reflected on how Grande not only inspired his confidence on stage, but how the remaining six members of his group have been instilling confidence in him off stage since BTS' debut in 2013, when Jungkook was only 15 years old.

"During the training years, I’d wait until the other guys had fallen asleep so I could wash up by myself in the middle of the night. But I think time really solves everything. If you spend such a long time with the same people, it really affects your personalities," he said. "The other members had a lot of influence on me, and I could just feel comfortable because they are such good people. And they encouraged me to open up to them and mature into a good person."

BTS' Rolling Stone cover story will be included in a special collector's box set that includes eight copies of the issue -- one group cover and seven additional ones spotlighting each member -- which is available here now.

See Jungkook and Grande's social media posts after he attended her 2019 show: