BTS Make Time Magazine's 'Next Generation Leaders' List: 'We Are Spreading Korean Culture as Its Representatives'

BTS has been chosen as one of Time Magazine’s "Next Generation Leaders," and the K-pop stars sat down with the outlet to discuss their career, their impact as one of the most popular acts of the generation, and what it means to represent their country on a global scale.  

"As a Korean, we love our country and we're proud of our country so much," said RM in a video released by Time today (Oct. 10). "And it's even just an honor to be called an ambassador of Korean K-pop."

RM recently gave his “Speak Yourself” speech in front of the United Nations during a launch of a new UNICEF program. During it, he connected the group’s Love Yourself messaging with the idea that people need to speak up for themselves and find their way in the world based on their own desires rather than the world around them. 

BTS on the Oct. 22, 2018, cover of Time magazine

"Many in our parents' generation were born right after the Korean War," said Suga. "And so they grew up not being able to eat or dress well. But in our generation, we -- our parents' sons -- are spreading Korean culture as its representatives, and seeing how much of Korean culture we are able to spread these days. Those from my parents' or my grandparents' generation, even more so than those from our generation, are very proud of us. They love seeing us on the news. And so for me, it's enjoyable to see my father proud of things like that."

Time’s annual "Next Generation Leaders" list highlights young people in a wide variety of industries who are reshaping the world around them. BTS topped the Billboard 200 albums chart not once but twice this year with their sets Love Yourself: Tear and Love Yourself: Answer, and are currently in Europe amid a global, sold-out world tour.

Along with the video, Time also released a magazine cover featuring the superb septet, which will reportedly appear on the global edition, and a written interview with the group, during which the men talked about several topics including their approach to creating music with empathy “that people can relate to,” according to Suga.

The 2018 list of Time's "Next Generation Leaders" also included other musicians such as The Weeknd, Ariana Grande, and Christine and the Queens.