As news broke of BTS’ open-ended hiatus, ARMY shed tears, and the K-pop superstars’ music company shed market cap. One door closes, and in the case of BTS, seven individual windows are opening — beginning with J-Hope.
Buried in the announcement of this “new chapter,” HYBE acknowledges the septet “will allow themselves to express their individuality through the release of solo albums and collaborations with other artists.”
J-Hope will mark “the beginning with his upcoming solo album,” the press release continues, with further information to be shared in due course.
The 28-year-old artist gave fans a little more insight into his and his bandmates’ mindsets during an hour-long FESTA dinner. In short, it’s not the end. “I think that change is what we need right now,” he explained. “It’s important for BTS to start our second chapter.”
The announcement that BTS would take indefinite time off caught ARMY off guard, with the announcement coming just days after the group dropped a three-disc career retrospective compilation Proof, along with a new single “Yet to Come.”
The impact was measurable, certainly for HYBE, whose share price fell 27.5% in early trading Wednesday morning, briefly knocking off about $1.7 billion of market capitalization, before rebounding.
It’s not the first time BTS has had a break. In 2021, the seven-piece band announced an “extended period of rest” to enable the singers to get “re-inspired and recharge with creative energy,” a statement read at the time.
They did so when Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook were at the peak of their powers, as the year’s top international artist, finishing 2021 with the top song on Apple Music and the Billboard Global Excl. U.S. chart, with “Dynamite.”
And in late 2019, the pop stars scheduled a several-week break, and returned with all-guns blazing.
Based on midweek data, Proof is on track for a U.K. top five berth, and “Yet to Come” is eyeing a top 20 debut, for what should be the week’s best performing new title.