Artist of the Week: BTS

Not only depending on their luck, this seven-piece group from South Korea has a lot more to show in terms of musicality and performance with their fourth Korean-language studio album 'Map of the Soul: 7'.

AceShowbiz - BTS (Bangtan Boys) fandom just won't die down anytime soon. While for some artists it's hard to stay on top, this K-pop group proves that they're not a short-lived sensation. After first breaking into the U.S. Billboard 200 at 171 with "The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Pt. 2" in 2015, their worldwide popularity has been rapidly growing in the last two years, and now they have come back even bigger with "Map of the Soul: 7".

The album's title has some significant meanings for the boys. Seven is the number of the members and this year will be their seventh year since their debut in June 2013. Moreover, seven is believed to be a lucky number. But they're definitely not only depending on their luck for the success of the album.

Prior to the album's release, BTS teased it with comeback trailer titled "Interlude: Shadow" performed by member Suga, first single "Black Swan" and second comeback trailer featuring J-Hope's song "Outro: Ego". "Black Swan", which was released on January 17, peaked at No. 57 on Billboard 100. They further hyped up the album's release with the first performance of "Black Swan" on "The Late Late Show with James Corden" on January 28.

"Map of the Soul: 7" finally arrived on February 21, ten months since their last album "Map of the Soul: Persona" and after their extended period of vacation last year. The long wait was really worth it as the album received widespread acclaim from music critics. Commercially, its success surpassed its predecessors with over 4 million pre-orders worldwide, breaking the record which they previously set with 2.68 million pre-orders for "Map of the Soul: Persona". It also debuted atop the U.S. Billboard 200 with 422,000 album-equivalent units, marking BTS' fourth US number-one album and making them the fastest band since The Beatles to have four number one albums in less than two years.

The album's lead single "On" was also released on February 21 along with dance-oriented "Kinetic Manifesto Film: Come Prima" music video, which showcases its epic choreography. The song peaked at No. 4 on Billboard 100, their highest on the chart to date after "Boy With Luv" which made it to No. 8, and at No. 1 on Billboard's worldwide chart.

Often talking about social issues and mental health with their "bubble gum pop" music, BTS again expresses their feelings and experiences as they're dealing with the downside of fame and their problems as young adults in general. In "On" for example, the band "reflects on their calling and mindset as artists during the seven years." Meanwhile, in "UGH" the band's rapper line, RM, J-Hope and Suga, expresses their anger toward malicious haters. Furthermore, in "My Time", Jungkook sings about his emotions ever since he was a trainee to now.

As part of the album's promotions, BTS appeared in a special episode of "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon", during which they took a tour of New York and performed "On" at the Grand Central, and appeared in "The Late Late Show with James Corden" popular segment "Carpool Karaoke" in February. The guys are next scheduled to embark on "Map of the Soul Tour", which would kick off on April 11 in Seoul. However, the tour dates in Seoul were canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak. It's currently unknown if this worldwide health crisis would affect other dates, but Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V and Jungkook are still scheduled to stop by big cities like Chicago, Toronto, London and Berlin.

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