BTS Made History in Both the United States and South Korea This Past Week

BTS has been on a roll these past few years. They became one of the biggest K-pop groups and quickly went on to take over the world. BTS has been breaking numerous records everywhere, but as a testament to how impressive they are, they recently made history on two occasions this past week in two different countries.

BTS
BTS | Rich Fury/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

BTS had the first Korean song to top the Billboard Hot 100

Ever since BTS began making headway into the American music industry in 2017, onlookers have wondered whether they could top the Billboard Hot 100 with a Korean song. This week, the group did just that.

Their first Billboard no. 1 came in August 2020 when BTS released “Dynamite.” The song was BTS’s first all-English single and was well-received all around the world. Their second no. 1 came in October when they collaborated with Jason Derulo and Jawsh on a remix for the hit single “Savage Love (Laxed – Siren Beat).”

In November, BTS released the single “Life Goes On,” which became their third no. 1 hit in 2020. It also made history as the first Korean song ever to top the Billboard Hot 100.

BTS inspired a new law to be passed in South Korea

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In addition to making history in the United States, BTS also ushered in a monumental change in their home country of South Korea.

According to CNN, on Dec. 1, the Korean government passed a law that will allow K-pop artists to defer their military enlistment. Every Korean male is required to serve in the military for around 18 months by the time they are 28 years old. Exceptions have often been made for high-achieving athletes and world-famous classical musicians, though K-pop stars like BTS had never been granted exemptions from military duties.

However, BTS fans and a number of non-fans alike had been pushing for the government to grant the K-pop group exemptions. The argument is that BTS brings in a lot of money for the Korean economy and has done an amazing job of spreading Korean culture worldwide.

Finally, just before the oldest member, Jin, turned 28 on Dec. 4, the Korean government decided to give some pop artists a chance to defer their military duties for another two years. This means that Jin, other BTS members, and any K-pop idols who qualify can now put off enlisting until they are 30.

What’s next for BTS?

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BTS is clearly at the top of their game right now. With the passage of the new “BTS Law,” the group can continue to stay together and make music for another two years.

Given their current momentum, it just seems likely that BTS will keep making music and pushing further into the American music industry.

They recently received their first Grammy nomination—the song “Dynamite” was nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. This is a huge step for K-pop, and it looks like the genre is slowly becoming more accepted by mainstream audiences in the United States as well as around the world.