Who is the Leader of BTS?

Although BTS has seven members, only one takes a leadership role within this K-pop group. Do all K-pop groups have a designated leader? Who is the leader of BTS? Here’s what we know about this boy band and the group’s rapper, writer, producer, and leader, RM.

BTS performs onstage during the 2019 Billboard Music Awards
BTS performs onstage during the 2019 Billboard Music Awards | Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for dcp

The K-pop group, BTS, has seven members

BTS is made up of seven uniquely talented members — Jin, J-Hope, RM, Suga, V, Jimin, and Jungkook. Together, they’ve become one of the biggest boy bands in the world, breaking records with their music videos and live performances.

However, there is one member of BTS who has a leadership role, in addition to his role as a rapper and dancer. RM, also known by his real name Kim Namjoon, is the leader of BTS.

Kim Namjoon, also known by his stage name RM, is the leader of BTS

Fans cite a few reasons as to why RM is the leader of this group. The first is his English. From their time abroad, each of the BTS members picked up a little English, but Kim Namjoon was the first one fluent in the language. This, of course, came in handy when performing interviews overseas. During one interview on The Ellen Show, the rapper explained that he first learned English from watching the sitcom, Friends.

RM showcased his English while speaking on behalf of BTS at the United Nations, explaining the meaning behind their “Love Myself” campaign with UNICEF. Additionally, the member presented an award at the Grammy’s last year, giving a short speech in English.

What makes RM, and BTS as a whole, stand out from other K-pop groups is their involvement in the creative process. RM, Suga, and other BTS members often produce and write the group’s music. According to Stylecaster, RM also makes sure the other group members are well-rested and ready to perform. According to some fans, his high IQ might have something to do with his role as BTS’ leader, as well.

BTS performs onstage during the 2019 Billboard Music Awards
BTS performs onstage during the 2019 Billboard Music Awards | Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for dcp

Do most K-pop groups have a leader?

It’s quite common for K-pop groups to have members take different roles within the group. For BTS, Jin, the oldest member, is the main visual. Jungkook, the maknae of the group, is the lead singer. RM acts as the leader of BTS and oftentimes as the translator. As the leader, it’s normally the responsibility of that K-pop idol to make the other members feel welcome and heard.

In fact, other K-pop artists, both girl groups and boy bands, often have a leader. For EXO, Kim Joonmyun, also known as Suho, is the leader. Jaebum is the leader of Got7. BLACKPINK does not have a designated leader. When asked why the group didn’t have a leader, Jisoo said, “We spent many years together during training and are like friends so we decided that it’ll be better for us to go without a leader.”

Music by BTS, including Map of the Soul: Persona, is available on Spotify, Apple Music, and most streaming platforms.