The South Korean boy band BTS is continuing its meteoric rise in the music industry — garnering its first ever Grammy nomination this year, as well as the first nomination for K-pop.
Shin Dong Kim, mass communications professor at Hallym University: "And there has been some attention on the fandom, the peculiar aspect of K-pop fandom, for example, Army for BTS…"
Other recent milestones of BTS includes its 2020 single "Life Goes On," which became the first non-English song to debut at No. 1 of the Billboard Hot 100. That year, Time magazine also named the group its 2020 Entertainer of the Year.
But BTS and K-pop didn't come out of nowhere. K-pop has been steadily growing its global presence — dubbed "Hallyu," or the "Korean Wave" by followers — and other groups to pave the way for BTS include the Wonder Girls, Twice, Big Bang and PSY.
Experts say that the success of South Korea's culture industries — which includes K-pop, Korean dramas and social media platforms like Line — is a result of the country's overall socioeconomic development from the past few decades.
Shin Dong Kim: "My view was that all these things came into one grand picture together."