, June 17, 2024

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Once and For All: Is BTS Disbanding?

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Once and For All: Is BTS Disbanding?
I DARE U JK, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
by Elizabeth de Luna

At a pre-recorded dinner this week celebrating their ninth anniversary as a group, the K-pop superstars BTS announced they would be taking a “hiatus”. Over crab and rice wine, rapper Suga began an earnest, 40-minute discussion of that choice, including the exhaustion they felt and why exploring their personal tastes through solo projects was so thrilling.

“It’s not that we’re disbanding,” he said, laughing at the absurdity of the idea, “we’re just living apart for a while.”

But that careful explanation was quickly lost in the shuffle of the rabid western news cycle. Outlets got a hold of the word “hiatus” and ran with it. “Is BTS breaking up?” asked Esquire. “[BTS] have hit a rough patch and want to work on solo projects,” said ABC News, “their millions of loyal fans tonight very upset, though, knowing how this usually goes,” suggesting to viewers that BTS would go the route of other globally recognized groups of the past such as One Direction or NSYNC, who announced a hiatus and never returned.
Noting the confusion inspired by the press, HYBE Entertainment, the management company of BTS, released a statement aimed directly at the press, changing “hiatus” to “temporary break”. On Wednesday, the group’s youngest member, 24-year-old Jungkook, took to the popular livestreaming app VLive to set the record straight. “There was so much news about BTS breaking up and stopping all activities and I wanted to clear that up,” he said, laughing. “I don’t want you to misunderstand, we are not disbanding.” And it’s not really a hiatus, either, he noted. “We are still filming [our reality show] Run BTS,” he said before closing with a smile, “BTS is forever.”

BTS’s announcement comes just after the release of their anthology album, Proof, last week, and a new single, Yet to Come (The Most Beautiful Moment), that warmly closes out their current chapter and looks towards the future. In the track’s music video, the members appear with symbolic imagery from across their time as a group.

Reflecting on how far they had come, RM confessed, “We’re not that special or smart but the seven of us went towards a united goal with all we’ve got … We just happened to start out from a small place in Nonhyeon-dong and somehow made our way to the White House,” he said, referencing the group’s recent visit to DC. “This version of the universe is the best version I can possibly think of.”

Courtesy of Guardian News & Media Ltd

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