Top 2022 Moments Of BTS: From White House Invitation to Military Enlistment
As 2022 comes to an end, here's looking back at the career highlights of BTS, from the year that was.
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South Korean septet and biggest boy band in the world, BTS, has unarguably carved a space for themselves in the global map. Debuted in 2013, their body of work is a masterclass in intricate narratives, brilliant lyricism and evocative visual imagery.
From kickstarting their solo careers to sharing their stance on Anti-Asian hate at the White House; it's safe to say that 2022 will go down as one of their most landmark years in the industry.
As 2022 comes to an end and BTS members, RM, Jin, Suga, Jhope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook go separate paths until they reunite in 2025, here's looking back at the career highlights of the band, from the year that was.
1. 'Permission To Dance' Concert
After a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, the septet performed at their first live concert, 'Permission To Dance - Seoul' at the Seoul Olympic Stadium in March of this year.
Every member of BTS was delighted to perform for their fans, popularly called ARMY, after two online concerts in the previous two years and an on-ground tour of Los Angeles last December.
I didn't know how precious it was to see each other in person and to jump together! I feel like we took a giant step. We're really home now. It was so meaningful to us.KIM NAMJOON AKA RM, LEADER OF BTS
The 2.5 hour-long concert was also live streamed for international viewers. The band performed a meticulously crafted set of their top hits - ON, Fire, Black Swan and Blood Sweat Tears - to name a few.
2. White House Invitation by POTUS Biden
To commemorate the final day of AANHPI Heritage Month on 31 May, the septet was invited to the White House for a press conference. After delivering their opening remarks on the vitality of standing against anti-Asian hate crimes, they also had a brief meeting with President of the United States of America, Joe Biden in the Oval Office.
When it was Park Jimin's turn to elaborate on his stance, he said, "We were devastated by the recent surge of hate crimes, including anti-Asian hate crimes. To put a stop on this and support the cause, we’d like to take this opportunity to voice ourselves once again.”
Speaking to the group, President Biden remarked, "People care a lot about what you say, and what you’re doing is good for all people. It’s not just your great talent, it’s the message you’re communicating. It matters.” This marked the first time any Korean artist got to share their views on anti-Asian hate with a U.S. president at the White House.
3. BTS Announces A Hiatus
During the livestreamed FESTA dinner to celebrate the band's anniversary of their debut, the members opened about their recent struggles and announced that they are going on a hiatus. The band expressed their desire to focus more on their solo careers (more on that, soon) and reflected on their journey as a septet.
RM said that they’ve achieved a lot as a band but it’s time for them to grow as individual artists. While he admitted that he felt like he lost his grasp over the band after Dynamite's global popularity, Suga chimed in, assuring the fans that they're not disbanding.
I think we should spend some time apart to learn how to be one again. I hope you don’t see this as a negative thing, and see it as a healthy plan. I think BTS will become stronger that way.JHOPE
4. Military Enlistment Announcement
On 17 October, HYBE, the parent company of Big Hit Music (the label behind BTS) confirmed that the members will be enlisting for South Korea's military service. As per SK law, it's mandatory for every able-bodied man to serve in the military for at least 2 years. The only exemption allowed by the law is in the case of athletes, traditional/classical musicians, ballet and other dancers who have earned and enhanced national prestige.
Since last year, experts and policymakers had considered granting an exemption to BTS, owing to their boundless accomplishments and their contribution to the country's soft power. However, since no official exemption was enacted upon, the band's eldest member, Kim Seokjin decided to go ahead with his enlistment procedure.
The statement also mentioned that the band won't be returning as a group before 2025. Following Jin's enlistment, the other members will commence their military services with due consideration to their solo projects and endeavors.
5. Last Concert Before They Reconvene In 2025
In October, the group performed at their last concert together, before they rejoin in 2025. South Korea's Busan was engulfed in purple - a colour meaningful for both BTS and ARMY - as the free-of-charge 'Yet to Come in Busan' concert was held in support of the city's bid to host the 2030 World Expo.
The band performed some of their most anticipated tracks, including Run BTS that fans (both online and offline) went gaga over. The members began the show with their wildly popular song, Mic Drop.
6. Making History With Grammy Nominations
BTS made history by bagging multiple Grammy nominations for the 65th annual Grammy Awards in 2023. The band is in the running for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for the third year in a row with My Universe, their collaboration with Coldplay. They are also up for Best Music Video for Yet to Come and for Album Of The Year as featured artists on Coldplay’s Music of the Spheres.
The 2022 Grammy Awards also witnessed BTS in some marvelous action. Check here:
The youngest member of BTS, Jeon Jungkook made headlines for performing the World Cup anthem, Dreamers during the opening ceremony of the 2022 FIFA World Cup at the Al Bayt Stadium in Qatar's Al Khor. Jungkook collaborated with Qatari singer, Fahad Al Kubaisi on the track.
He also broke records by becoming the only non-footballer in the list of top 5 people mentioned on social media around the World Cup.
With this monumental performance, Jungkook also became the first Asian to ever perform the official World Cup anthem. His performance was all the more loved by audiences around the globe, since it included tributes to previous anthems. He had also travelled to Qatar to shoot the Dreamers music video.
8. Jin Leaves For The Military
In December, Jin became the first member to commence his military service. His first photo from the military base surfaced online, going viral within minutes of posting. Sporting a buzzcut and his uniform, Jin seemed to be posing for a picture for his identification card.
The eldest member of BTS released his single, The Astronaut before going off to complete his military service. He also delivered a beautiful debut performance of the track, alongside Coldplay at the band’s concert in Argentina. Coldplay's Chris Martin co-wrote the song with Jin.
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