BTS (Korean: 방탄소년단; RR: Bangtan Sonyeondan), also known as the Bangtan Boys, is a seven-member South Korean boy band who began formation in 2010 and debuted in 2013. The septet co-writes and produces much of their output. Originally a hip hop group, their musical style has evolved to include a wide range of genres. Their lyrics, often focused on personal and social commentary, touch on the themes of mental health, troubles of school-age youth, loss, the journey towards loving oneself, and individualism. Their work features references to literature and psychological concepts and includes an alternative universe storyline. The group has staged several world tours.
The group initially formed as teenagers under Big Hit Entertainment and released their debut single album, 2 Cool 4 Skool (2013). Subsequent work such as their first U.S. Billboard 200 entries The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Part 2 (2015), The Most Beautiful Moment in Life: Young Forever (2016), and Wings (2016) helped establish BTS' reputation as a socially conscious group. Wings became BTS' first album to sell one million copies in South Korea. By 2017, BTS crossed into the international music market, leading the Korean Wave into the United States and breaking numerous sales records, becoming the first Korean group to receive a certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for their single "Mic Drop". The band is the first Korean act to top the Billboard 200 with their studio album Love Yourself: Tear (2018) and have since hit the top of the U.S. charts with their albums Love Yourself: Answer (2018), Map of the Soul: Persona (2019) and Map of the Soul: 7 (2020), making BTS the fastest group since the Beatles to earn four number one albums in less than two years. Love Yourself: Answer also broke South Korea's Gaon Album Chart's all-time monthly record previously set by Love Yourself: Tear and became the first Korean album certified Platinum in the United States.
Having sold over 20 million albums on the Gaon Music Chart, BTS is the best-selling artist in South Korean history and holds the best-selling album in South Korea with Map of the Soul: 7. BTS were the second best-selling artists of 2018 worldwide according to the IFPI's Global Artist Chart, as well as the only non-English speaking artist to enter the chart. The group has won Top Social Artist three years in a row and Top Duo/Group at the 26th Billboard Music Awards. Featured on Time's international cover as "Next Generation Leaders", BTS has appeared in the magazine's 25 most influential people on the internet (2017–2019) and Time's 100 most influential people in the world (2019), with the outlet giving them the nickname "Princes of Pop". Forbes Korea named BTS the most influential celebrities of Korea in 2018 and 2020, and BTS ranked 43rd in the Forbes Celebrity 100 (2019) as one of the world's top-earning celebrities. BTS are ranked #4 of Billboard's Top Social Artist of the 2010s, and are the highest group on the list. During their Love Yourself World Tour, BTS became the first Asian and first non-English speaking act to headline and sell out Wembley Stadium; and broke the record for the single highest-grossing engagement in Rose Bowl Stadium history. Billboard ranked BTS at #45 on their Top Touring Artists of the 2010s list, being the highest-ranked Asian as well as the only non-English speaking act on the list. As of 2019, BTS are purportedly worth more than $4.65 billion to South Korea's economy each year, or 0.3 percent of the country's GDP. BTS attracted one in every 13 foreign tourists that visited South Korea and were cited as one of the key acts boosting global music sales to $19 billion in 2018.
Following the establishment of their Love Myself anti-violence campaign in partnership with UNICEF, BTS addressed the United Nations 73rd General Assembly and became the youngest ever recipients of the Order of Cultural Merit from the President of South Korea due to their contributions in spreading Korean culture and language.