BTS releases new albums “BE” and “Letter of Hope”

Seoul (AP)-On Friday, K-POP band BTS released their long-awaited new album, which they described as a “letter of hope.”

The band held a socially distant press conference in Seoul and released this year’s second album “BE”. This includes their English hit “Dynamite,” which was the first Korean group to beat the Billboard Hot 100 charts.

Dozens of Seoul-based journalists underwent two temperature checks, health registration and disinfectant spray, before entering the venue as coronavirus cases surged across the country.

The band, consisting of J-Hope, RM, Suga, Jungkook, V, Jin and Jimin, said they wanted to send a “letter of hope” that life would continue despite pandemic uncertainty.

Jin said people are concerned with the feelings of emptiness and anxiety in the album and want to find peace in the shared feelings.

Debuting in 2013, the band became the world’s largest boy band, sold out stadiums around the world, and delivered a video message at this year’s UN General Assembly.

Their songs, filled with intimate and socially friendly lyrics, are recognized for their success. Unlike other K-pop bands that carefully maintain the personas created by their label, BTS is known for its active involvement with fans (known as ARMY) through social media. BTS has more than 30.8 million followers on Twitter.

RM said the band started the album-making process for the first time by sharing their ideas and working on social media. “I wanted the fans to feel like they made this album together,” he said during the pandemic.

Suga was absent from the press conference due to a shoulder injury.

The band also talked about their upcoming military service. Given the singers’ contributions to South Korea, there was fierce debate as to whether they should be exempt from two years of conscription for most healthy men in South Korea. “Whenever the country demands us, we are ready to take on our obligations,” Jin said.

When asked about the Grammy nominations scheduled for November 25, J-Hope said, “We hope we are nominated and will be awarded in the group-related categories.” He added that he would “cry” when the band received the prize.

Despite the band’s commercial success, RM reflected the band’s and K-pop identities.

He wondered if adding “dynamite” to the Billboard Hot 100 chart meant “K-POP has safely landed in the territory of the mainstream American pop industry.”

“How much can (the song) be considered K-POP?” He asked. “When a Korean band like us is singing a song in English, can this still be considered K-pop?”

He didn’t have a clear answer, but said he hoped the band’s achievements could “open the door to people outside the mainstream” of the US music industry.

“BE” is now available.

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BTS releases new albums “BE” and “Letter of Hope”

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