K-pop Sensation BTS Urges The World's Youth To "Find Your Voice"

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BTS boy band has taken the world by storm (Photo Credit: Korea.net / Korean Culture and Information Service [CC BY-SA 2.0 CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

A few years ago, the idea that a Korean pop, or K-pop, group would perform to sold-out shows worldwide, top the Billboard 200 charts, and dethrone global phenom Taylor Swift's YouTube record for the biggest music video debut, would have been met with some skepticism. But the Bangtan Boys, or BTS as they are popularly called, have managed to accomplish all three feats, proving beyond doubt that music is a “universal language” which transcends across countries, languages, and cultures.

The success of the seven-member boy band, who range in age from 21 to 25 years old, can largely be attributed to their social awareness, which profoundly connects with their young audience. Instead of singing or rapping about heartbreaks and drugs, the group takes on social issues like mental illness, consumerism, school violence, and education disparity. BTS fans, known collectively as ARMY, or Adorable Representative MC of Youth, say the boy band’s lyrics have inspired and brought them together.

BTS collaborates with UNICEF to end violence against children and youth (Photo Credit: UNICEF via Twitter)

The group’s concern for society’s problems and injustices does not end with their lyrics. In November 2017, BTS partnered with UNICEF for an anti-violence campaign called “Love Myself” to end violence against children and young people. With some help from the boy band and its strong ARMY, the nonprofit managed to raise $1 million within six months.

On September 24, 2018, BTS became the first K-pop group to be invited to speak at the United Nations Youth 2030 event for the launch of “Generation Unlimited.” The UNICEF initiative “aims to ensure that every young person is in education, learning, training or employment by 2030.”

BTS at the 32nd Golden Disk Awards on 10 January 2018 (Photo Credit: NewsInStar (CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)

BTS leader RM (Kim Namjoon), flanked by his six fellow band members, took the mic. However, instead of talking about education and vocation, RM focused on self-acceptance and inspiration. The 24-year-old began by talking about his childhood and how happy he had been until the age of nine or ten, when he started worrying about what people thought of him. “I tried to jam myself into the other molds that other people made,” he said. “Soon, I began to shut out my own voice and listen to the voice of others. No one called out my name and neither did I... Like this, I—we—all lost our names. We became like ghosts.”

The 24-year-old urged youngsters to "Tell me your story. I want to hear your voice, and I want to hear your conviction. No matter who you are, where you're from, your skin color, gender identity: speak yourself. Find your name [and] find your voice.” The famous rapper concluded by saying that though he still suffers from self-doubt and anxiety, he is learning to overcome it. "I have many faults, and I have many fears, but I am going to embrace myself as hard as I can, and I'm starting to love myself, little by little." While RM may have reminded fans that he, like everyone else, is not perfect, his speech, which resonates with both young and old, certainly was.

Resources: CNN.com, Forbes.com,metro.co.uk

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842 Comments
  • kittiesmama
    kittiesmamaTuesday, February 16, 2021 at 11:14 am
    My favorite is Kim Namjoon
    • kittiesmama
      kittiesmamaTuesday, February 16, 2021 at 10:52 am
      Whoooo! LOVE them so much!!
      • armyblink
        armyblinkWednesday, February 10, 2021 at 6:43 pm
        AAAAAAAAAA YAAAAAAAAY I LOVE BTS Jungkook Rm Jimin Jin JHope Suga V
        • vampirelily
          vampirelilyWednesday, February 10, 2021 at 11:37 am
          I love their songs
          • deathly_hallows
            deathly_hallowsWednesday, February 3, 2021 at 6:01 pm
            thats cool, FIND CONFIDENCE BEFORE ANYTHING, lol but i'm more of an EXO fan SORRY BTS FANS
            • 29ngoch98
              29ngoch98Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at 4:23 pm
              luv
              • sydney_zepp
                sydney_zeppWednesday, January 27, 2021 at 10:06 am
                This inspires me #1 because I really want to be a singer, it's like my biggest dream #2 It makes me feel like I could make a difference! Also one of my big dreams is to meet Blake Shelton!!! He's my favorite singer!
                • saphege_ems
                  saphege_emsWednesday, January 27, 2021 at 7:50 am
                  my favorite song (and the only song I've heard from them) is "dynamite" which is SO good! (i'm a sucker for music from japan and songs about games but i make an acception for old town road lol).
                  • astetic_dreams
                    astetic_dreamsWednesday, January 27, 2021 at 7:14 am
                    I never heard one of there songs. Are they good?
                    • kittiesmama
                      kittiesmamaSaturday, February 13, 2021 at 12:36 pm
                      He's very good
                      • unicorn87
                        unicorn87Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 5:32 pm
                        I don't listen to them, but their "Dynamite" Is really good. My best friend Hannah got me into that song
                        • sydney_zepp
                          sydney_zeppWednesday, January 27, 2021 at 2:56 pm
                          Yeah, from the one song I've heard, they're very good at singing! It's definitely pop, and I like country, but I still like some pop, and there song "Dynamite" is really cool : D
                          • unicorn87
                            unicorn87Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 2:16 pm
                            I don't like their songs but I love Dynamite!!!!!!!! My friends like it, too.
                          • sydney_zepp
                            sydney_zeppWednesday, January 27, 2021 at 9:59 am
                            I think you'd like dynamite which is the only one I've heard. It's pretty good.
                          • red_riot
                            red_riotThursday, January 21, 2021 at 3:17 pm
                            I love u BTS💖💖.Especially the song,"Not Today". I listen to it at least once a day.😀