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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  • unipug2
    unipug2Wednesday, June 9, 2021 at 4:25 pm
    I am honestly not a fan, I'd much rather listen to New Kids on the Block, (and I'm a really critical boy band critic) but I love that they're encouraging us yearlings to find our voice. My fave bands are New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys. Do I have bad taste in boy bands?
    • italian_kid
      italian_kidThursday, May 20, 2021 at 12:11 pm
      I love BTS their all so cute but my bias is Suga 💜
      • boygenius
        boygeniusWednesday, May 19, 2021 at 3:11 pm
        • wolfieland
          wolfielandSunday, June 13, 2021 at 9:18 am
          K-pop is Korean.
          • italian_kid
            italian_kidThursday, May 20, 2021 at 12:09 pm
            Korean, not Japanese Kpop means Korean pop
          • howls
            howlsWednesday, May 19, 2021 at 6:10 am
            I just discovered them and there soooooo good I love the song "Fake love" and "Fire" but so far all the music I've heard by them sounds killer ❤
            • fiftyyou
              fiftyyouThursday, May 13, 2021 at 5:28 am
              soooooooooooooooooo cute
              • emoji_tiks
                emoji_tiksTuesday, April 27, 2021 at 3:25 pm
                I luv bts. I like rm :D
                • dianapop
                  dianapopFriday, April 23, 2021 at 9:23 am
                  i love BTS so much :D my bias are taehyung and hoseok ( V and J-hope ) ARMY!
                  • yashoto
                    yashotoThursday, April 22, 2021 at 8:09 am
                    I love bts music and I'm a army 😃
                    • unicornpuppy10
                      unicornpuppy10Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 2:15 pm
                      i love BTS j hope is funny and awesome
                      • jazmine2008
                        jazmine2008Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 5:32 am
                        did you know that bts means behind the scenes
                        • wolfieland
                          wolfielandSunday, June 13, 2021 at 9:19 am
                          It also means be there soon.