The 8 Greatest BTS Moments throughout Their Career
Eight years is a long time for things to happen. For BTS, these past eight years have been moments of immense highs and hard-hitting lows. Throughout their career, they’ve experienced moments that could only happen once in a lifetime and moments that truly tested their strength as a group. But BTS has pushed through it all and ended up where they are today: known worldwide, selling out stadiums, and breaking records. Though it’s impossible to list all of the amazing accomplishments throughout their career, we picked out the eight most defining BTS moments that helped lead them to where they are today.
Biggest BTS Moments #1: “I Need U” First Win
Probably one of the first defining BTS moments is their first music show win. Though BTS debuted in June of 2013, it took them nearly two years to earn their first number one on a music show.
On May 5, 2015, BTS won first place on The Show with their song “I Need U.” If you watch the video of BTS receiving the award, you can see how shocked they are. They hardly know what to say, but they’re beyond excited for the win. A few days after this, BTS released a Bangtan Bomb of the behind-the-scenes of this win. Each member comes off the stage excitedly and member RM even gets a little emotional.
On May 7th, “I Need U” bagged another number one on M Countdown. BTS also released a Bangtan Bomb behind-the-scenes for this win. Each member is still rather emotional, especially Jimin—who stands in a dark hallway as he talks to the camera so it doesn’t catch him crying.
Overall, “I Need U” was able to accumulate five number ones on music shows. And though BTS had never won a number one before this song, every song after this received at least one number one. “Run” (2015) earned the group five number ones, “Blood, Sweat, and Tears” (2016) received six number ones, and “DNA” (2017) gave the group ten number ones.
Since “I Need U”s first win, BTS has only grown. The first win for “I Need U” is BTS’ Turning point because of this. Making it one of the biggest BTS moments in their career.
Biggest BTS Moments #2: the Wings Tour
After their success with “I Need U,” BTS’ popularity started growing. While the group went on a tour around Asia—specifically South Korea and Japan—after “I Need U”s win, they didn’t go on their next world tour until 2017.
In late 2016, BTS released the trailer announcement of this tour. It’s a two minute-long video that shows a compilation of shorts from each member and the tour dates.
At the time, the Wings Tour was BTS’ biggest selling tour. Their first world tour—the Red Bullet Tour in 2014/15—had roughly 80,000 attendees. Just two years later, the Wings Tour had roughly 550,000 attendees. That’s nearly seven times more people than the first world tour.
Not only had the number of fans increased, but the size of the performance halls increased, too. They performed in the Gocheok Sky Dome in South Korea, the Prudential Center and Allstate Arena in the USA, and the Kyocera Dome in Japan. Each of these places allowed thousands of fans to gather to watch BTS.
This tour truly shows BTS’ growth. This is why it’s one of the defining BTS moments in their career. Many people—fans and BTS themselves—still talk about the Wings Tour and the performances with it.
Biggest BTS Moments #3: the Billboards
The First Billboard Award Win
Though most ARMY—myself included—agree that becoming big in the USA for music doesn’t necessarily mean as much as the USA award shows think, it’s still quite the accomplishment that BTS has gotten so big in the US. This is why these BTS moments made it onto the list.
For the 2017 Billboard Music Awards (BBMAs), BTS made their first appearance as a nominee and winner on an American award show. This had never been done before by any other K-pop group. Granted, the award itself was fan-voted and ARMY was powerful even four years ago. But this award nomination and win showed that a Korean group from halfway across the world could make a difference in music.
It meant even more for us, the fans, when the boys were so excited for their win. A week after the award show, BTS released a BTS Episode on YouTube showing a lot of the behind-the-scenes. The video shows the group getting ready, each member practicing their English for interviews and nervously talking about what to expect. And the video even shows the moment their name is announced as the winner. You can tell how much they wanted this win. Especially our leader, RM, who sat there nervously crossing his fingers until their name rang out.
This nomination and win was the start of it all for BTS in America, making it one of the most memorable BTS moments yet.
The First Billboard Performance
In 2018, BTS was invited back to the BBMAs. Not only for their nomination in the Top Social Artist Award for the second year in a row but also for a performance. They performed “Fake Love.” This would make it their second performance on an American award show—the first being the American Music Awards (AMAs) in 2017.
The reason the BBMAs performance is on the BTS moments list and not the first performance on the AMAs is because of their award win. BTS was not nominated for anything on the AMAs when they performed—and you could tell from the camera work and the attention the group got throughout the show. When BTS performed on the BBMAs, they got a lot more attention because of their award nomination and win.
Like with the 2017 BBMA appearance, BTS also released a BTS Episode on YouTube for the 2018 award show. The video shows the hard work each member was going through to perform and the excitement from winning the award for the second year in a row. You can watch it here:
Because the BBMAs first appearance and first performance led to later appearances on American award shows, it’s definitely some of the most important defining BTS moments to remember.
Biggest BTS Moments #4: Order of Cultural Merit
Now, I know the rest of the BTS moments have to deal with music, but we should talk about one of the biggest accomplishments they’ve achieved outside of music.
On October 24, 2018, BTS became the youngest recipients of the Cultural Merit Award in South Korea. This reward is a highly regarded award in South Korea, so much so that it’s given out by the president. As of yet, nearly three years since BTS received it, it has not been given to another K-pop group. This makes BTS the first—and only—group to receive such an honor thus far.
This award contains five levels—or classes. BTS earned the fifth-class, Hwagwan Award. They received this award for spreading the Korean culture and language around the world with their music. Can you imagine how much more they spread the culture and language now in 2021 compared to 2018? BTS won this award when they were still climbing the ladder of popularity. But that just shows how amazing they truly are; they didn’t stop once they received such an honorable award, they kept going.
Because of this award, too, BTS have reached further than your typical K-Pop group can. That’s why the Cultural Merit Award is one of the most important BTS moments throughout their career.
You can watch this BTS episode where they’re receiving the Cultural Merit Award:
Biggest BTS Moments #5: Sold Out Stadium Tour—Wembley Stadium
Besides the Wings Tour, another world tour that’s part of the career-defining BTS moments. BTS’ Love Yourself World Tour was incredible by itself, but the part we want to focus on is the stadium extension. This extension, the Love Yourself: Speak Yourself world tour, included twenty shows in ten different stadiums. This includes Metlife Stadium from the US, the Allianz Parque in Brazil, the Seoul Olympic Stadium in South Korea, and Wembley Stadium in the UK. This extension racked up nearly $116 million and over 976,000 people attended the shows altogether. This tour was massive. Most stops on the tour sold out within the day of ticket release, many within hours.
However, the moment we want to focus on most is BTS’ performance in Wembley Stadium.
If you don’t know, Wembley Stadium is the place to go for musicians. It’s one of those “you did it” places that many artists strive to reach. Many great musicians have performed here and it’s truly a spectacle if you’re able to sell out the entirety of Wembley Stadium.
In 2019, on June 1st and 2nd, BTS became the first Asian act and K-pop group to headline and sell out Wembley Stadium. And they did this not only for one night but two. It was reported that BTS sold out tickets to Wembley Stadium within ninety minutes of release. This means BTS sold over 114,000 tickets within ninety minutes.
As a special surprise event for BTS, ARMY got in contact with their company to play “Young Forever” during the concert and allow fans to sing for the group. This surprise brought a lot of tears and pride. Truly, Wembley Stadium is a concert we’ll never forget, one of the greatest BTS moments on this list. You can watch the surprise event here:
Biggest BTS Moments #6: MMA and MAMA Clean-Sweep 2019
While there has been plenty of artists in the past who’ve won a lot of awards during one show, no one has done what BTS has. In 2019, at the yearly end-of-the-year Asian music award shows, BTS made history once again.
Two of the highest award shows in Asia include the Melon Music Awards (MMA) and the Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA). Both shows have three or four big awards. These big awards, also known as the main awards, are called Daesangs. In 2019, both award shows had four Daesangs each. BTS made history by winning all eight awards.
This sweep of the eight Daesangs has never happened before, making it one of the prouder BTS moments throughout their career. In fact, it’s rare for an act to win all four of the Daesangs from one of the award shows. So the fact that BTS won all eight is impressive. This solidified BTS’ popularity in Asia, making them one of the highest awarded groups those nights.
And, because BTS is still such a powerhouse, at the 2020 MMA and MAMA shows, BTS swept all Daesangs from each one again. However, the MMAs only had three Daesangs that year. So BTS won seven as opposed to eight. This second sweep gave BTS another plethora of record-breaking accomplishments.
Biggest BTS Moments #7: “Dynamite”
A Record-Breaking Song
“Dynamite” is BTS’ first all-English single. It came out August 20th of 2020. Right from its release, “Dynamite” broke records left and right.
Firstly, it was the first music video to get over 100 million views in just twenty-four hours. (Of course, ARMY broke this record, too, with the release of “Butter.”)
Next, “Dynamite” was the first BTS song to make its debut on the Billboard Hot100 Chart at number one. Throughout the entire history of the chart, there have only been forty-eight songs that have debuted in the number one spot. Now, BTS has a total of three songs that have debuted in the number one spot on the chart (“Dynamite,” “Life Goes On,” and “Butter”).
“Dynamite” also became BTS’ top winning song in Korean weekly music programs. Since its release, “Dynamite” has accumulated over thirty number ones in music shows. That beats the twenty-one wins from “Boy With Luv.” And, by default, makes “Dynamite” one of our top BTS moments picks.
If you’d like to read more about all of the amazing accomplishments from “Dynamite,” you can check out this post we wrote for it!
What did “Dynamite” bring?
Well, firstly, “Dynamite” brought more attention to BTS since it’s in English. The song was played in advertisements around the world—Samsung, Hyundai, and others. It also was also on the radio in the US. Combined, “Dynamite” got more exposure than any other BTS song at the time. And from this exposure, it only brought in more fans.
With all of this recognition, it should come as no surprise that “Dynamite” brought the group their very first Grammy nomination. Sadly, the group did not win that award. But the members were extremely happy to get the nomination. You can watch the video they released of their reactions to this nomination on YouTube here:
Biggest BTS Moments #8: the Grammy Performance
One of the most recent BTS moments that’s made it onto the list is their 2021 Grammy performance. This show took place on March 14, 2021 and featured a ton of amazing acts. With their first-time nomination for “Dynamite,” BTS also got their first solo stage for the Grammys.
For this performance, BTS performed “Dynamite” at the Parc1 tower in Seoul, South Korea. This performance was amazing. It started indoors but ended in a beautiful outdoor night scene on the top of the building with the boys decked out in colorful suits.
It’s not only the first time for BTS, but it’s the first time a Korean act was nominated and performed on the show. So BTS broke more than their own record for this one!
What of these BTS Moments was your favorite?
Amongst all of these milestones that BTS has crossed, they’ve only grown more. BTS continues to ascend this ladder of popularity and I’m sure they will still do so for a long time. There will be many more BTS moments to come. So all I have to say now is: What’s next, BTS?
If you’re enjoying BTS Week with us here at KWorld and want more, feel free to check out this schedule we’ve made for posts coming out this week! We already posted a couple of blogs, but we have some great ones lined up next. Check out our Blog Page every day as we post another BTS Week blog.
And, like always ARMY, have a happy BTS Week!