BTS continue to expand their worldwide popularity with chart-topping hits and sold-out stadium tours, and now, the K-pop band has been chosen as one of Time Magazine’s “Next Generation Leaders.”
Not only did BTS make the list, which honours young people from different industries who are helping reshape the world around them, but the group also features on the cover of the iconic publication.
The band’s members – Jimin, 22, Jin, 25, Suga, 25, J-Hope, 24, RM, 24, V, 22, and Jung Kook, 21 – spoke to Time about the honour, their career, and the pride they have in representing Korean culture on a global scale.
“As a Korean, we love our country and we’re proud of our country so much,” said RM in a video of the interview. “And it’s even just an honour to be called an ambassador of Korean K-pop.”
“It’s a real honour,” said J-Hope, via a translator. “We’re proud that everything we do is giving off light.”
BTS has developed a huge following in North America, becoming the first Korean act to top the U.S. Billboard 200 albums chart, a feat they accomplished twice this year with their records Love Yourself: Tear and Love Yourself: Answer.
“We said what other people were feeling – like pain, anxieties and worries,” Suga said when explaining why he thinks the band’s music has resonated with so many people.
“Even if there is a language barrier, once the music starts, people react pretty much the same wherever we go,” he continued. “It feels like the music really brings us together.”
The “Next Generation Leaders” list also includes 19-year-old “Hunger Games” actress Amandla Stenberg and 19-year-old French soccer player Kylian Mbappe.
BTS are currently in London as part of their sold-out world tour.