Meet RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jung Kook
RM (Name: Kim Nam-jun), rapper and leader, 24
The official leader of BTS, RM was the first member scouted by BTS founder Bang Si-hyuk; he was an underground battle rapper at the time. He’s known for his rapping — he’s collaborated with artists like Wale and even was the first of the group to release his own rap mixtape — and is also the only member of BTS who speaks English, which he taught himself by watching all the seasons of Friends. In September, he delivered an English-language speech to the U.N. General Assembly in New York City supporting youth empowerment initiatives. “No matter who you are or where you’re from, your skin color, your gender identity, speak yourself,” RM said in the speech.
Suga (Name: Min Yun-ki), rapper and producer, 25
Starting as an underground rapper as a teen with the stage name of Gloss, Suga got his current moniker from early years spent playing basketball. (It’s an abbreviation for “shooting guard.”) Suga is known for his rapid-fire rhymes. He’s also happy to be vocal about everything from mental health to politics, especially on his 2016 mixtape Agust D. He also is a producer, having contributed to award-winning songs on other artists’ projects as well of many of BTS’s own tracks.
J-Hope (Name: Jung Ho-seok), rapper and dancer, 24
The third member to be tapped to join BTS after RM and Suga, J-Hope — stylized as j-hope — was first known for his dancing; he was part of an underground dance crew in his home province of Gwangju. But since becoming a part of the boy band, J-Hope expanded his skill set to include rapping and songwriting, with credits across the BTS discography. He also released his own mixtape in March, Hope World, which charted independently on the Billboard 200 and shared his signature message of optimism and peace. He’s vocal about his love of fashion, too, telling TIME he loves to shop when he visits new cities.
Jimin (Name: Park Ji-min), singer and dancer, 22
Discovered by Big Hit Entertainment during high school, Jimin is known for his sharp dance moves first and foremost; when he was younger, he attended an arts school alongside V, where he focused on modern dance. At shows, he performs the solo “Serendipity”—and his moves offstage, from sharing a laugh with Jimmy Fallon to hugging a fan, can potentially go viral. “When the fans sing along to the songs, that’s one of my favorite moments,” Jimin told TIME. “We give energy to our audience members and listeners, but we also draw energy from them.”
Jin (Name: Kim Seok-jin), singer, 25
After stepping out of a limo at the Billboard Music Awards in 2017, a candid snapshot of Jin caught the internet’s attention. The result: he now often goes by the fan-given moniker “Worldwide Handsome.” He was initially scouted on the street in South Korea before ending up in BTS. An amateur foodie, Jin garnered his own audience early on with a popular food vlog, Eat Jin, in which he posted candid videos of himself — and sometimes his bandmates — eating home-cooked meals (and sharing their opinions, of course).
V (Name: Kim Tae-hyung), singer, 22
V is the R&B crooner of the bunch, known for his smooth vocals that pop on some of the lower-tempo songs from the band. At shows, his standout moment comes when he sings and dances alongside a life-sized puppet of sorts in an emotive, avant-garde duet to his solo song “Singularity.” A songwriter and producer as well, he has also dabbled in acting, and currently has an interest in photography, he told TIME.
Jung Kook (Name: Jean Jeong-guk), singer, 21
As the youngest member of the group, Jung Kook fills a special role in K-pop groups called the “Maknae,” referring to his youth — but in BTS he’s been deemed the “Golden Maknae,” giving him kudos for his onstage chops. He’s also one of the group’s prime vocalists, appearing on the anonymous South Korean singing reality show King of Masked Singer to surprise and delight audiences a few years ago. He likes to share some of his pen and paper illustrations on social media too. And he loves to perform, telling TIME that now in months off when the group aren’t doing shows, he looks forward to returning to the stage.
How did BTS rise to fame?
After bringing together the seven young artists, Big Hit Entertainment’s Bang Si-hyuk first debuted BTS to the world in 2013 with their first album 2 Cool 4 Skool and lead single “No More Dream” to moderate success. They also entered the Japanese market with a Japanese-language version of their single. BTS continued to release albums in Korean and Japanese and to tour Asia over the following years, with a few stops in the U.S. in 2015 for KCON.
But it wasn’t until 2016 that they really began to take off internationally, with their Wings EP and, later, the “DNA” music video breaking records. Cracking the Billboard Top Social Artist chart was another major milestone, as they bested social media mainstays Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez for the title; they’ve stayed atop that chart for 95 weeks as of time of publish. They also gained traction in the U.S. market with their BillboardMusic Awards appearance in 2017 and a subsequent publicity tour of talk shows.
I love Bts so much they are so adorable and So childish just like me And they some want inspire me some want And They make me laugh and Smile whenever i watch their vlogs they are so AMAZING at singing and Also they are good people
LOVE YOU BTS ARMY