‘Love Yourself’: The story behind BTS’s most popular era
BTS has always been a voice for their fans, the ARMY. They acknowledge the role the army has had in their success. The redesign of their logo represents this well, as they try to give their fans hope and inspire them to follow their dreams. To go along with a new logo, BTS released a new era, the “Love Yourself” series, in August 2017.
Consisting of the short film Love Yourself: Wonder, the EP Love Yourself: Her, the album Love Yourself: Tear, the compilation album Love Yourself: Answer, the Japanese released Face Yourself, and the Love Yourself World Tour, BTS did a lot with this era.
The Most Beautiful Moment in Life to Love Yourself
Before the release of any of the Love Yourself albums, BTS wrapped up the previous era the Most Beautiful Moment in Life with a dramatic cliffhanger. The previous era was focused on the highs and lows of young adult life. After finishing up the era with some last minute notes published, Love Yourself opened with images showing the boys finding self-love after healing.
While the previous era focused on more depressing topics, the Love Yourself era was BTS singing about making the small moments count & the beauty of everyday life. Yet the stories are still intertwined together.
Announcing the new era
To kick off the Love Yourself era, BTS dropped a bunch of promotional posters and four different highlight reels. The four highlight reels come together to form Love Yourself: Wonder. Already, fans knew this era was going to be different as it was the first one with promotional posters before an album was even announced.
Each member got their own promotional poster, and then the boys were split into duos. V & RM, Suga & Jungkook, J-Hope & Jimin, and then Jin by himself were all featured in posters together.
Hitting career highs
While their album Wings was a commercial success worldwide, the Love Yourself era of albums was where BTS grew into a true international sensation. BTS’s first album to top the Billboard 200 charts was the EP Love Yourself: Her. The records didn’t stop there. “Idol” was their highest peaking single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at number eleven.
BTS became the first K-pop act to perform on the American Music Awards, the Billboard Music Awards, and Dick Clark’s New Years Rockin’ Eve during this era, and later on became the first K-pop presenters at the Grammy Awards in 2019.
This doesn’t even cover the records broken by the Love Yourself World Tour. The first Korean artist to perform in a U.S. stadium, tickets for their historic show in NYC’s Citi Field sold out in 20 minutes. Second only to Ed Sheeran, BTS was the best selling 2018 concerts in non-U.S. markets.
Telling a story
Similar to their other eras, Love Yourself is focused on a fictional version of the boys. While the characters in the videos share the same name as the BTS boys, they’re meant to be fictionalized versions of them. After having their youth and tragedy in the past two eras, BTS is looking towards better days in the Love Yourself era of stories.
Of course, those familiar with the BTS universe know the story is already moving on, as the boys have begun the Map of the Soul era. But no matter what Map of the Soul does, we all know the success BTS has now is thanks to the genius that is the Love Yourself era.