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Behind every boy band there's a legion of screaming fans. Here's the story of how ARMY grew alongside BTS.

How did BTS find its ARMY? The story behind their dedicated fan base

The Bangtan Boys, more popularly known as the boy band BTS, have leapt up to heights of popularity. This wildly popular South Korean band comprises of rapper RM or Kim Nam-joon, Jin (Kim Seok-jin), SUGA (Min Yoon-gi), J-hope (Jung Ho-seok), Jimin (Park Ji-min), V (Kim Tae-hyung), and Jung Kook (Jeon Jung-kook). Their unprecedented global success is partly credited to their devoted fanbase. 

This extremely dedicated, organised, and kind fanbase called itself the BTS ARMY, or simply ARMY, short for Adorable Representative MC for Youth. All BTS fans are collectively brought together as ARMY because the K-pop band’s music & message finds a resonance – sometimes even life-saving resonance – for the fans of the band.

Two of their albums have consecutively appeared as number one on the Billboard charts, a world tour, a historic stadium show in NYC are just the most obvious successes they’ve had in recent times. These charming members are often received with deafening screams in any & every public appearance. Language, it turns out, is not a barrier.

Idol worship & BTS

Pop music catches on like wildfire often, so having a cult-like following does not raise eyebrows. We have the Swifties, the BeyHive, the Britney Army, the Bellarinas . . . you get the drift. In fact, having an organised following is not restricted to musicians. Take the Cumberbitches. Idol worship of superstars is nothing new. BTS ARMY, however, might be one of the kindest fanbases to ever exist. 

ARMY is a moniker chosen by Big Hit Entertainment, the company credited with the launch of the band. Currently the ARMY makes for a substantial presence, when their digital footprints are concerned. Facebook is inundated with groups dedicated to K-pop, while the group’s Twitter audience is 29.2 million followers strong. On Instagram, 30.6 million followers of the boy band have come together. 

These numbers tell the sheer reach of the fanbase. Add to that the secret groups, pages, accounts dedicated to the band, divided by geographical locations, songs, band members, and the audience base keeps getting stronger. 

BTS grateful to its ARMY

“It is because ARMY exists that we exist,” Jin was quoted, making it clear that the boy band is grateful to the ARMY for their constant support. It’s a great fandom to be a part of – all you need to do is like BTS and you’ve secured entry. Unlike some vicious fandoms that resort to trolling or gatekeeping, BTS ARMY is one of the most welcoming fandoms to ever exist. 

The ARMY was created by the boy band’s company in order to connect with fans. They were just starting out, and social media has sounded like a good way to create a presence and foster relationships with their fans. It added a certain level of intimacy for anyone who’s a fan of the band. 

If you’re a hardcore fan, you’ll consider the elite tier aka the official membership, though. For about $30, fans can secure an official membership which grants access to early concert tickets and handwritten birthday wishes from BTS. There are rules, too. You cannot intentionally board the same plane as the band, or you risk getting your membership rescinded. There’s, in fact, a whole list of membership rules.

The love for BTS grows exponentially

According to reports by Spotify, BTS listeners have increased by a whopping 300% since they released their latest song “Dynamite”. “Dynamite” is also their first all-English single, which would explain the exponential increase in their fan base. At the same time, language was no barrier even before. 

According to studies, the boy band alone has brought in substantial economic benefits to South Korea, contributing immensely to the GDP, attracting travellers to the country, among other things. The company that launched them is dwelling on this rise, with plans to launch an IPO and raking in hundreds of millions in revenue from merchandise sales. 

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Comments
  • Thanks! This article will shed light on anyone who is new to BTS. The Company itself is one of a kind besides BTS. They take care of BTS so well that I feel everyone is practically a FAMILY when you join! So BTS and BIG HIT & ARMY=FAMILY!😁😁

    October 7, 2020
  • Great article—wonderfully written❣️Will share on social media. I purple you💜

    October 7, 2020
  • I’m proud to be part of the BTS Army

    October 7, 2020
  • I am also a new Army. Thanks for letting me know so much about BTS. They are amazing and adorable. And they are my inspiration.
    Purple you Army
    Happy birthday Jimin
    #jiminday

    October 7, 2020
    • WELCOME TO THE BTS WORLD I PURPLE YOUUUUUUUUU 😫🥺🖐🏻🤍💜🤍💜🤍💜🤍💜🤍💜🤍✨

      October 9, 2020
      • I’m also since 2017

        October 15, 2020
  • They are reason why I am existing
    Purple you BTS
    Purple you Army
    Happy birthday Jimin
    #jiminday

    October 7, 2020
  • Thank you for your truest sincerity towards me and my fellow army members. No one couldn’t have said it any better. I’ve been apart of this fandom for nine months and have enjoyed it to the fullest. BTS is a wonderful group of talented and caring young men and we, as fans, love that they not only inspire just the youth, but also, they inspire middle age and older generations. I am so proud to have found them in this time of my life. And I will never forget their sweet and kind messages. They have changed me for the better.

    October 8, 2020
  • Thank you sis for such a informative article…about BTS
    I purple you ARMY
    BTS 💜💜💜💜💜💜💜

    October 8, 2020
  • BTS,BTS,BTS….Iam Edson*ARMY FATHER*,59 years old,from Sao Paulo,BRASIL,,,, BTS ISS hard work!

    October 9, 2020
  • Thank you so much for this. Most of the time, the public thinks we’re viscous and there are most of the times, we’ve been flagged as the worst fan base of all time, but this article actually showed what we truly are, and also our boys love for us and ours for them. So, once again thank you.

    And baby armys, know that what she wrote is true, all you need to do is like and respect BTS and their music and you’re automatically an army. You don’t need the excusive membership (you can get it if you want) but just know your love is enough for bts.

    And to non-armys, you can like them and not be a part of the fandom, and you can also not-like their music and not hate them or spread bad things about them. You can act like they don’t even exist. (I say music, cause as people, all the members of bts are wonderful, but I understand if their music is not your to your taste.)

    Thank you again for this article

    October 9, 2020
  • This is one idol group. Where the army is as special as BTS itself. Even when I was new sepoy in the army …. Older army members would be there to support n encourage u in every way… They were like essentially nice human beings as the BTS members reflect. Sides of the same coin.. supporting each other!..u begin with falling for BTS n the. U qenuinly fall n adore the army too!

    October 9, 2020
  • I honestly felt very happy reading this. I’m a new ARMY but BTS has helped me so much, I was very reckless and I was broken and hurt and I was thinking of ending it but when I heard Dynamite and Stay Gold, I cried and realized that it wouldn’t be a good idea to die heh, but I’m glad to be alive to this day, I get to see BTS and their amazing personality. I remember telling a friend, “Who is BTS? And why do you listen to them if it’s Korean, you can’t understand it” I don’t remember her reaction but now that I look at it, I found it funny because now BTS is part of my life and happiness and I’m glad I found their music. 💜BTS💜ARMY💜FOREVER💜BULLETPROOF💜

    October 9, 2020
  • The way BTS love’s army’s is unexplainable 💜 When they recieves award the first and only word from there mouth is Amiiiii 😭 We army’s are like a family and I love this family💜 BTS the one and only band who loves there fans very much 💜💜 Army’s love you BTS 💜 BTS army’s purple you 💜 Love you💜

    October 9, 2020
  • I m proud to be an Army 💜 luv u BTS 💞😘luv u guys forever n ever

    October 9, 2020
  • ARMY did NOT name themselves. BTS GAVE us that name. Why do people insist on saying that? All Kpop Idol groups name their fan bases. BTS said “Our fans will be called A.R.M.Y.” and proceeded to tell us what it stood for.

    October 9, 2020
  • Thankyou so much for this wonderful article..this is very good for those who are new to army..very less writers write good about armys and bts .so thanks a lot..

    October 9, 2020
  • Boreaho BTS & ARMYs & BIGHIT & To u all💜😇

    October 10, 2020
  • Me 2 I’m s proud to be part of the bts army… I 💜 💜 💜 you… Stay strong army, 💜💜💜BTS…

    October 11, 2020
  • This was actually the first year i took time one day to write down their birthdays in a calendar in the room i sleep in. I almost forgot something, it feels almost like

    October 12, 2020
  • 💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💪👍😎🎉✌👏💞

    October 14, 2020
  • Thank you for the article. I’m in my 40s living in the US, not Korean, and I’m a proud BTS fan. Was planning to go to visit South Korea with the whole family because of BTS for the first time before the pandemic happened and discover the Korean culture they’ve been promoting. I love all the 7 guys. My whole family including extended families in 4 generations are proud Armys as well. BTS has truly transcends music today from their authenticity, their music, messages, performances, sincerity, and the desire to help others that makes all generations be in awe of them and their limitless talents. They are songwriters, great performers, outstanding singers and rappers, producers, incredible work ethic and humbleness only to name a few. It’s no wonder why their fans and loyal Armys are so supportive of them. BTS are legendary musicians that made a lot of people realized that there is no language barrier in authentic and good music that inspires all generations. I’m glad more and more people are starting to discover that message and realizing BTS are legends.

    October 20, 2020

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