The BTS Effect: How RM, Jin, SUGA, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook have influenced popular culture

BTS is undoubtedly one of the most popular groups currently. Let’s take a look at how RM, Jin, SUGA, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook’s cultural impact worldwide.

Updated on Jun 14, 2024  |  05:36 PM IST |  102.5K
BTS (Image Credits- BIGHIT MUSIC)
BTS (Image Credits- BIGHIT MUSIC)

Undoubtedly, BTS stands as one of the most successful and prominent K-pop groups today. Born under the vision of Bang Si Hyuk, the founder of Big Hit Entertainment, BTS initially faced uphill battles as they emerged in an industry dominated by the three major entertainment labels — JYP, SM, and YG Entertainment. 

However, their breakthrough arrived with their first win at a Korean music awards show in 2015 for the single I Need U. Since then, BTS has traversed an extraordinary journey, amassing an incredibly loyal and vocal fanbase known as the ARMY while shattering international records with each step they take. Let’s take a look at the cultural impact  RM, Jin, SUGA, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook have brought through.

BTS: from underdogs to superstars

BTS has soared to become one of the most iconic bands of the 21st century, largely thanks to the unwavering support of their fans. From their catchy tunes to their mesmerizing dance moves and captivating videos, everything they do seems to go viral. They've graced the cover of Time Magazine multiple times and continue to shatter records left and right, from Guinness World Records to racking up the most views on their music videos and dominating Twitter with their engagements. However, their journey to stardom wasn't always smooth sailing.

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BTS made their debut in 2013 under Big Hit Entertainment with the single album 2 Cool 4 Skool. Their first track, No More Dream, which critiqued the societal pressures faced by Korean teens, initially received mixed reactions, leaving many skeptical about whether they would be able to stick as a band in the intense market. 


However, it wasn't until 2015 that they experienced their major breakthrough with the single I Need U from their album The Most Beautiful Moment in Life Pt. 1. This marked their first win on a music show, paving the way for a series of successes. Among these was their first Daesang Album of the Year at the 2016 Melon Music Awards for The Most Beautiful Moment in Life: Young Forever.

The release of their LP Wings in 2016 marked a significant shift for BTS, transitioning from their punk bad boys' concept to a more youthful and mature aesthetic. The album, featuring the immensely popular track Blood, Sweat, and Tears, catapulted their popularity to new heights. From that point on, BTS has been on an unstoppable rise to global fame.

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BTS has broadened their musical horizons by embracing a diverse range of genres while their lyrics delve into various deep and meaningful subjects. From mental health struggles to the challenges faced by youth in school, themes of coming of age, loss, the pursuit of self-love, and the complexities of individualism are recurrent in their music. 

They also explore the consequences of fame and recognition. Beyond mere entertainment, their discography and associated works draw inspiration from literature, philosophy, and psychology, and the group also has an alternate universe storyline called the Bangtan Universe. In 2022, Youna Kim aptly described BTS as the vanguard of the Korean Wave, symbolizing the worldwide spread of Korean culture. 

Their evolution from offering free concert tickets to selling out stadiums is nothing short of remarkable. Beyond their music, BTS has blazed a trail that has not only shaped the future of K-pop but has also transformed the global music landscape. Breaking through language barriers and confronting xenophobia head-on, they have weathered criticism and skepticism over the years. Their journey stands as a testament to their resilience and determination, inspiring both artists and audiences worldwide for generations to come.

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Cultural Impact of BTS

BTS, the septet, has left an indelible mark on both Korean and global culture, solidifying their position as key figures in the 21st-century Hallyu wave. Their impact extends far beyond music, encompassing various aspects of culture and society. The economic influence of BTS on the Korean economy, coupled with their philanthropic endeavors and diverse commercial ventures, has garnered widespread attention from the media and financial markets alike.

BTS stands out as the top of the Hallyu wave, representing the flourishing export of Korean pop culture, including K-pop, dramas, and films. Their impact on the South Korean economy is undeniable, with substantial contributions stemming from music sales, merchandise, and concert revenue. Moreover, the influx of tourists drawn by their popularity further strengthens this economic boost for South Korea.



BTS and their work has had a big influence on K-pop. After BTS' Love Yourself era and RM's speech at the United Nations, other K-pop groups started changing their song lyrics. Instead of just love stories, they began talking more about finding themselves. This change was seen in groups like MONSTA X and Stray Kids. BTS' success made a lot of artists worldwide want to do similar things. They started making music with deeper meanings, building imaginary worlds around their songs, and exploring darker themes. This trend isn't just in South Korea; it's happening in various countries worldwide.

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BTS made history as the youngest-ever recipient of the Order of Cultural Merit. While this honor typically goes to individuals with over 15 years of notable achievement, President Moon Jae In recognized the group just five years into their career for their significant role in promoting Korean culture and language globally. Additionally, the music videos of this Korean boy band have become a favored resource for language learners. With captions provided in both Korean and English, fans can watch the videos while reading and listening to the lyrics, enhancing their language skills in reading and listening comprehension.

BTS' journey to success wasn't handed to them overnight; it was built through continuous effort and perseverance, starting from humble beginnings. What sets BTS apart is their willingness to show their vulnerable side openly, even in front of cameras. Their emotions are raw and authentic, making them highly relatable to people from all walks of life. From their jokes to their gestures and speaking style, everything about them exudes uniqueness.

Moreover, BTS isn't afraid to tackle pressing social issues in their lyrics, resonating deeply with fans who respond by striving to make positive changes in the world. This commitment to social values has fostered a community of fans who actively engage in activism, advocating for charitable causes and addressing socio-political issues such as refugee crises, racial discrimination, children's rights, and more.

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Undoubtedly, BTS radiates an irresistible positive energy that captivates audiences worldwide. Through their introspective lyrics and sincere messages, these seven boys break through the superficiality often seen in mainstream music and entertainment.

Both BTS members and their devoted fans have become integral to a global movement, actively addressing today's most urgent issues. Their influence underscores the transformative power that emerges when people unite to advocate for positive change, emphasizing the impact that even one person standing up for what's right can have on the world.

ALSO READ: 30 BTS quotes and lyrics to inspire their fans

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About The Author

Pratyusha Dash is an English Literature Graduate from Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies with a deep passion for Korean

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