2021 Person of the Year: BTS / Korea

This year's popular culture icon is BTS, even if it expands its scope beyond Korea to the world. Now, it is too much to interpret or evaluate BTS in the domestic music industry. When BTS brought about the initial craze, discussions were held in various communities on who was the best singer in the history of Korean music, including Cho Yong-pil, Seo Tae-ji, and BTS. Now, the footsteps left by BTS are not the best singer of all time in Korea, but rather a debate over the all-time global legend.

BTS' footsteps this year are dazzling. BTS' Butter, which was selected as the best group in 2021 on the Billboard year-end chart released this month, topped the Billboard chart for a total of 10 weeks, the longest time this year. In particular, there are a total of six songs that BTS has released so far and topped the Billboard single chart. BTS is not Justin Bieber or Ariana Grande, but BTS, who has topped the list of the most songs in the past decade by extending the period. BTS' status is equivalent to an all-time legend.

The fact that he topped the list for 10 weeks with a single song is a record that even Michael Jackson, the emperor of pop, has not achieved. This year, BTS once again peaked in the performance industry at LA performances in the U.S. BTS earned 39.4 billion won in ticket revenue with just four performances held at the LA concert in the U.S. The biggest box office record in the past nine years has also been set by a Korean artist. For reference, based on concerts held in the United States, it set the biggest box office record in 20 years based on the number of single performances.

All unwritten laws in the industry are now completely broken by BTS. Before the advent of BTS, there was a prejudice that it was difficult for the United States and Europe to succeed in showing strong rejection of Asian musicians, but BTS boldly destroyed it and became the most influential musician in the West. While all musicians target China because of the expectation that China will become the largest music market beyond the U.S., BTS has targeted the U.S. mainland market and broke the record of existing legendary musicians.

Unfortunately, BTS declared its absence from this year's Korean Music Festival due to global activities and the aftermath of Corona. Although he recently won nine trophies at the MAMA Awards, it is regrettable that he could not see BTS' activities directly at domestic music festivals. Broadcasters promote that various K-POP musicians appear to fill BTS' vacancy, but industry watchers say that no one can fill BTS' vacancy, which writes a new history of global music, except BTS.

The BTS syndrome is also drawing attention from academia, opening a new horizon for Korean-style innovation. So far, the need for Korean-style innovation has also been mentioned in business administration, and the achievements of Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Motor have been introduced in academic journals, but few experts have viewed the achievements of these companies as achievements of Korea's unique color. However, it is widely believed that BTS' cultural influence is viewed as Korea's unique cultural innovation in overseas academia and field, not in domestic academia.

For example, Bloomberg News of the U.S. selected Bang Si-hyuk, who leads BTS' agency Hive, as the 50 people Bloomberg paid attention to and explained that it has set a new milestone in conquering global music charts through K-POP. It is a general evaluation by experts in the overseas music industry that BTS' rival among the existing artists is BTS itself. BTS is also the only person in Asia who surpasses fans' expectations and builds new achievements and overwhelming records every year, even considering all areas.

Two years ago, BTS was called the second Beatles in a global music magazine. Two years later, BTS is now recognized by music experts as an artist who has achieved comparable results to all-time legends. Now, he has firmly solidified his territory as a unique musician, not someone else. As the Grammy Awards did not give BTS a chance, the authority and reputation of the Grammy Awards are being criticized by experts. This is why BTS is recognized as a cultural icon in 2021 even if it expands around the world.