K-Pop Titan BTS online concert draws fans from around the world

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SEOUL (Reuters) – BTS fans listened to an online concert by the K-pop boyband on Saturday, holding their glow sticks and sharing messages in a chat room.

Entitled ‘Map of The Soul ON: E’, the virtual event came after the seven-member group abandoned their initial plans to hold an in-person show for a limited audience, in line with the southern government’s tighter social distancing restrictions. -Korean. The group had already canceled scheduled world tours.

The band’s latest hit was “Dynamite,” their first song entirely in English, which topped the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart last month.

“You’re not here but I can feel you here, like I can hear your vocals, and next time, let’s really be here together,” singer V, or Kim Tae-hyung, told fans.

Since its debut in 2013, BTS has spearheaded a global K-Pop craze with upbeat, upbeat music and dances, as well as lyrics and social campaigns aimed at empowering young people.

The group won a Guinness World Records title for most viewers for a performance broadcast live after their first paid online concert in June drew nearly 757,000 people from 107 countries.

Its management company, Bit Hit Entertainment, did not reveal how many people watched the latest show, although it garnered some 114 million real-time “joy clicks”, a sign of approval that fans can press multiple times.

As the band performed, a background wall of small screens showed thousands of fans from all over the world, many glow sticks waving “army bombs”. A chat room has been opened to allow fans to post comments simultaneously.

In Seoul, a small group gathered at a BTS-themed fan-hosted cafe to watch the concert together, while wearing masks and keeping a distance from each other.

“Their songs have comforted in these trying times and made me a fan,” said An Ji-won, 40, after bursting into tears while watching the show.

“They sing to say that everything will be fine and to cheer themselves up, which I think is why all the fans around the world love them. “

Reporting by Hyonhee Shin and Soohyun Mah; Additional reporting by Dogyun Kim; Edited by Ros Russell and William Mallard

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