K-pop superstars BTS have been honoured by Time magazine editors as one of their ‘Next Generation Leaders’ – young people they believe will shape the future.
The group, whose global popularity has soared over the past two years, feature on the cover of this week’s (end14Oc18) issue – which honours the latest batch of young, activists, artists, actors, and writers to receive the prestigious accolade.
BTS, who recently sold out huge arena shows in London and New York, and even gave a speech at the United Nations (UN) last month, described their remarkable rise to worldwide fame in an interview with Time.
Suga, 25, one of the band’s rappers explained: “We started to tell the stories that people wanted to hear and were ready to hear, stories that other people could not or would not tell. We said what other people were feeling – like pain, anxieties and worries.”
The group’s candid relationship with their fans caught the eye of UN officials, who last year chose them to lead a campaign aimed at encouraging children to speak up about cruel treatment.
Suga, real name Min Yoon-gi, explained that their new fans outside their homeland go just as wild about their music as Koreans.
“Even if there is a language barrier, once the music starts, people react pretty much the same wherever we go,” he said. “It feels like the music really brings us together.”
Promising fame won’t change the group, leader RM, real name Kim Nam-joon, added: ” I think the most important thing to live well is to be yourself. We’re still trying to be us.”
Others named as Time’s Next Generation Leaders this week include French soccer star Kylian Mbappe, and the actress Amandla Stenberg. The Weeknd, and French singer Christine and the Queens received the accolade earlier this year.