By Ashley Cruz

From the official BTS Facebook page.

After chart-topping milestones and a record-breaking year, BTS has established its status as a pop culture juggernaut, not only in the Korean music scene but globally.

That ain’t bad, considering the septet debuted in 2013 from a small production company in South Korea.

Starting with the release of its seven-track EP “Map of the Soul: Persona” in April, BTS became unstoppable — being the first-ever Asian act to have three albums at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in less than a year, a record earlier set by The Beatles.

The group also took the Guinness record for the “most viewed YouTube music video in 24 hours” for the Persona title track “Boy With Luv” featuring Halsey.

BTS’ iconic SNL debut performances of “Boy With Luv” and “Mic Drop” and members’ appearance at the Grammy Awards as presenters earlier this year solidified their mainstream status as a non-English speaking musical act. Another career highlight was the invitation to join the Grammy Awards as voting members, making them eligible to vote for potential winners.

Proving that BTS is indeed the world’s biggest boy band was the sold-out success of the “Love Yourself World Tour” held in arenas and stadiums in North America, Europe and Asia. The recently concluded “Love Yourself: Speak Yourself World Tour” extension was a stadium-exclusive series of concerts held in prestigious venues including the iconic Wembley Stadium in London.

With a massively successful world tour, the septet claimed the “Top-Grossing Touring Group of 2019” title, based on Billboard’s year-end Boxscore charts. Combining figures from the original and extension tours, BTS grossed over $196 million, with a total of 42 shows attracting more than 1.6 million people, outranking legendary rock bands like The Rolling Stones, Metallica and KISS.

BTS has also scored five top spots on the Billboard Year-End Charts including the Social 50 Artist for two years in a row, World Digital Songs Artists, World Albums Artists, World Albums for “Map of the Soul: Persona,” and Independent Artists. BTS landed at No. 2 for Top Artists – Duo/Group, the only Asian act in the rankings. It shares the honor with musical icons such as Queen, The Rolling Stones and Metallica.

The group also dominated the streaming platform Spotify, becoming the “Top-streamed K-Pop Band” after surpassing 5 billion streams for “Boy With Luv” in April, the first K-pop act to do so.

BTS was not honored “Group of the Year” by Variety in the 2019 Hitmakers for nothing, as the band swept trophies at award shows like the American Music Awards (AMAs), Melon Music Awards (MMA) and Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA), making history both abroad and in Korea for having the most number of Daesangs (top awards).

Starting from nothing six years ago and coming out stronger than ever years after, BTS members RM, Jin, Suga, j-hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook have repeatedly proven that there’s no other way to go but up, as long as they are able to bring happiness to their fans through larger-than-life performances and make music that transcends languages and barriers.  

With the direction they are pursuing — from surprise collaborations to solo passion projects such as mixtapes — BTS won’t lose momentum anytime soon.

If 2019 was a year of superlatives, what else can they do in 2020?