From fan, to author of the unofficial fan guide, writer Cara Stevens explains the hype behind K-pop band BTS, and more importantly, their ARMY of loyal fans.
“It goes so much beyond the music, and so much beyond the videos, and the wild enthusiasm at the concerts and of their appearances,” the Los Angeles author and mother-of-two told InsideEdition.com. “It’s really a very, very deep fan base, and they’re a wonderful, wonderful supportive group of people.”
Stevens, author of “BTS: Rise of Bangtan,” explained she first discovered the band when they captured the Social Artist prize at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards.
“That was my first time seeing them, and I was blown away by their amazing choreography and their positive energy,” she said. “And the fans were going crazy, so I knew there must be more to them than just their music and dance moves.”
In fact, beyond selling out massive venues all over the world and winning the Guinness World Record for most Twitter engagements from their die-hard fans, BTS also employ their reach to make real difference in the world.
With a help from their record label, Big Hit Entertainment, and UNICEF, BTS launched the Love Myself campaign, using the hashtag #EndViolence as a call to action to protect children from violence.
The fanbase, ARMY, also independently launched a campaign to end bullying, offering round-the-clock help via social media in several different languages.
“ARMY and BTS fans are an absolutely amazing force to be reckoned with,” Stevens explained. “I would liken it to the Beatles, where fans are just wildly involved and the group is so wildly involved with their fans. There’s a two-way love affair going on. Fans can’t get enough and the group can’t get enough of their fans.”
As for her favorite member of the group, Stevens said she made her choice not based on looks or dance moves, but intelligence.
“I’d have to say it’s RM,” she said. “First off, he’s brilliant. He has a 148 IQ and he loves to read.”
She also credited the leader of the group with making rap mainstream in Korea.
“He’s an amazing rapper and he had his start well before the band and chose to join the band against a lot of his fans in the underground world’s advice,” she said. “They were pretty bummed when he left the underground rap world and joined a K-pop band. But he’s really elevated the level of K-pop just through his music and passion and his intelligence.”