K-Pop fans have been going through an emotional roller coaster since BTS announced a hiatus during its ninth anniversary live stream.
The K-Pop community on TikTok reacted quickly to the beloved group’s sudden break. The abrupt news came right after the release of the group’s latest album, Proof, so fans were expecting to hear a world tour announcement instead.
The hiatus announcement also occurred during the group’s “Festa” live stream, held annually to commemorate its debut anniversary. Since its humble beginnings with Big Hit Entertainment in 2013, BTS has skyrocketed to the top of the Korean pop industry after nine years together. The group revolutionized the “Hallyu” wave, which refers to the intense popularization of Korean culture and entertainment internationally. BTS has also broken numerous YouTube records and is the first Korean band to receive a Billboard Music Award and a Grammy nomination.
The seven members (RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook) used their ninth-year celebration to become candid with their fans, aka the ARMY. As the members of the group discussed their decision with their fans, the members collectively reflected on how they felt burned out by the pressures that they face in the fast-paced K-Pop industry. They also said they would use this break to work on solo projects, with J-Hope slated to release a second solo album for his Lollapalooza headlining gig in July.
This TikTok clip shows one BTS member, Jungkook, sharing a “goodbye for now” message with the ARMY.
“You were with us for ten years. It’s not that we want you to understand, but it’d be nice if you could understand us,” Jungkook said of the hiatus. “We’re each going to take some time to have fun and experience lots of things. We promise we will return someday even more mature than we are now.”
BTS fans and the collective K-Pop community on TikTok were heartbroken by the news but understood the band’s need for a break.
“It’s sad, but I’m happy that they are taking time to recharge. They deserve the rest and fun! I support them. They will come back that much stronger,” one TikToker said.
“Either together or solo, I will support them anyways – like I do with Shinee and EXO,” another K-Pop fan wrote. The members of the aforementioned K-Pop groups are well known in the industry for simultaneously maintaining successful solo careers with their group commitments.
Other BTS stans compare the situation to One Direction’s “hiatus” announcement in 2016, fearful that BTS could have a similar outcome. Directioners have little hope for a One Direction reunion, since each member has gone solo.
However, K-Pop fans are hopeful that BTS will come back strong. BTS has gone on breaks in the past, and the band has yet to disband officially.
“Y’all, BTS IS NOT 1D, I promise you, their love towards each other as a group is unmatched, they’re taking time out ’cause they’re burnt out,” a TikTok user commented.
“BTS has done this three times, and they made a promise to us. I promise you they are coming back,” another said.
Other members of the ARMY used the time following BTS’ hiatus announcement to create lighthearted memes, bringing the fandom together to cope with the situation.
“Y’all making me laugh in the midst of my tears. I love y’all,” a TikTok ARMY said.
“I feel like life has no meaning until BTS comes back,” another fan wrote.
“So we all need group therapy, huh,” said another TikToker.
Shortly after BTS’ hiatus announcement spread internationally, the group’s label, HYBE, clarified to Pitchfork that this period for the group is not in fact a hiatus.
“To be clear, they are not on hiatus but will take time to explore some solo projects at this time and remain active in various different formats,” a HYBE representative told Pitchfork.
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