[BIRTHDAY BIOS] BTS's Veautiful V embarks on a new journey
In the K-pop galaxy full of talented, shining stars, birthdays are one of the biggest festivities for which fans get together to express just how much they love their dearest artists. To add to the celebration, the Korea JoongAng Daily’s entertainment brand Celeb Confirmed takes votes from fans on their favorite stars born in the respective month and dives into their careers, achievements and more in the newest series, Birthday Bios.
For this month's Celeb Confirmed’s K-pop birthday vote, V of boy band BTS was voted No. 1 among December-born stars.
“The most beautiful face in the world,” as acclaimed over and over by magazines around the world, the Veautiful V, or Kim Tae-hyung, of boy band BTS was born on Dec. 30, 1995, in the southeastern city of Daegu.
The story of how V came to join Big Hit Entertainment, the original name of BTS’s agency HYBE, is quite famous.
V came to the agency’s audition not in hopes of becoming a K-pop "idol" himself, but just to watch his friend's tryout. When the staff saw the young V, they saw potential — so they persuaded him to give it a try, and there he was, accepted as a trainee though his friend was not.
He joined Big Hit Entertainment in 2011, trained for around a year and a half and then debuted as a member of a boy band — one that would soon become one of the biggest names in history — on June 13, 2013.
BTS, or Bangtan Sonyeondan, didn’t start off with the warmest of fanfare. In fact, it faced public ridicule when the boy band, the name of which translates to "bulletproof boys," made their debut with a hip-hop theme that was welcomed by neither hip-hop artists nor K-pop fans accustomed to dance music and softer themes.
But fast forward 10 years, and BTS is irrefutably the biggest boy band not only in K-pop but around the world, making headlines not only with its music but art exhibitions, cityscape projects, donations, speeches at the United Nations and practically every other feat never before even dreamed of by any Korean act in the past.
V himself broke records this year when his first solo EP “Layover” sold 1.67 million copies on the first day, becoming the highest-ever sales figure by a K-pop soloist at the time. After a week, V had sold 2.1 million copies of his album, another record at the time.
“Layover” also landed at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, joining his bandmates Jimin and Suga for the monumental feat, while the EP's lead track “Slow Dancing” peaked at No. 51 on the Hot 100 singles chart.
V began his mandatory military service on Dec. 11 along with his bandmate and leader of BTS, RM.
“I’m going to miss you all so much,” V said in a message to fans on fan community service Weverse on the day of his enlistment.
“I’m sad that I won’t be able to spend time with [fan club] ARMY for the time being. Except that, I’m ok. But not being able to see ARMY is the toughest part for me. I will come back healthy after the long 18 months while you stay healthy and find something that makes you happy during that time.”
He added, “Let’s make precious memories together, like we’ve always done. I miss you already. I love you so much.”
“wherever u r,” a song by U.S. singer-songwriter Umi featuring V, will be released Saturday, V’s birthday, as “a gift from Umi and Tae.” Tae is V’s nickname, from the first syllable of his real name.
BY YOON SO-YEON [email@example.com]