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Korean Wave

'It's not that we're disbanding': BTS takes indefinite break, to focus on solo acts

Jan Milo Severo - Philstar.com
'It's not that we're disbanding': BTS takes indefinite break, to focus on solo acts
BTS is celebrating their ninth anniversary
BTS via Instagram

MANILA, Philippines — Korean boyband BTS is taking an indefinite break to pursue their solo acts. 

The seven members, who are credited with generating billions of dollars for the South Korean economy, dropped the bombshell during their streamed annual "FESTA" dinner, part of a celebration that marks their ninth anniversary as a group.

"We're going into a hiatus now," said Suga, 29, some 20 minutes into the clip, which was posted on the group's official YouTube channel.

“I always thought that BTS was different from other groups, but the problem with K-pop and the whole idol system is that they don’t give you time to mature. You have to keep producing music and keep doing something… there’s no time left for growth,” RM said. 

“For me, it was a big deal that I didn’t know what we’re going to do as a group from now on. I don’t know what kind of direction our group has to take. But right now, we’ve lost our direction and I just want to take some time to think and then return,” he added.

Despite the sudden announcement of their indefinite hiatus, V believed that their fans will support their decisions. 

“They know our sincerity. I think 90 percent of our fans would root for us, no matter what kind of music or what kind of direction we choose,” he said. 

“We can’t help but think of our fans no matter what… I think now, finally, we’ve come to think about what kind of artists we each want to be remembered by our fans,” Jimin said.

“I think that’s why we’re going through a rough patch right now, we’re trying to find our identity, and that’s an exhausting and long process,” he added. 

J-Hope believed that change is what they need right now. 

“I hope you don’t see this as a negative thing and see that it’s a healthy plan,” J-Hope told the ARMY. 

For his part, Jungkook said that they will return and will be the better version of their selves. 

“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. So, I just hope that you could give us your blessing. That’s what I hope for,” Jungkook said.

The news had fans online in a fever as to whether this meant the end of the pop juggernaut -- but according to the video, it was not the case.

"It's not that we're disbanding -- we're just living apart for awhile," said Suga.

BTS has said that they were going on short breaks before, first in 2019 and later in December 2021.

The news comes just days after the group released "Proof," an anthology album that included a new single, "Yet To Come (The Most Beautiful Moment)."

BTS' label enjoyed a surge in profits despite holding fewer concerts during the pandemic.

The septet is the first all-South Korean act to reign over Billboard's US top singles chart, a milestone they achieved with "Dynamite," the first BTS song sung completely in English.

They're also one of few acts since The Beatles to release four albums that hit number one stateside in less than two years.

The group has twice been nominated for a Grammy but has yet to win.

BTS recently made headlines for visiting the White House to deliver a message to President Joe Biden on the fight against anti-Asian racism.

The floppy-haired stars, dressed in matching dark suits and ties, with white shirts, joined White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre at the briefing room podium before meeting Biden.

Member Suga appealed for tolerance, saying that "it's not wrong to be different. I think equality begins when we open up and embrace all of our differences."

The White House praised BTS as "youth ambassadors who spread a message of hope and positivity across the world."

Anti-Asian sentiment and violence in America have grown in recent years in a phenomenon many blame on fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

BTS' brief appearance before journalists reportedly garnered more than 10 times the usual traffic on the White House's YouTube channel.

Footage the group recorded with Biden has notched nearly 3 million views on YouTube. — With reports from Agence France-Presse

RELATED: BTS marks 9th anniversary with surprise track, emojis for fans

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