When South Korean boy band BTS makes its appearance at this year's "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve," it won't just be a cherry on the cake of what has been the group's biggest year in their career so far. The occasion also underscores the K-pop act's successful crossover to the U.S. mainstream market — a rare occurrence among its peers.
The group has racked up accolades this year. Among the most noteworthy of those has been becoming the first K-pop group to crack the top 40 on the benchmark Billboard Hot 100 chart with their track "MIC Drop," featuring rapper Desiigner and remixed by U.S. DJ Steve Aoki.
The song, which features a line about winning so many trophies the group "can't even count 'em," isn't just hot air: BTS is the first South Korean act to reach 10 million followers on Twitter, the first K-pop group to perform at the American Music Awards and the first South Korean group to win a Billboard Music Award.
When the group traveled stateside last month, U.S. fans staked out Los Angeles International Airport in anticipation of their arrival and recited coordinated fan chants — audience-participation phrases that fans echo during songs — both in English and the group's native Korean during their performance at the AMAs. Some burst into tears upon seeing their idols break out into song and dance on stage.