Peace, love and understanding (of Korean)
October 06, 2021

BTS’ anti-bullying campaign raised $3.6 million

K-pop icons BTS have raised an impressive $3.6 million after teaming up with UNICEF four years ago to create an anti-bullying campaign called Love Myself, NME reports. Launched in November 2017, the Love Myself campaign sends a powerful anti-bullying message, promoting self-love among children and young people across the world. In addition to the $3.6 million raised, the campaign has also generated significant interest online, with almost five million tweets mentioning the initiative, as well as over 50 million engagements.

Apart from their societal influence, K-pop septet is a major money-maker in their country. According to the Korea Culture And Tourism Institute, BTS is bringing an estimated 5 billion dollars to the South Korean economy each year. The group is fueling interests in all things Korean - tourism, language, films, television, fashion, and food. NPR discusses BTS' influence in the latest podcast.

K-politics
June 21, 2021

K-pop fans fighting for Palestine

A month ago, during the latest Palestine-Israeli crisis, the K-pop Twitter account @sceneryfortae, dedicated to BTS' member V donated an undisclosed amount to iF Charity, a UK-based organisation that has been working to address the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza strip since 2002, and posted the screenshot of the receipt with the hashtags #SaveSheikhJarrah and #SavePalestine. The tweet set off a wave of similar acts of solidarity across Taehyung’s global fanbase, who donated various amounts to organisations worldwide. This set off a wave of actions - numerous accounts have been spreading awareness about the plight of Palestinians and pointing their followers towards resources to educate themselves, petitions to sign, and on-the-ground organisations to donate to. Huck Magazine goes to explain the power K-pop fans have demonstrated on the politics scene in the last few years.

BTS' new single 'Butter' broke the record for the most viewed YouTube music video in its first 24 hours with 108,200,000 views on Friday, May 21. After the single dropped on Spotify it garnered 11,042,335 global streams in just one day, breaking the record for the most streamed track on Spotify in the first 24 hours, Guinness World Records reports. Also, as of 27 April 2021, the music of BTS had been streamed 16.3 billion times on Spotify, breaking the record for the most streamed act on Spotify.

The Weeknd took home 10 awards at the 2021 Billboard Music Award, including top artist and top male artist, Billboard reports. Pop Smoke won five, including top new artist and BTS and Bad Bunny each earned four. P!nk was honored as the Icon, Drake as the artist of the decade and Trae Tha Truth as the Change Maker.

Streaming had the biggest impact on recorded music revenue growth last year - 62% came from streaming. Trapital emphasizes three few less discussed but interesting findings from IFPI reports. Vinyl sales grew 23.5% last year - vinyl are collectibles. It's a callback to a time when fans valued owning art. Synchronization - the use of music in media like games, TV, film, ads, podcasts, etc. - declined 9.4%, but that dip came from pandemic-related production delays. Now that vaccinations are up and production is back on, this will bounce back. South Korea's music revenue grew 44.8% last year. It's now the sixth-largest music market (behind the US, Japan, UK, Germany, and France). It's driven by K-Pop, which is driven by the world's biggest musical act of 2020, BTS.

Korean boyband BTS have expressed "grief and anger" in response to deadly mass shootings in Asian-owned spas in Atlanta, Insider reports. A statement from the band - published in Korean and English - refers to discriminatory experiences that made them feel "powerless". The recent spike in the deliberate targeting of Asian parts of the US population is thought to come from people blaming China for the coronavirus pandemic.

K-pop stars BTS have been named the best-selling artists of 2020 by the IFPI, the organisation that represents the global recorded music industry, Forbes reports. The seven South Koreans are the first non-Western act to win, and the first whose songs are not predominantly sung in English. The boyband beat Taylor Swift (an American), who took the crown last year, into second place. Drake came third, with The Weeknd fourth (both are Canadian) and Billie Eilish at number five (she's an American). The award is calculated according to an artist or group's worldwide sales, downloads and streams, covering their whole body of work.

George Clooney performed a lyrical improv reading of BTS' biggest hit 'Dynamite'. With a straight face Clooney says "hello, I'm Brad Pitt", and reads the lyrics. Amusing stuff!

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