BTS surprised fans on June 14 when they announced in an hour-long YouTube video that they’re going on “hiatus” (watch it above). The K-pop boy band has been together for nearly a decade and have achieved remarkable success across the globe, including the US, where they have made history by elevating Korean-language music to the top of the charts. The band members will pursue solo work as bands often do when they take time off from each other. Which member do you think will have the most successful solo career?
V explained that they’re going to pursue their own work, “and later when we gather again as a group that synergy will be like no other.” There are plenty of examples of paths BTS could follow. Consider NSYNC, who broke up permanently in the early 2000s but lived on in Justin Timberlake‘s long, Grammy-winning solo career. Beyonce struck out on her own from Destiny’s Child and her career exploded too, though her fellow members Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland also had their own successful projects.
One Direction broke up semi-early with Zayn calling it quits and turning that five-some into a foursome. His first single as a solo artist, “Pillowtalk,” hit number-one on the Billboard Hot 100, and his duet with Taylor Swift, “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever,” reached number-two. But then the rest of the band decided to part ways, leading to the current ascent of Harry Styles, who has topped the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart twice with “Watermelon Sugar” and “As it Was” and the Billboard 200 alums chart three times. He won his first Grammy in 2021, becoming the first member of the band to do so.
Fifth Harmony also splintered when Camila Cabello broke off and went solo. She has released three top-10 solo albums, two of which have gone platinum. And she has also been number-one on the Hot 100 twice to date. Since the rest of the group went their separate ways, Normani has also established herself as a force in R&B music with four top-40 hits, though she has yet to release a solo album.
But that doesn’t mean BTS is gone for good. Consider that the Backstreet Boys have stayed together for more than 20 years, while The Jonas Brothers split up, pursued solo careers, and then reunited to make more music together. So there’s a decent chance we haven’t heart the last from the Korean septet. As Jungkook assures in the video, “We promise we will return someday.”
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