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TIME names BTS 2020 Entertainer of the Year

K-Pop superstars have broken many records in 2020

TIME names K-pop superstars BTS the 2020 Entertainer of the Year. The news comes ahead of the reveal of the 2020 TIME Person of the Year which will make its broadcast debut on NBC tonight (Dec 10th) at 10 pm ET/PT. The broadcast will feature an exclusive performance of “Dynamite” by BTS.

“BTS isn’t just the biggest K-pop act on the charts. They’ve become the biggest band in the world — full stop,” writes TIME’s Raisa Bruner. “Between releasing multiple albums, breaking every type of record and appearing in these extemporaneous livestreams in 2020, BTS ascended to the zenith of pop stardom. And they did it in a year defined by setbacks, one in which the world hit pause and everyone struggled to maintain their connections….But BTS’s bonds to their international fan base, called ARMY, deepened amid the pandemic, a global racial reckoning and worldwide shutdowns.”

“There are times when I’m still taken aback by all the unimaginable things that are happening. But I ask myself, Who’s going to do this, if not us?” Suga tells TIME on BTS’s bond with its international fan base.

“I always wanted to become an artist that can provide comfort, relief and positive energy to people. That intent harmonized with the sincerity of our group and led us to who we are today,” adds J-Hope on how the lack of human connection has been stifling for a group whose purpose is truly defined by their fans.

“We’re not sure if we’ve actually earned respect. But one thing for sure is that [people] feel like, O.K., this is not just some kind of a syndrome, a phenomenon. These little boys from Korea are doing this,” states RM.

Photographer Mok Jung Wook shot the TIME cover featuring the group.

The monumental year saw BTS make Billboard history by becoming the first Korean pop act to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart with “Dynamite” making its debut at No. 1. It’s a feat they kept for two consecutive weeks before reclaiming the spot after dropping to second for a week. The group did it again with its latest single, “Life Goes On.” BTS is the first duo or group in history to have two No. 1 Hot 100 debut songs, and breaks the tie with Megan Thee Stallion for most weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Digital Song Sales in 2020.

“Dynamite” is the lead single of BTS’ one of a kind album Be (Deluxe Edition) that also topped the Billboard 200 chart. The album was created in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and shares the honest emotions and thoughts the band has felt during this time with the hopeful message that “life goes on.” Be (Deluxe Edition) comes eight months after the group’s most recent album, Map of the Soul : 7, which was released in February 2020. The project earned the superstars its fourth No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart.

Earlier this fall, the group’s MAP OF THE SOUL ON:E virtual concert connected 993,000 viewers from 191 countries/regions. That number increased substantially from the June’s BANG BANG CON The Live watched from 107 countries/regions.

The worldwide superstars fourth film, Break The Silence: The Movie, was delayed two weeks due to the COVID-19 outbreak in Seoul. It opened in theaters with limited showings on September 24th.

The group also recently dropped a free single in partnership with Hyundai. The track, “IONIQ: I’m On It,” incorporates the now quintessential shape-shifting pop sound of BTS with slick and catchy melodies, while the reflective lyrics aide in exploring the individual moments fans can experience with Hyundai’s new EV brand, IONIQ.

They will round out 2020 with a headlining performance at 2021 New Year’s Eve Live Presented by Weverse. The concert starts at 9:30 pm KST/7:30 am EST and features Halsey, Lauv and Steve Aoki.