Why is BTS taking a hiatus in 2022?

BTS - Getty
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BTS, one of the most popular bands in the world, is taking a hiatus from performing.

The South Korean band became a global sensation in the late 2010s, collecting a fanbase millions strong, comprised of music-lovers from all corners of the globe. Their popularity in the U.S., in particular, skyrocketed in recent years, and saw the seven-member group credited by author Youna Kim as one of the vital factors in the global expansion of Korean culture. Their global rise helped tourism in South Korea surge, and even aided in a widening interest in mastering the Korean language.

There’s no denying BTS’s influence. While there’s no shortage of people who are unfamiliar with the band’s music, you’ll be far harder pressed to find many people who’ve never heard the band’s name. They’re extremely prominent online, a fact that’s helped the popular band to form one of the largest fanbases on the planet. Self-labeled the BTS A.R.M.Y., the band’s fans are passionate, vocal, and highly organized. They’ve been behind a number of widespread online campaigns and movements, helping the band rise to even greater prominence.

News that the band intends to take a hiatus is already rocking the fanbase, but most people seem supportive of the move. The band has hardly slowed down in years, after all, and their most loyal fans see the break as the necessity it is. They’re already throwing their support behind the members’ likely solo albums, and expressing their gratitude that the band doesn’t aim to officially disband.

The hiatus is the result of the band seeking more time to rest and pursue solo projects, after nine years of largely uninterrupted work. The decision to take a break was reportedly a difficult one, particularly for a band that is so notably close with its fanbase. During the announcement of the hiatus, which occurred at the band’s annual FESTA dinner, Jimin noted that the band “can’t help but think of our fans no matter what,” but that its members are “trying to find our identity and that’s an exhausting and long process.”

It’s unclear how long the hiatus will last, but fans are buckling in for what could be a lengthy break. So long as it’s interrupted by plenty of solo releases from Jin, Jungkook, J-Hope, Jimin, RM, Suga, and V.

Have they gone on hiatus before?

This is the first extended break BTS has ever taken. The band’s grueling recording schedule has seen the release of a handful of BTS albums between near-constant tours, alongside a slew of solo projects from each of the band’s seven members. Between all of them, and on top of the band’s five Korean-language studio albums, the members of BTS have put out more than a dozen mixtapes and singles. The hiatus is sparking rumors that they’ll now break into full solo albums, lending even more recordings to the band’s already robust library.