This question is big I know but I can’t help but wonder if it’s true. I won’t pretend to know all of the stories behind the rise of every musician that has come and gone but we are currently living through the rise of BTS and let me say it is astounding when you think about it. BTS started out in a country whose music industry is ridiculously cut-throat and fierce. With hundreds and hundreds of kpop groups popping up over the years, competition is extremely tough so it is nearly impossible to make your lasting mark in the Korean music scene especially when you come from a small sized company that doesn’t have much impact compared to the giants. BTS however managed not only get noticed and differentiate themselves in the sea of kpop groups, but thrive in the industry. And they did so in a way that a group of their “lowly” status hasn’t ever done before. Despite the system’s design to weed out those outside of the hierarchy, BTS were able to first survive then grow and now conquer. But it didn’t stop there.
Korea is a relatively big music market but when it comes to global recognition it typically misses its mark. With hundreds of boy and girl groups coming out of Korea, none have been a mainstay in global music and therefore kpop has remained niche despite efforts otherwise. This was an agreed-upon truth prior to 2016. Even Armys at the time never imagined anything more beyond the few daesangs BTS managed to score. BTS continued to grow in their own country but miraculously in the west as well. A kpop group from a small company who should have been thrown into obscurity like their other unfortunate kpop peers somehow managed to gain traction and popularity in the world’s #1 music market. This was the rise no one expected. Their success is even stranger considering that this was a POC group who suffered from many negative stereotypes stemming from several aspects (Asian race, xenophobia, boy-band stigma, kpop industry hatred, fan-girl shaming, etc etc). Not to mention the western music industry’s pure reluctance to accept something so strange and foreign to them; the “assimilation” process for BTS and Army when it comes to the rise in the US was incredibly grueling and upsetting to say the least. On top of ALL of that their own country’s music industry tried to bring them down on numerous occasions alongside greater parts of the kpop community who furthered these efforts mercilessly. They are THE group who shouldn’t have made it considering all that was against them and all they had to face.
Now BTS are leading artists in the world’s top 3 music markets with no signs of slowing down. They are playing head to head with some of the biggest global superstars of this era which is nothing short of incredible. Logically and realistically, they shouldn’t be as big as they are today. But they did it despite the ridiculous odds of it all. This is why I think their story is one of the greatest if not the greatest of all time. Let me know what you think about this question and if its true for you. If there is an artist that made it globally that had even more odds up against them I would love to know!
Edit: Forgot to mention a huge factor: they did this all while speaking in their native language