New BTS show on Apple Music to trace the band's journey to global superstardom

Weekly limited series 'BTS Radio: Past & Present' launches on the streaming platform on May 28

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BTS will reveal their gradual journey to becoming K-pop superstars through a new Apple Music weekly limited series launching on Saturday.

The streaming service announced on Thursday that the record-breaking South Korean group will release their new show BTS Radio: Past & Present on Apple Music 1. The three-episode limited series will be broadcast weekly, leading up to the release of the band’s new album, Proof, which will be out on June 10.

The Grammy Award-nominated band will take listeners on their quest to stardom, while sharing stories and songs that helped to shape them. The group are known for their hit songs such as Dynamite and Butter.

“We wanted to use this radio show to celebrate nine years of BTS with you guys and with our Army all over the world,” said RM, of the seven members of the boy band. The others are J-Hope, Suga, Jungkook, V, Jin and Jimin.

“Every episode is dedicated to you,” RM says. “And we wanted to share the BTS songs that help tell our story.”

In the first episode, BTS explain the beginning of the group, with songs that inspired their sound and style. The second episode — which will be released on June 3 — will have the band pick some of the BTS Army’s favourite songs.

BTS will show how the group ultimately achieved fame as global music sensations in the final episode on June 10.

The announcement of the new show came hours after the White House announced that the group would meet US President Joe Biden on Tuesday, as part of a series of events celebrating Asian-Americans and denouncing racism against them.

Biden and BTS will "discuss Asian inclusion and representation, and address anti-Asian hate crimes and discrimination, which have become more prominent issues in recent years", the White House said, referring to the group as "youth ambassadors who spread a message of hope and positivity across the world".

BTS have in the past been praised for lending their voice to various social movements.

In March last year, they issued a statement on the #StopAsianHate movement, posting a letter in English and Korean to Twitter to express their support for the campaign.

“We send our deepest condolences to those who have lost their loved ones,” the statement begins.

“We feel grief and anger. We recall moments when we faced discrimination as Asians. We have endured expletives without reason and were mocked for the way we look. We were even asked why Asians spoke in English.”

The group also discusses how those experiences have affected their self-esteem.

“We cannot put into words the pain of becoming the subject of hatred and violence for such a reason. Our own experiences are inconsequential compared to the events that have occurred over the past few weeks. But these experiences were enough to make us feel powerless and chip away our self-esteem. What is happening right now cannot be dissociated from our identity as Asians.”

In 2018, a speech by the group at the UN headquarters in New York went viral.

Speaking for BTS to help launch a Unicef campaign called "Generation Unlimited", an impassioned RM outlined the issues that they, their fans and young people around the world face today and the need to step up.

"I want to hear your voice, I want to hear your conviction. No matter where you're from, skin colour, gender identity, just speak yourself. Find your name [and] find your voice," he said.

— Additional reporting by AP

Updated: May 27, 2022, 5:22 AM
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