K-pop’s BTS releases new album Proof and has pop-ups in New York and Los Angeles

South Korean boy band BTS have released their new album Proof on Friday (Jun 10) in a highly anticipated return to the music scene as they celebrate the ninth anniversary of their debut this month.

A teaser track, Yet to Come (The Most Beautiful Moment), has had more than 17.8 million views on YouTube in less than two days.

Proof, a three-disk anthology encompassing 48 tracks, includes the septet’s biggest hits, solo and tracks selected by each member, previously unreleased tracks as well as demos and studio versions of songs that fans have only heard live.

Rapper Suga explained in a statement: “We carefully finalised the order of the tracks as the album speaks of BTS’ history. My suggestion would be to listen to the album in the order”.

To the delight of American fans, the boy band is promoting their new album’s release with pop-up shops in New York City and Los Angeles.

Fans lined up from 7am on Friday to be among the first to purchase exclusive items created just for New York. “It’s hardly ever in New York, it’s mostly LA – so, for them to do it here, it was just like, had to come,” said fan Adriana Guzman.

Daniel Ealacios was directed to the store by his sister in Texas who was hoping her brother would snag her some merch. T-shirts will sell for US$55 (S$76), with hoodies priced at US$120, and posters US$18.

The seven-member group last year became the first Asian band to win artist of the year at the American Music Awards. Last week, they met US President Joe Biden at the White House to discuss hate crimes targeting Asians.

The band made their debut on June 13, 2013, and have since then spearheaded a global K-pop craze with lyrics and social campaigns aimed at empowering youngsters.

But their fan base extends into older demographics, tying their spending power to an Internet-savvy generation that harnesses the power of social media.

Last November, BTS took to the stage for the first since the coronavirus pandemic began, with a concert in Los Angeles. In March, BTS returned to their home country with three concerts in Seoul.


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