2021-09-21 02:26:02 BTS Took Center Stage at the U.N. Over One Million Fans Watched Live.
BTS Took Center Stage at the U.N. Over One Million Fans Watched Live.
More than 1 million people were transfixed by the United Nations on Monday, amid the clutches of a pandemic, the conflict in Afghanistan, and deadly storms exacerbated by climate change. Not to see a head of state, but to see a boy band called BTS.
During a nearly seven-minute speech at the United Nations headquarters in New York, the seven members of the Korean pop group, a multibillion-dollar act known for its dynamic dance moves, catchy lyrics, and frenzied fans, promoted the coronavirus vaccine and lauded young people for their resiliency.
The band’s appearance came just one day before more than 100 world leaders and representatives gathered on Tuesday for the start of the General Assembly, an annual conclave that was mostly held virtually last year due to the pandemic.
The band then showed a pre-recorded video of their hit song “Permission to Dance” while accompanying South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who designated them as special presidential envoy for future generations and culture.
The video showed the young crooners dancing in the Assembly Hall’s empty aisles — where presidents and autocrats have lobbed annihilation threats and diplomats have staged walkouts — and later outside the complex.
The band’s legion of fans watched intently on the United Nations’ YouTube channel, flooding a live chat with gushing messages, many of which included the purple heart emoji that has become a calling card.
“I’ve heard that people in their teens and twenties today are referred to as Covid’s lost generation,” said Kim Nam-joon, the band’s lead singer who goes by the stage name RM (formerly Rap Monster). “But I think it’s a stretch to say they’re lost simply because the path they’re on is invisible to grown-up eyes.”
Mr. Moon introduced the members of the band inside the vast hall, where they wore dark suits, lanyards with name tags, and lapel pins promoting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals campaign.
He stated that BTS, which is an abbreviation of the Korean words Bangtan Sonyeondan, or Bulletproof Boy Scouts, was “probably the most loved artist by people all over the world.”
The band, a dominant force in the Korean pop music space known as K-pop, had previously appeared at the United Nations. BTS visited the United Nations in 2018 to help UNICEF promote Generation Unlimited, a campaign dedicated to educating and training young people.
On Monday, a livestream of the band’s appearance on the United Nations’ YouTube channel received approximately one million views. Later in the day, the number of views surpassed six million.
One of the band’s members, J-hope, stated that there had been considerable speculation about whether the group had been vaccinated. He stated that all seven singers have been vaccinated.
“What matters are the decisions we make when confronted with change,” he said. “Of course, we were immunized. The vaccination served as a sort of ticket to meet our fans who had waited for us and to be able to stand here in front of you today.”