Ultra-popular K-pop band BTS has a global influence, and that star power is now being recognized by Time magazine. BTS was named Time’s Entertainer of the Year for 2020, with their own cover shot by Mok Jung Wook.
Suga, one-seventh of the boy band, sat down with Raisa Bruner for Time, talking about the group’s international success. “There are times when I’m still taken aback by all the unimaginable things that are happening,” he said. “But I ask myself, Who’s going to do this, if not us?”
The band is so influential that South Korean lawmakers passed the so-calledwhich will likely give major pop stars the ability to postpone their mandatory national military service. Under the law, deferment waivers for military service would be granted to pop musicians who have won awards.
BTS has won their fair share of awards. They have been nominated for seven American Music Awards, all of which they’ve won; four Billboard Music awards, which they also won; and they are nominated for a Grammy Award.
In addition to their accolades, the members of BTS — RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jung Kook —saw huge financial success, eachthis year after a chart-topping initial public offering by their label, Big Hit Entertainment.
The band and Big Hit have paid it forward, jointly donating $1 million to the ongoing anti-racism movement in the U.S. and beyond following the death of George Floyd, as a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck. BTS fans matched the septet’s donation within 24 hours.
In addition to Entertainer of the Year, Time also announced its Athlete of the Year: LeBron James.
James is not only recognized for his accomplishments on the court but for his social justice activism. James has rallied fellow athletes to demonstrate against racial justice and police brutality, himself wearing an “I can’t breathe” shirt on the court in memory of George Floyd.
He has also publicly spoken out about theand launched a nonprofit, More Than a Vote, which focuses on “combating systemic, racist voter suppression by educating, energizing, and protecting our community in 2020.”
Time will announce its Person of the Year on Thursday night. Ahead of the reveal, the magazine released a shortlist of the four finalists:
- President-elect Joe Biden
- President Donald Trump
- Frontline Health Care Workers and Dr. Anthony Fauci
- The Movement for Racial Justice
Recent past winners of Time’s Person of the Year include teen climate activist; “The Guardians,” , arrest or murder for their reporting, in 2018; “ ,” those who spoke out about sexual harassment as part of the MeToo movement, in 2017; and in 2016.