It’s been an emotional month for ARMY with BTS announcing that they’re focusing on solo projects after dropping their anthology album “Proof.” We’ve had days to let the news sink in and to appreciate the members’ honesty when they talked about dealing with burnout. But it seems Korea Singer Association president Lee Ja-yeon missed that live conversation because she’s asking BTS to “reconsider it for the K-pop industry.”
TV Daily reports that Lee made the appeal through a press release from the association published today, June 22. “We are fearing that the BTS Korean Wave, which has the strongest cultural soft power in the history of Korea as well as the world, will disappear. Just as it is not easy to create a second The Beatles, it is difficult to expect a second BTS, so we are worried that the Korean Wave will come to a halt,” said Lee.
“It will be a decision that needs much consideration, but can’t you reconsider it for the K-pop industry?” Lee asks. “If BTS disappears, ARMY’s Hallyu evangelist will disappear, and we won’t be able to depend on Hallyu tourism or cultural power anymore.” While it is impossible to ignore BTS’ impact, it is unfair to both BTS and other South Korean artists to suggest that the future of Hallyu rests in the hands of a single group. The members have also spoken about how difficult it has been for them to deal with this type of pressure.
Lee went on to ask South Korea’s National Assembly to “pay keen attention to the continuous spread of the Korean Wave boom and actively consider revising the Military Service Act so that BTS can continue to work.” The Military Service Act was amended in 2020 to allow K-pop entertainers that have received government medals for international achievements to apply for a postponement of their service until they turn 30. BTS neither gave any indication that they wanted to be exempt from service or that they felt forced to take a break from group activities, so maybe don’t speak for them?
The hashtag #BTSItsOkayToRest trended as fans sent BTS messages of support and told Lee to leave the boys alone. After celebrating nine years together as a group, BTS has more than earned their right to pursue personal projects. Anyway, it’s not like upcoming releases and engagements like J-hope’s solo album and Lollapalooza set aren’t keeping us excited. The best really is “Yet To Come.”