Featuring thought-provoking storylines, eye-catching sets, and hard-hitting choreography – videos by K-pop royalty BTS are ‘Fire.’ Naturally, they’ve amassed views by the billions on YouTube. Here’s a look at a few of their most-watched titles.
Ballads, raps, dance numbers – the world’s most popular K-pop all-boy group has been there, sung that. These titles are diverse, spotlighting the seven-piece act’s musical abilities, from production to performance. They also traverse generations, making space for the idols to be vulnerable and express their views and opinions on difficult subjects – especially the stigma around mental health. The payoff? Meaningful music that comforts and inspires at the same time. And besides well-crafted lyrics and powerful vocals – the instrument that allows BTS to push this brand forward is their videos.
Each has a story to tell, complimenting the message of the corresponding song while leaving fans with plenty of food for thought. No surprises why they’ve broken numerous records – topping most-watched rankings and garnering hits by the billions. We’re taking a deep dive into the world of these numbers – courtesy of a recent report by data analysis website Statistica – which look at the top tracks as of May 2023 – to see which ones were the most popular, by views.
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Most-watched YouTube videos of BTS
The group’s first all-English track just so happens to be their most watched on YouTube, with Yonhap News reporting that it topped 1.7 billion YouTube views in June, 2023, which is the number it sits at right now as well. In May 2023, this statistic was at 1.685 million views. The feel-good disco pop track – released during the pandemic as a message of hope and positivity – features upbeat lyrics, fun pop culture references (Lebron James to King Kong), and peppy choreography. These elements are captured perfectly in the vibrant music video – filled with Easter Eggs, including Jungkook proudly displaying his love for milk and RM bringing back his iconic glasses from the video for ‘Fire.’ The seven members groove in a record store, outside a diner, on a basketball court, and an ice-cream truck, each bathed in the colour-scheme bubblegum-pastel – keeping in theme with the track’s funky, easy-going sensibilities.
Boy With Luv ft. Halsey
The highly-anticipated lead track of the album ‘Map of the Soul: Persona’ featuring pop singer Halsey sat at 1.66 billion in May 2023, with that number going up to 1.689 billion in July. The peppy dance number spotlights little joys, deeming love to be one of the strongest forces in the world. A dedication to their fans, ARMY, the choreography is simple yet peppy. Pink-pastel-blue-bright yellow details, painting-like backgrounds, large neon signs, and comical animation support the bright synths and catchy hooks of the track. There are plenty of Easter Eggs in this one as well – waiting for fans to pick out one by one with each re-watch. Several media reports also note that this track is amongst the top few to have garnered views by the millions within 24-hours of its release, surpassing BLACKPINK’s How You Like That and Selena Gomez’ Ice Cream.
From sitting at 1.527 billion views in May 2023 to going up to 1.538 billion views in July 2023 – BTS’ video about passionate, destined love is quite popular to say the least. The upbeat track – featuring elements of rap and pop, catchy hooks, and fun lyrics – is represented by vibrant visuals. The idols dance in what can only be described as a painter’s palette – with splashes of colour everywhere. This breeziness is further amplified by the recurring whistle motif and acoustic guitar details. The costumes and choreography are just as upbeat and peppy. As far as cheery, high- energy pop numbers go – this one’s right at the top.
Mic Drop (Steve Aoki Remix) ft. Designer
This well-known hip hop-EDM-trap track featuring electronic stalwart Steve Aoki sat at 1.33 billion views in May, 2023 – going up to 1.35 billion in July. It sees BTS tap into their rap roots – giving it back to their naysayers by proudly listing out their achievements. The hard-hitting lyrics, heavy bass, gunshot details, and dark percussions are supported by the production sets – grunge and raw. The seven-piece act dances through interrogation rooms, prison, and other grunge locations – symbolising power and rebellion. The video also comes with several strong VFX shots. Throughout, the group has the spotlight on them – supporting the song’s lyrics which point to their popularity and meteoric rise. “Did you see my bag,” they ask before stating, “it’s hella full of trophies.” Interestingly, the popularity of this MV supports their claims.
The song that best defines BTS’ motto of ‘loving yourself,’ sees them embracing their stardom and idol status. The music video was at 1.21 billion in May 2023, sitting at 1.23 billion in July. The high-energy track comes with repetitive layered percussions – reportedly inspired by gqom, a style of house music from South Africa that features powerful traditional drums and house synths. It intersperses this with classical Korean instruments. This fusion of traditional and modern as well as the high-energy of the track is represented well through the official video’s fast and furious choreography and vibrant visuals. More particularly, whimsical animation with African rainforest details meets traditional Korean attire in the MV. The cuts between each shot are frenzied – complementing the high-paced choreography and chant-like verse of the song. As always, there are a lot of Easter Eggs to unravel in this one. BTS at the top of their game if ever.
Electro-pop, emo track Fake Love is marked by dark production, strong and tense vocals, and rock elements. BTS talks about passion gone awry – with a relationship going from being endgame to toxic. The underlying message is a signature one – there’s no real love in a place where there isn’t self-love first. The five-minutes-long music video is a work of art – seeing the group clad in leather, performing intense choreography, and gazing wistfully at the camera. Jin is seen trying to keep a flower alive as all falls apart around him only to watch it crumble later – a sign of holding on to a relationship that’s past saving. In line with this other elements – abandoned toys, fire outbreaks, the works – point to the end of an equation, supporting the grunge sensibilities of the track. As such it sat at 1.2 billion views in May 2023, going up to the current 1.22 billion (July).
Blood, Sweat & Tears
Tropical house, dancehall, reggaeton, and trap track Blood, Sweat & Tears comes with emotionally-powerful, breathy vocals as well as a catchy verse. The song sees BTS talk about temptation that can lure one into the darkness – and to complement this, the video features Baroque-era details. This, complete with fallen angels and biblical references in a museum setting. The outfits are black and grunge, the choreography pointed. The seven members wear blindfolds and drink elixir – resisting the allure of evil. There are several little details to unravel in the MV, pointing to a complexity that’s quite evident in the song’s lyrics as well. A fitting depiction of a passionate yet destructive love that earned them 933 million views in May 2023, going up to the current 942 million (July 2023)
Another all-English dance-pop track that’s perhaps one of their most easily recognised – Butter sees the BTS members tap into their ‘superstar glow’ and undeniable charm. The group sings about how easy it is to make people fall for them – through retro production details, groovy instrumentals, and breezy vocals. This youthful quality with vintage sensibilities is reflected in the video – rife with pop culture reference. The seven dress in disco-inspired outfits, moving with ease. The choreography is smooth as butter, nimble, and catchy – with suave gestures like kissing the back of the hand or brushing the hair back. The background, meanwhile, is vibrant and over-the-top yet chic – supporting the free-spirited vibe of the song. Butter features in many ways in the MV – on top of pancakes, in a bowl of popcorn, or on J-hope’s fork – and the background is often yellow to keep with the theme. This earned it 876 million views in May 2023, going up to the current 893 million views (July).
Electronic hip-hop track Dope comes with raw, unapologetic raps and wild hooks. BTS doubles down on the hypocrisy of a society that places high standards on its youth and tears them down before they have a shot at reaching them. As such the MV sees them represent several careers – race-car driver to police officers – with some experts noting this to be the pick of jobs the young have. They toil through each of them – symbolising hard work – through a very technical choreography. The overall theme is dark, with the chorus having the spotlight on them as they talk about facing rejection and life’s other challenges head on. This ‘Dope’ approach earned them 754 million views in May 2023, which is now at 759 million views (July.)
Rounding out this list is the high-tempo, grunge electro-pop track that comes with gripping trap percussion,raw raps, and hypnotic chants. BTS take the motivational route (as always) with this one – urging ARMY to let go of the past, live the present without fretting, and conquer the future. ‘Burn it up,’ they chant while also conquering a very technical, aggressive choreography to complement the lyrics and mood. Most everything in the MV is set on fire – people to aeroplanes. Keeping with this, the group sports red hair, vibrant outfits, and grunge accessories. The scenes are explosive – with a grand dance set in the end to denote how the group’s made it. This video put BTS at 748 views in May 2023, going up to the current 379 million (July)
Which of these BTS videos have you watched on repeat?
All images: Courtesy BTS
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia India
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answer: BTS is a K-pop boy group.
Answer: Dynamite is BTS’ most popular video.
Answer: BTS stands for Bangtan Sonyeondan or Bulletproof Boy Scouts.