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[Newsmaker] BTS to resume group variety show amid ongoing solo work

J-Hope marks smooth start to BTS’ second chapter with solo EP, Lollapalooza debut

Aug. 2, 2022 - 16:21 By Choi Ji-won
J-Hope of K-pop band BTS performs during the Lollapalooza music festival held at the Grand Park in Chicago on Sunday. (Big Hit Music)
K-pop group BTS is getting together amid each member’s busy solo schedule to relaunch its online variety show.

Big Hit Music, the label behind BTS, on Tuesday announced that the band would resume the variety show “Run BTS” after a 10-month break.

“‘Run BTS’ is finally returning after a 10-month hiatus,” leader RM said in a teaser video released on YouTube on Monday.

“We’re back recharged and it will be more fun, so please look forward to it,” Jin said.

“Run BTS,” a web-based series starring the septet, kicked off in August 2015. The show was put on hold since the last episode aired in October 2021. The new episode will be unveiled at 9 p.m. via Weverse and V Live and at 11 p.m. on YouTube.

Earlier in June, while announcing their official break from group projects, BTS members said they will continue to shoot new episodes of the online variety show. The septet made the announcement through a YouTube video on June 15, stating they will put an indefinite hold on group projects to focus on their solo careers.

screen capture of the teaser video for the BTS online variety show “Run BTS” (Big Hit Music)

Turning the page to their next chapter, the seven members have been branching out into individual ventures since.

The first to drop an official solo album was J-Hope. The rapper-dancer on July 15 dropped his debut EP, “Jack in the Box.” The 10-track collection landed at No. 17 on the Billboard 200 main album chart, while its two lead singles, “More” and “Arson,” both entered the Hot 100 main singles chart upon their release.

On Sunday, J-Hope went onto make his historic Lollapalooza debut, becoming the first Korean artist to headline the major US music event. J-Hope’s hourlong performance on the main stage showcased a total of 18 songs, including those from his solo EP and mixtapes and BTS’ albums.

J-Hope, speaking to the audience in Korean, said his performance at the music festival was a “meaningful moment.” 

J-Hope of K-pop band BTS performs during the Lollapalooza music festival held at the Grand Park in Chicago on Sunday. (Big Hit Music)

“My journey with this album, which started from my greed and ambition, is coming to a closure. All the schedules I’ve gone through with this album has become my blood and flesh, and performing at the Lollapalooza today and seeing you guys, I’ve made my belief firm again,” he said.

He said he was proud of himself for overcoming the hardships in the run-up to the festival. In a V Live chat with fans conducted after Sunday’s concert, he also talked about the pressure he had felt.

“I practiced six hours straight every day (for Lollapalooza). It’s an important stage, and going on it as BTS’ J-Hope, I couldn’t bring shame to our name on such big stage,” he said.

The 28-year-old said he, at one point, had felt like he was in a “pitch-dark world” and it was Jimin who relieved him of the stress. Jimin flew to the US to support J-Hope’s Lollapalooza debut.

“You were like the light. Seriously,” J-Hope said, addressing Jimin, during the broadcast. “I haven’t eaten much since I came here as I didn’t have much appetite. But after Jimin arrived, I began eating a lot. The peace in heart brought by the presence of a friend was so big.”

An image of BTS members Jin, V, Jimin, Jungook, rapper Snoop Dogg and US producer Benny Blanco. (Matt Adam)

Meanwhile, other members of BTS have all kicked off their individual schedules as well.

On June 24, Jungkook made his first solo venture outside of BTS with his collaborative single “Left and Right” with American singer-songwriter Charlie Puth. On Friday, Jungkook, along with other vocalist members -- Jin, V and Jimin -- will drop “Bad Decisions,” a new song the four collaborated with US producer-singer-songwriter Benny Blanco and rapper Snoop Dogg.