How was BTS formed? This might be one of the more unbelievable stories in regards to the formation of a Kpop group. A lot of things had to go right for BTS to form. Each member had their own individual journey that could have easily taken them in another direction. For those that think they are true BTS fans feel free to take our BTS Quiz before moving on with this article. When speaking about the formation of BTS, we can’t start without mentioning the CEO of HYBE (formerly Big Hit Entertainment), Bang Si-hyuk. As you will read below, he played the biggest role in forming the most successful Kpop group of all time. However, he didn’t fully have an idea of what the Kpop group should be initiated until he met who would become the leader of the group…
Kim Nam-joon (RM)
Kim Nam-joon started rapping in the 6th grade after listening to Epik High’s “Fly”. He soon joined rap groups such as Daenamhyup and Zico under the name Runch Randa. Therefore, through this, he was able to release a few rap solos and quickly word spread about this young rapping prodigy. At 15 years old Kim Nam-joon auditioned for a Hip Hop agency but ended up forgetting the lyrics.
One of the judges was a Korean rapper named Sleepy who suggested he try out for a small Kpop entertainment company called Big Hit Entertainment. Sleepy knew Bang Si-Hyuk so he put in a good word for Kim Nam-joon after seeing his potential. By the time Kim Nam-joon went in for the audition, he was 16 years old. He ended up auditioning in front of Bang Si-hyuk. However, this time Kim Nam-joon did not forget his lyrics, and Bang Si-hyuk was blown away. He was blown away so much by Kim Nam-joon’s skills that he signed him right there on the spot.
He then chooses his stage name Rap Monster (RM) and was a part of a 6 member hip-hop group. However, 5 of the 6 members ended up leaving, and only RM was left. Bang Si-hyuk decided to build the group around RM and in 2010 became the first member/leader of a Kpop boy group that will end up being known as BTS. Moreover, Bang Si-hyuk decided to go away from his all Hip Hop group and decided to create a more balanced Kpop group that incorporated a lot of Hip Hop. Now Bang Si-hyuk had to scout for the other members.
Min Yoon-gi (SUGA)
Min Yoon-gi was a 17-year-old living in Daegu. He was interested in rap from a very young age even tho his parents disapproved. He was performing as a rapper while he was in high school under the name “Gloss”. Min Yoon-gi even composed rap songs for local artists in Daegu. He quickly became famous in the underground hip-hop scene. Then one day he saw an advertisement for a rap competition called “Hit It” and decided to enter. The “Hit It” rap competition was hosted by Big Hit Entertainment. Min Yoon-gi did great and ended up getting 2nd place overall.
Therefore, Big Hit Entertainment signed him on right away as a producer not as an idol. Bang Si-Hyuk tried to convince Min Yoon-gi to join the hip-hop group he was trying to create. The key selling point for Min Yoon-gi was that he would only have to focus on rapping. So in 2011, Min Yoon-gi was in as long as he didn’t have to dance or wear makeup…something Bang Si-Hyuk promised but eventually broke. Now the new group had its second member.
His stage name?
SUGA. SUGA is short of shooting guard which is a position in basketball that Min Yoon-gi played. Now that the hip hop group had their rappers. They needed a dancer.
Jung Ho-seok (J-Hope)
Jung Ho-Seok always loved to dance. He had his own dance crew called NEURON back in his hometown of Gwangju. His stage name at the time was “Smile Hoya”. His dancing skills were so good he won a national dancing championship in 2008. He ended up making it far during JYP auditions but was later cut. After he was cut he auditioned for a smaller Kpop Entertainment company called…you guessed it…Big Hit Entertainment.
He blew away the competition and was signed by Bang Si-hyuk. Jung Ho-seok created his stage name J-Hope. In addition, Bang Si-hyuk also saw great potential in J-Hope as a rapper. However, J-Hope was not initially feeling his place in the group.
He almost left the group and if not for RM convincing J-Hope to stay, there might have never been a BTS. RM basically said that if J-Hope was not on board, there would be no group. Now the group had 3 members, 2 great rappers, and 1 great dancer. Their 4th member would end up being one of the strangest Kpop member stories of all time.
Kim Seok-jin (Jin)
Kim Seok-jin a young high school student was walking down the streets of his hometown Anyang. He was approached by a representative from SM Entertainment to join the company. Kim Seok-jin thought it was a complete scam and never got back to the representative. However, if he did return SM Entertainment’s call he would have ended up being a member of EXO! Now Kim Seok-jin was in college in Seoul and once again he was approached on the street by a representative but this time the representative was from Big Hit Entertainment.
Kim Seok-jin had no experience singing or dancing but he had that special worldwide handsome look to him. This is why he wanted to become an actor and joined Bit Hit Entertainment mainly to pursue an acting career. However, Big Hit was able to convince him to try being a vocalist for the new group the company was creating. Kim Seok-Jin would simply go by Jin as his stage name and quickly taught himself to dance and sing. Therefore, this goes to show that even at a much older age, there is still a chance to become a Kpop star. Jin did it. A lot of help came from the other vocalists, starting with…
Jeon Jung-kook (Jungkook)
Jeon Jung-kook knew that he would someday be a Kpop Idol after watching G-Dragon his Kpop Idol perform Heartbreaker on TV. At the age of 14, he auditioned for a South Korean talent show called Superstar K which was in its third season. However, he didn’t pass auditions however got the attention of 7 Kpop Entertainment companies one of them being Big Hit Entertainment. The other Kpop Entertainment companies included JYP Entertainment Starship Entertainment, Cube Entertainment, Woolim Entertainment, FNC Entertainment, and more.
So why did Jeon Jung-kook go with Big Hit Entertainment?
Jeon Jung-Kook stated in interviews that RM was one of the main reasons why he picked Big Hit Entertainment. He wanted to work with RM who he thought was one of the coolest guys he has ever met. For his stage name, he kept it simple by sticking with his name Jungkook. Now the group had 5 members, with one member being a true vocalist. The group needed more singers.
Kim Tae-hyung (V)
Kim Tae-hyung always wanted to be involved with music. However, he came from a poor family of farmers, however, his family was still able to support his passion for music. He spent three years playing the saxophone. In his hometown of Daegu, there was a Kpop audition. Kim Tae-hyung did not go to audition but rather support his friend was who was going to audition. However, once he was there he was encouraged by the organizers of the audition to audition as well. He did so well that he was the only one chosen from Daegu to move on to the next round.
Kim Tae-hyung was then signed by Big Hit Entertainment as a trainee and would be the 6th and youngest member of the group. For his stage name, he picked V which is short for victory. For the final member, Bang Si-Hyuk wanted to find a member that could bring all the members together.
Park Ji-min (Jimin)
Park Ji-min was a great dancer from a young age. He studied contemporary dance at the Busan Highschool of Arts. He was the top student in the whole modern dance department. A teacher at the school encouraged him to audition for Big Hit Entertainment as they were holding auditions in Busan. He was only 16 years old but tried out and was signed by Big Hit in the summer of 2012. He then moved to Seoul as a trainee. Park Ji-min selected his stage name Jimin and he was officially the final member of the group. The group which will go down in history as the greatest Kpop Group of all time…BTS.