BTS’s J-Hope Enters Lollapalooza Story; headlines, closes the festival

A man walks past an advertising screen showing J-Hope, a member of K-pop group BTS, at a subway station in Seoul on June 15, 2022. Image: AFP/Jung Yeon-je

BTS’ K-pop superstar J-Hope made history on Sunday as they edged closer to Chicago’s annual Lollapalooza weekend, becoming the first South Korean act to headline a major music festival. in the USA.

The star appeared to dramatically step out of a box as he took the stage in Chicago’s Grant Park and was greeted by a sea of ​​screaming fans.

The crowd rapped and sang along to songs from J-Hope’s new solo album and BTS classics like “Dynamite.”

“Do you want some more?” he asked the masses of people, offering a special shout out to “BTS Army,” as the group’s superfans are called.

J-Hope, who also delivered a special message to viewers in Korean, was joined at the end of his set by singer Becky G for a rendition of their “Chicken Noodle Soup” collaboration.

This year’s edition of Lollapalooza, which streamed live on the Hulu platform, also featured the US festival debut of Tomorrow X Together, another South Korean boy band that is under the same label as BTS.

“These artists have received great gifts in communication. Their global audience speaks different languages ​​but has an intense passion for their music,” Lollapalooza founder Perry Farrell said in June. “Lolla is where all musical genres live in harmony.”

J-Hope’s performance on the main stage comes more than a month after the seven members of BTS, one of the world’s most popular groups, said they were taking a break from the group to focus on live music. solo activities.

In a moving music video posted to the septet’s official YouTube channel, they told fans they were “exhausted” and needed some time apart.

At the time, J-Hope said the move could help BTS “become a stronger group.” The 28-year-old artist’s debut solo mixtape, “Hope World,” peaked at number 38 on Billboard’s Top Albums chart of 2018.

BTS are the first all-South Korean group to reign on Billboard’s US Top Singles chart, a milestone they reached with “Dynamite”, the group’s first hit song sung entirely in English.

They are also one of the few artists since the Beatles to have released four albums that reached number one in the United States in less than two years.

The group has been nominated for a Grammy twice but has yet to win. BTS made headlines again earlier this year for visiting the White House to deliver a message about combating anti-Asian racism to President Joe Biden. PA/JB

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