They may be in a bit of bother following two band members’ poor fashion choices, but K-pop superstars BTS have come top in a poll asking fans to vote for their favourite Korean music group.
A total of 18,000 people voted in the international poll, which was launched on October 1 in 13 countries in eight different languages, and closed on October 31. The poll was run by StubHub, the world’s top ticketing marketplace, which is owned by eBay.
Fifteen nominees were included in the poll. BTS took 31 per cent of the vote, with EXO in second place with 19 per cent, and Super Junior just behind with 18 per cent. Other groups in the running included Wanna One, Blackpink, and Bigbang.
BTS were in Japan last week and made headlines when band member Jimin wore a T-shirt with a photo of Koreans celebrating their liberation from Japanese rule after the second world war, and a photo of an atomic bomb exploding. Two cities in Japan were destroyed by nuclear weapons in 1945. News later broke that another member of the band had, in a magazine photo, worn a hat featuring a symbol that looked like a Nazi swastika. A Japanese broadcaster cancelled an appearance by the band, but BTS’ concerts in the city were going ahead.
BTS’ agency, Big Hit Entertainment, issued a statement on Wednesday apologising. “We would like to again offer our sincerest apologies to anyone who has suffered pain, distress and discomfort due to our shortcomings,” they said.
Their popularity in the city will soon be tested - tickets for the Hong Kong leg of their Love Yourself tour, in late March, are due to go on sale any time soon.
In the meantime, here’s a live version of their massive recent hit, Idol.