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When BTS Leader Defended ARMY Against Chart Manipulation Allegations

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BTS leader RM or Kim Namjoon turned 27 on Sunday, September 12. The singer, who has led the septet since their debut in 2013 is fiercely protective of the band’s loyal fanbase called the ARMY. On his birthday, let us look back at a time when RM defended ARMYs during an interview with Billboard magazine. Earlier this year, BTS released two singles Butter and Permission to Dance, which debuted at number one on charts in the United States. BTS held the top spot of the Billboard Hot 100 for ten consecutive weeks and Butter stayed on the first position for nine of them. On the other hand, Permission To Dance debuted on number one but eventually dropped down.

After the two singles’ success, there were allegations against the ARMY that they manipulated the numbers by mass buying the song. In the interview with Billboard Magazine, BTS was asked about these allegations. To this, RM said, “It’s a fair question. But if there is a conversation inside Billboard about what being No. 1 should represent, then it’s up to them to change the rules and make streaming weigh more on the ranking. Slamming us or our fans for getting to No. 1 with physical sales and downloads, I don’t know if that’s right. It just feels like we’re easy targets because we’re a boy band, a K-pop act, and we have this high fan loyalty.”

He further added, “At some point, I started introducing myself as Rapmon or RM, rather than the full name Rap Monster. So I’d like to change the name I use for promotions to ‘RM,’ which I think is more in accordance with the music I’m aiming for and also has a wider spectrum. Since I’ve already released some music and mixtapes as RM, I think that some fans will have already guessed this. I thought about this carefully for a long while, because I want to make music for a long time in the future with an unrestricted and open mind and view.”

“It’s possible that it’s a bit awkward to be changing my stage name, which I’ve been called since before my debut, and you may feel like it’s unfamiliar. However, I would be sincerely grateful if you would welcome me after I’ve started with a new name following a long time of consideration,” he concluded the letter.

BTS consists of members RM, V, Suga, J-Hope, Jungkook, Park Ji-min, and Jin. Earlier this year, they released two tracks, Butter and Permission to Dance, which debuted on number one in Billboard Hot 100 charts and have been dominating the top numbers ever since their release.

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