BTS 'hiatus' rattles Hybe shares

After K-pop supergroup BTS on Tuesday announced that the group will be taking a hiatus so that members can focus and release their solo projects, shares in the management agency the band sank on Wednesday in early trading in Seoul.

The seven members – Jin, Suga, RM, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook, dropped the news about the band taking an indefinite break during their ‘Festa’ dinner where the group got together to celebrate their nine year anniversary as BTS.

In a one-hour-long video, the band members opened up about the struggle to develop and mature as individual artists within the K-pop genre.

However, Hybe, the South Korean entertainment company behind BTS, released a statement hours after the group’s announcement and said the band will still be working on projects as a group, as well as individually. “BTS are not taking a hiatus. Members will be focusing more on solo projects at this time,” the statement said.

Meanwhile on Thursday, BTS’ youngest member, Jungkook, did a live session for over an hour where he addressed the wildfire and assured the fans that the group was not disbanding. The singer further said that BTS was going to continue working on ‘Run BTS’, their reality show and other projects.

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“I woke today and saw that there was a mess, about Bangtan [BTS] going on a hiatus or suspending activities, or disbanding. So I thought there were things to set straight, and came here [on the live],” Jungkook said, adding that “BTS is forever. Army is forever.”

The K-pop band is credited with generating billions of dollars for the South Korean economy, so needless to say, the news sent shockwaves in the market as the shares of Hybe, the label that manages BTS, tumbled down about 27 per cent.

According to
Bloomberg News, the stock – down nearly 60 per cent so far in 2022, was headed for its lowest close on record since its trading debut in October 2020, wiping $1.6 billion off its market value.

The announcement by BTS came days after the band released a three-disc anthology album ‘Proof’.

By the end of the dinner, several of the members of the group grew tearful as they voiced gratitude for ARMY, their fans known online.

The band’s leader, RM, 27, said that after the Grammy-nominated BTS’ last few singles, he “didn’t know what kind of group they were anymore.” The group further said that they were exhausted.

RM Addresses Reports Of BTS Disbanding

The band’s leader, RM, took to WeVerse to set the record straight and said that their new song ‘Yet To Come’ from album ‘Proof’ itself talks about the next era of BTS with a promise that the group will come back stronger in the future.

“As I saw the screenshots and the titles of the articles that were sent to me, there were quite a lot of provocative and partially mouthed keywords such as disbanding, promotions, break, declaration,” he wrote in Korean in his lengthy post.

“It’s not that I wasn’t aware something like this would happen, nor was I not prepared but indeed it is pretty bitter,” Namjoon added. “It was solely a video dedicated to all the ARMYs who stayed beside us for the past 9 years.”

“I think the courage of wanting to be honest indeed always creates unnecessary misunderstanding and invites disasters,” he wrote.

Harry Byrne

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