Celebrity

Jungkook to replace Justin Bieber as new “main pop boy”?

With his current influence, Jungkook holds the potential to become the new generation’s “main pop boy.”

On July 14th, Jungkook marked his debut as an independent artist with the single “Seven.” The UK Garage arrangement opened up a new wave, disrupting music charts from domestic to international. The MV for “Seven,” featuring Han So Hee, immediately became a trending topic on social media platforms. In the summer of 2023, Jungkook brought a true sensation, paving the way for an extended personal promotion lasting half a year.

“Seven” – Jungkook’s global hit

Two months after “Seven,” on September 29th, Jungkook continued by introducing his second single – “3D,” collaborating with the popular rapper Jack Harlow. This was a perfect step for Jungkook to sustain momentum, focusing on his official album “Golden,” set to be released in early November.

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Reviewing some achievements during the pre album promotion period, Jungkook set numerous high records. “Seven” debuted at the top of the Billboard Hot 100, quickly unlocking milestones for streams on Spotify. Despite “3D” being released midway through the promotion, it excellently secured the #5 position on the Hot 100 chart, going beyond the borders of South Korea. With his 2 songs crossing Korea’s borders and taking the world by storm,  Jungkook took his first steps on the journey to becoming a pop music star.

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The “Golden” album marks a turning point in establishing Jungkook’s name on the global music map.

The release of the “Golden” album also marks a turning point in establishing Jungkook’s name on the global music map, with Jungkook’s solo career standing out amid fellow BTS members.

In particular, Jungkook’s solo album’s sales propelled him straight to the runner-up position on the Billboard 200 with over 220 thousand copies sold in the US, only behind music icon Taylor Swift. At the same time, the song “Seven” surpassed 1 billion streams on Spotify, making Jungkook the artist to achieve this milestone the fastest in history, surpassing Miley Cyrus.

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Jungkook occupied 4 positions on the Hot 100 chart with the release of “Golden”

As his solo album “Golden” dropped, Jungkook occupied 4 positions on the Hot 100 chart, with the highest position belonging to the title track “Standing Next To You” (#5). As of now, Jungkook has exceeded 3 billion streams on Spotify – an enormous figure for a solo K-pop artist. These are achievements that no other idol has been able to accomplish in the international market.

At the same time, Jungkook’s name resonates with performances at the GMA, Global Citizen Festival, and especially the surprise performance right in the middle of Times Square. Jungkook has become one of the most sought-after names, not only within the global Army community.

A solid foundation from HYBE, unique collaboration opportunities

Behind Jungkook’s explosive debut, one cannot overlook the robust support from the emerging entertainment empire, HYBE. After the global success of BTS, Big Hit transformed into one of the most powerful entertainment conglomerates in South Korea, even surpassing the BIG 3 companies (SM, YG, JYP). In 2023, HYBE still stands at the forefront, owning a roster of top-earning artists and influence, even though BTS is currently on a temporary hiatus.

Before officially enlisting, all seven BTS members successfully completed their solo debuts, and among those, Jungkook received quite substantial investment.

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The team behind Jungkook’s debut album consists of top-tier names

Not producing a typical K-pop album, Jungkook released an 11-track full English album with an international team. In the United States, HYBE significantly increased its influence by acquiring Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings in 2021. Looking at the production credits for the “Golden” album, familiar names who have worked with Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande can be seen.

Notably, global music stars Ed Sheeran and Shawn Mendes also contributed to the songwriting for “Golden”, marking the first time a K-pop star has attracted such a powerhouse team for their debut product. 

In the end, Jungkook’s musical style in “Golden” becomes meticulously crafted, inheriting characteristics from top pop icons. As a matter of face, Korean critics even suggest that people can see Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, and Justin Bieber inspirations simultaneously in “Golden” 

Jungkook embodies the images of top pop music icons in “Golden” drawing strong inspiration from Michael Jackson with “Standing Next to You.”

In his debut album alone, Jungkook collaborated with Latto, Jack Harlow, and introduced remix versions with Justin Timberlake and Usher. Jungkook is also a fan-favorite featured artist in The Kid Laroi’s song “Too Much,” who gained massive success with the hit “Stay.” It’s not hard to see the developmental direction towards global stardom for Jungkook. 

It can be said that Jungkook’s team carefully balances mass appeal, collaborates with renowned rappers, creates catchy music with high spreadability, and leads trends.

Jungkook has the ability and potential to become the “main pop boy” of the new generation, having applied the star-making formula of the American music industry in his debut album. To achieve this, the launchpad from HYBE is an indispensable factor to elevate his name beyond the borders of South Korea.

Why Jungkook?

BTS consists of 7 members, and operates as an inseparable collective entity. Throughout their decade-long journey, BTS has accompanied each other from lows to the pinnacle of their careers, significantly contributing to the mission of globalizing K-pop. However, when separated, each member possesses a unique and powerful musical personality, and their 7 solo debuts have demonstrated the impact of these distinct musical characters. 

Amid those, Jungkook emerges as one who can revolutionize the global music scene, making him a promising figure for the title of “main pop boy” worldwide.

Even US media has been recognizing the shift of Jungkook, from “BTS’s youngest member” to “new generation global pop icon”. In particular, news site NME predicts that Jungkook will follow Justin Timberlake and Justin Bieber to become a new pop king, saying:

“Every decade has its pop king. The 2000s were dominated by Justin Timberlake as he shimmied into the spotlight solo, away from his *NSYNC bandmates. The 2010s belonged to Justin Bieber, the Canadian singer presenting a modern teen icon. So far, the 2020s have been lacking one huge male solo star that reigns over the pop world but, with ‘Golden’, BTS’ Jungkook proves he’s more than up to the task.”

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NME assess that Jungkook will follow Justin Timberlake and Justin Bieber to become a new pop king

Jungkook’s success can be explained both theoretically and practically, with talent being an undeniable factor. Starting as a K-pop idol; Jungkook underwent an extensive period of training in the rigorous standards of the Korean entertainment industry. His idol skills, nurtured for over a decade, have brought an extraordinary stage presence. Additionally, Jungkook has the advantage of visual appeal, with a personal style shaped by the strict aesthetic standards of K-pop.

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Even after emerging from the extremely strict K-pop industry, Jungkook retains a strong, distinctive personality, 

At the same time, Jungkook manages to retain his strong personality, breaking away from the rigid K-pop standards and comfortably sporting a fully tattooed arm. The production team of “Golden” even attributes the success of the album to Jungkook, saying, “Jungkook’s innate talent and perfectionist tendencies have elevated the product to new levels of excellence.

It’s not by chance that Jungkook became a spearhead of K-pop in the international market. First of all, he attracts a huge number of fans as a BTS member, establishing a strong foundation for his eventual solo debut. 

The dedicated fandom readily supports him, helping Jungkook achieve remarkable milestones and maintain his success. Compared to other young talents in the U.S., Jungkook stands out as a K-pop idol. He skillfully balances both markets by simultaneously promoting in both South Korea and North America.

With these inherent advantages, Jungkook is the most promising candidate to become the “main pop boy” of the new generation. After the overwhelming;y successful debut album, fans eagerly anticipate Jungkook’s World Tour. However, just as he achieves immense success, the youngest BTS member chooses to pause for 2 years to fulfill his military duty. Though somewhat abrupt, it’s an inevitable decision.

The promise of BTS’s return in 2025 is on track as all members unanimously agree on an enlistment timeline. Jungkook has had a debut powerful enough to propel his name to the top of the charts, and fans are even more hopeful for his long-term career. Millions of fans worldwide are ready to wait and elevate Jungkook to the pinnacle once again.

Source: K14, NME

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