[Note] As the first K-pop group to top both the Billboard's 'Hot 100' singles chart and the 'Billboard 200' album chart, BTS has etched their name in music history. The seven-member group, who debuted on June 13, 2013, has accomplished much more than these accolades in the last decade. From sweeping awards at American Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, and MTV Video Music Awards to their standout Grammy performance and multiple domestic music awards, BTS has carved an impressive resume. As we approach their 10-year anniversary on June 13, 2023, we are launching a 10-part series, "Decoding BTS," from June 4 to June 13, to trace their past, present, and future.

From being labeled as the 'underdogs of K-pop' to reigning as global superstars, BTS's journey marks a significant chapter in the history of South Korean pop music. Making their official debut on Mnet's music ranking show 'M! Countdown' with 'No More Dream' on June 13, 2013, BTS and their fanbase 'ARMY' consider this date as their official debut day, despite their debut single '2 COOL 4 SKOOL' and showcase being held a day earlier.

BTS was the first male idol group produced by Bang Si-hyuk, a renowned songwriter and music producer known for his hits with various artists like god, 2am, Baek Ji-young, among others, under Big Hit Entertainment (now known as Big Hit Music). The process of forming the group began in earnest in 2011. From the start, Bang emphasized the team's identity as a 'hip-hop group' through auditions and recruited members who showcased their rap skills.

The team's formation began with RM, an underground hip-hop artist who was scouted by Big Hit through a recommendation from Sleepy, a South Korean rapper. Other members including Suga, a former producer, J-Hope, a former dancer, Jimin, and V, joined through auditions, while Jin, the eldest member, was street-casted. Jungkook, the youngest member, joined Big Hit after his elimination from 'Superstar K3,' a popular South Korean reality TV competition.

As they prepared for their debut, the members underwent significant changes. Suga, who initially aspired to be a producer, transitioned to become an idol, and J-Hope, who aimed to be a vocal and dance artist, shifted to become a rapper and dancer. The final lineup was solidified after many changes, with Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook.

In an interview with News1, Bang Si-hyuk explained his approach to forming BTS: "I focused on whether they were suitable as team members and had a shared goal." He emphasized on enabling them to independently create the music and performances they wanted and nurturing their capacity to grow themselves from their trainee days.

After three years of preparation, BTS burst onto the K-pop scene with their debut single 'No More Dream' from the album '2 COOL 4 SKOOL.' Their introduction was refreshing for many, presenting 'real hip-hop' in a dance-dominated music scene in 2013, with members RM and Suga participating in songwriting and composing. During their debut showcase, BTS emphasized their unique selling point as a 'hip-hop team,' with high participation from members in creating their album. They also named BIGBANG, a popular boy group at that time, as their role model.

Following their debut with "No More Dream," they performed their first mini-album's title track 'N.O.' Their potential was acknowledged as they received the New Artist Award at various ceremonies held at the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014, such as Melon Music Awards, Golden Disc Awards, Seoul Music Awards, and Gaon Chart Music Awards. However, they had yet to leave a significant impression on the general public. Despite this, BTS remained unshakeable. They released their 'School Trilogy' series of albums, persistently delivering their music while showcasing their idol character through precise choreography and world-building concepts.

BTS subsequently achieved their first music show win with the title track 'I NEED U' from their 2015 series 'The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Pt.1.' This marked a noticeable achievement two years after their debut. They consistently released hit songs, solidifying their position in the domestic music industry. From 2014, they also continued global activities in Japan, the United States, and elsewhere, gradually shaping the BTS we know today. The 'underdog idol' from a smaller agency has firmly established its position as a 'Global Top Idol,' sweeping charts both domestically and internationally, a decade after their debut.