By now, everyone and their moms has heard about BTS, the seven-member K-pop boy band that has taken over the world (and our hearts.) But who joined BTS in order? Well, there’s a reason that the seven members—J-Hope, RM, Jin, Jungkook, V, Jimin, Suga—joined in the order they did. It has to do with BTS’ history, and how the band went through many different concepts until they became the Bangtan Boys we know and love today.
BTS debuted in 2013 with their single, “No More Dream,” from their album, 2 Cool 4 Skool. Since then, the Bulletproof Boy Scouts have become one of the most well-known boy bands in the world, with sold-out tours, seven studio albums and more number-one hits than we can count. The band and its members have even collaborated with artists like Halsey, Becky G, Desiigner and Steve Aoki. In 2020, the Bangtan Boys became the first K-pop act to perform at the Grammys. The boys were featured in Lil Nas X’s performance of “Old Town Road.”
So, yeah, if you don’t know who BTS is, the boys are pretty much a big deal. But how did they start? And what’s the order they joined? Find out those answers ahead.
RM was the first to become a trainee at BTS’ management company, Big Hit Entertainment, in 2010. He was 16 at the time. RM became a trainee after Sleepy, a rapper he had met on another audition, encouraged him to audition for Big Hit Entertainment CEO, Bang Si-hyuk, who offered him a spot as a trainee. After RM’s audition, Bang and Big Hit Entertainment producer Pdogg decided to start a hip hop group, which marked the beginning of BTS.
Suga was the next member of join BTS. He started as a producer for Big Hit Entertainment after he auditioned for a rap competition, called “Hit It,” hosted by Big Hit Entertainment. Suga didn’t win the competition—he placed second—but he impressed Big Hit Entertainment’s executives enough for them to offer him a place as a producer and a trainee. Suga became a member of BTS in 2010 when he was 17. He’s said interviews that Big Hit Entertainment’s CEO, Bang Si-hyuk, tricked him into joining the band by telling him that he wouldn’t have to dance and would only need to focus on rapping. Little did Suga know that BTS would have some of the most complicated choreography in K-pop.
J-Hope was the third member to join BTS. The rapper became a Big Hit Entertainment trainee after a failed audition with JYP Entertainment, another management company. He was accepted as a Big Hit Entertainment trainee and moved to Seoul to train at the end of 2010 when he was 15 years old. The reason why BTS’ three rappers, J-Hope, Suga and RM, were the first to join was because the band was originally supposed to be a hip-hop group similar to YG Entertainment’s 1TYM. When Big Hit Entertainment’s CEO decided that BTS would be better as a more traditional idol group that fans could look up, the band reorganized with the addition of four singers.
Jin was the fourth member to join BTS. Jin, who originally wanted to be an actor, was scouted by a Big Hit Entertainment executive while on the street as he exited a bus. He was then asked to audition for the entertainment company and was chosen as a trainee. He was around 18 years old in 2010 when he became a Big Hit Entertainment trainee. He later became a member of BTS.
Jungkook was the fifth member to join BTS. In 2011, when he was around 13, he auditioned for a show called Superstar K. He didn’t win the show, but Jungkook caught the attention of seven entertainment companies. In the end, he chose to become a trainee at Big Hit Entertainment after seeing RM perform and believing in him as the leader of BTS.
V was the sixth member of BTS. V, who played the saxophone since he was 3 years old, auditioned for Big Hit Entertainment in late 2011 when he was 15. Originally, he went to the audition to support his friend who wanted to be a trainee at Big Hit Entertainment. But an executive at the audition who saw V encouraged him to also try out. Once V performed, he made it to the next round and became the only auditionee from Daegu, Korea, who passed that day. He later became a member of BTs.
Jimin was the seventh and final member of BTS. Jimin, who was a trained dancer, first auditioned in Busan, Korea. After he passed that audition, he moved to Seoul to become a trainee. He started as a trainee around mid-2012 and was 16 at the time, which made him the BTS member with the shortest amount of time as a trainee at Big Hit Entertainment.