The K-pop group BTS is one of the world’s buzziest musical acts, with its devoted fan ARMY of millions. As it turns out, some of those fans are stars themselves. When BTS presented an award at the 2019 Grammys, they got a chance to rub shoulders with their celebrity supporters while seated right in the center of things; a few months later, BTS flew in to New York City for a performance on Saturday Night Live with host Emma Stone — who outed herself as a major fan as well. And that was just the beginning of a high-profile year that included numerous TV appearances and the 2020 Grammys, where they performed hit “Old Town Road” alongside Lil Nas X, Diplo, Mason Ramsey and Billy Ray Cyrus.
After meeting the boys of BTS backstage at the American Music Awards in 2017, the group and Shawn Mendes — himself a global megastar — discussed putting together a collaboration while on camera. In summer 2018, Mendes shared with media outlets that the desired music was still in the works. “I can’t give you a date because we haven’t hung out and wrote a song yet, but it will happen,” he told The Roz & Mocha Show, “’cause I love them and… their fans too.”
Popular DJ Steve Aoki is known for his dance music hits, working with artists like Kid Cudi, Louis Tomlinson and blink-182 and playing for festivals and nightclubs around the world. He started working with BTS by remixing their songs “Mic Drop” and “The Truth Untold.” But it’s his latest collaboration with BTS, “Waste It On Me,” that’s broken records recently.
Tyra Banks and BTS first met on the Billboard Music Awards red carpet in May 2018, posing for a group “smize” that Banks shared on her social media, to many fans’ appreciation. Then BTS paid a visit to the set of the TV show America’s Got Talent in September 2018, where Banks is a host, dancing to their song “Idol” for the show. Banks had only positive things to say about her interactions with the Korean stars, and it seems the affection was mutual: Banks tweeted that RM said he was a fan of Tyra’s own show as well.
While in the U.S. during the fall of 2017, BTS stopped by James Corden’s Late Late Show, playing a high-energy game of Flinch with the host, to the audience’s delight. Corden clearly enjoyed the experience: nearly a year later, the group made a repeat appearance to perform one of their new songs. Just a few months after that, Corden tweeted that he wanted to get BTS involved in his show again — and maybe even appear on an episode of his famous segment Carpool Karaoke. (Although they might need a stretch limo to fit all seven members into one car.)
And in early 2020, they returned to Corden to record the first performance of their new single, “Black Swan,” airing Jan. 28.
Another late-night host that BTS won over, Jimmy Fallon joined the boys in a dance rehearsal, going head-to-head with the stage veterans to test their moves for the viral “Fortnite Dance Challenge.” He also got them to appear on his show, interviewing them and giving them a performance slot.
Ellen DeGeneres was one of the first American talk show hosts to nab BTS as guests, putting them on air in November 2017 to make their daytime TV debut. She brought them back in 2018, too, for a segment that involved one of her scary pranks that gave the singers quite a fright.
Charlie Puth and BTS have a shared history of mutual admiration, starting way back in 2015 when the BTS Twitter account began sending shout-outs to Puth and his music, including uploading a cover of “We Don’t Talk Anymore” sung by Jung Kook. Puth then began interacting with BTS on social media, saying he “really liked” their music in 2017. There was some further back and forth until, in fall 2018, they finally united onstage for a medley performance of Puth’s songs at the inaugural MGA Awards in South Korea.
Back in 2017, Halsey showed that her relationship with BTS went beyond red carpet photo ops when she delivered the boys a gift of churros (they responded by giving her Korean candy). The interaction came a few days after the Billboard Music Awards, where she also showed her support for the group’s Top Social Artist win on social media. This was all solidified by Halsey’s featured turn on their single “Boy With Luv,” which gave them all ample opportunity to shower each other with admiration.
Pop star Charli XCX — who’s known for collaborating with a diverse range of artists in her work — clearly enjoyed her experience hanging out with the group in 2017, tweeting her fandom after meeting them while she was in South Korea performing at a music festival there.
When wrestler and actor John Cena first discovered the music of BTS, he told Entertainment Tonight, it “hit me by storm,” even joking that he was petitioning to be their bodyguard as he had work nearby in China. He has since doubled down on his fandom, sharing his favorite members and explaining what he loved about the group when appearing recently on James Corden’s show.
“I think that’s really cool when you have popularity and you choose to use your voice for something good, that is a plus,” he said.
Baby Driver star Ansel Elgort wasn’t afraid to show his fandom of BTS from early on, even making a photo of member V the main photo on his Twitter account at one point in fall 2018. But he has a history of real-life interactions with the guys of BTS, too, starting with their 2017 Billboard Music Awards meeting, attending performances and hanging out together. And beyond that, they make a regular appearance on his social media feed.
“Havana” singer Camila Cabello is another pop star who has tipped her hat to BTS, sharing in an interview with Teen Vogue her respect for the group. “I think they’re super talented and cool,” she said. “They put a lot of work into their choreography and into their performance. And you can tell that they really work hard, and I respect that a lot.” She and the group grabbed a photo together when they were on the same red carpet at the American Music Awards. She was also seated next to BTS at the 2019 Grammys.
For her April 13 hosting gig at Saturday Night Live, Stone was joined by musical guest BTS. The group went along with a number of promotional teasers for the big night, but Stone mostly outed herself as a superfan and ARMY member when she told Jimmy Fallon that she “involuntarily screamed” while watching their soundcheck.
Pop singer Lauv also got to collaborate with in the fall of 2019 with BTS for a remix of “Make It Right,” an Ed-Sheeran-penned song off of their last album. Lauv explained that he had initially met BTS after attending their Wembley Stadium show earlier in the summer, and they quickly agreed on the idea of working together on a remix.
Lil Nas X
In a major moment, BTS joined Lil Nas X onstage at the 2020 Grammys to feature as part of the rapper’s performance of “Old Town Road,” in a first for a Korean group at the U.S. awards show. Also appearing for the mega-collaboration: Diplo, Mason Ramsey and Billy Ray Cyrus. Originally, RM was the only member who popped up on one of the remixes for the hit song, but now it’s clear that Lil Nas X’s fondness for BTS extends to the whole group.
Never one to pass up an opportunity to make a famous friend, Diplo capitalized on his time spent backstage with BTS by sharing this bit of behind-the-scenes footage of the group as they rehearsed on their Grammy stage.
Ariana Grande also posted on social media with BTS — with a backstage photo of the group in Grammys rehearsals earlier in the week. The “Thank U, Next” star also performed on the Grammys broadcast, although not with BTS. But clearly they were happy meeting up during preparations. (Eagle-eyed fans will notice that as it happens, Suga isn’t pictured in the image, however.)