BTS record-breaking tour rakes in millions. Korean pop band fans flew thousands of kilometres to pay homage to their idols.

SEOUL : tearful and creaming by turn, tens of thousands of BTS fans gathered in Seoul for the finale of the boyband's lucrative world tour, some flying thousands of kilometres to pay homage to their idols and swell their backers' bulging coffers.

The septet's global prominence reached unprecedented heights this year, becoming the first K-pop group to top charts in the US and Britain and performing a string of sold out shows in Los Angeles, Paris and London's Wembley stadium

The floppy-haired musicians, all in their 20s and often sporting earrings and lipstick, appeal to a generation comfortable with gender fluidity. 

They connect with their larger female fans - collectively known as the ARMY - by opening up about their struggles through the music and on social media, which they flood with selfies and personal messages.

''I love them so much and they are one of the most things in my life.'' said Milena Marunova, 20, who traveled from Russia to Seoul for this week's concert, her voice trembling with excitement.

The dept of engagement is the key to their appeal, according to CedarBough Sawji, a specialist in Asian languages and cultures at Indiana university Bloomington, contrasting it to rapper Psy's 2012 mega hit Gangnam Style.

''Psy didn't have a fan base but he had one viral song,'' she said. So when the follow-ups ''weren't quite what the audience was looking for, they moved on. Nut BTS has many loyal fans.''

She added  BTS' music was well produced with excellent videos and ''performed by incredibly handsome and charismatic young people.'' [AFP]


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