BTOB is a South Korean all-male idol group signed under Cube Entertainment. BTOB, which stands for Born to Beat, officially debuted on March 21, 2012 after performing their songs “Insane” and “Imagine” on the music show M! Countdown.
The group consists of seven members – Eunkwang, Minhyuk, Changsub, Hyunsik, Peniel, Ilhoon, and Sungjae.
Cube Entertainment formed BTOB with their trainees Seo Eunkwang, Lee Minhyuk, Im Hyunsik, Jung Ilhoon, and Lee Minhoo being part of the list of original members set to debut.
They were in the sitcom “I Live in Cheongdam-dong”, which aired on JTBC. They were shown as an aspiring boy band working towards their debut.
But after their first appearance on the show, Lee Minwoo dropped out of the list of confirmed members, upsetting many fans prior to the group’s debut.
On March 23, 2012, two days after the BTOB’s debut, Cube Entertainment clarified that Minwoo was dropped out of the group due to health problems, resulting in him not being able to blend in.
The agency went on to state that Minwoo would still be a Cube trainee and get a chance to debut as soon as he recovers from his health problems.
But a few months later, it was announced that Minwoo will be debuting as a member of C-Clown under Yedang Entertainment, with the stage name T.K.
2012: Official debut
BTOB held their official debut showcase in Seoul on March 21, accompanied by a live streaming through their official YouTube channel. They performed their title tracks “Insane” and “Imagine,” as well as several other songs.
On April 3, they released their self-titled debut EP, Born to Beat, with songs co-written by Grammy-nominated singer Jörgen Elofsson. The EP includes the two title tracks, with the members participating in writing the lyrics and rap verses for the album.
Also in April 2012, the group starred in Amazon, their first reality program aired on Mnet.
On May 3, BTOB released the digital single “Father”, accompanied by a music video, in time for the celebration of Family Month.
And on May 23, they released an Asia Special Edition of their first EP, this time including the songs “Father” and the song “Irresistible Lips”, which was first revealed on the show “I Live in Cheongdam-dong”.
The release of the Born to Beat (Asia Special Edition) album also kicked off the group’s official Asia promotions. They began their promotions with a press conference in Singapore along with a promotional event in Bugis Square, which attracted around 800 people.
The following day, the group performed at Clarke Quay for “Music Matters Live 2012”, a five-night music festival featuring 40 bands from 18 countries.
A month later, BTOB resumed their promotions in Indonesia, participating in an interview with OneTV Asia. On June 21, they held their first Indonesian showcase at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Jakarta, performing for their fans and media officials in attendance.
On July 29, the group made their debut in Japan with a performance at the “K-Dream Live” concert in Tokyo alongside 5 other groups. This was followed by a performance at Sapporo Dome on August 1 for the “K-Pop Nonstop Live 2012 In Sapporo” concert.
BTOB released their second EP, Press Play, on September 12 with the title track “Wow”. Promotions for the album and the lead single started the next day with the group’s performance on Mnet’s M! Countdown, followed by stages on Music Bank, Music Core, Inkigayo, Show Champion, and The Show.
For their comeback week performances, the group also used the song “Dream” as an interlude to their performance of “Wow” despite not being part of the album.
On October 18, they began promotions for the song “I Only Know Love”, the follow-up track from Press Play. They performed the single on M! Countdown on the same day, followed by the release of the song’s music video on October 22.
The video consists of a montage of all the promotional events they held throughout the year.
With the conclusion of their promotions for “I Only Know Love”, BTOB embarked on their overseas activities once again. On December 1, they were part of the lineup of the “Sundown Festival 2012” in Singapore.
They also performed as the opening act for the “2012 Asia Super Showcase” on December 11 at Kenanga Wholesale City in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. On December 13, they were the first Korean artist to perform at the Thai Supermodel Concert at the Bangkok Convention Center, and later held a press conference with around 70 media outlets.
2013: United Cube Concert and Thriller
On February 2, 2013, BTOB participated in the “United Cube concert” for the first time alongside their labelmates $minute, Beast, G.NA, and Roh Ji Hoon.
The concert was held at the Jamsil Indoor Stadium in Seoul and was attended by over 7,000 local and international fans, including the shows in Nanjing, China on January 26 and Yokohama, Japan on February 21.
On April 6, they held their first fan meeting in Taiwan, titled “BTOB Press Play in Taiwan”, in front of 1,000 fans. It was then followed by two additional fan-meets in Thailand and Cambodia, with around 2,000 fans in attendance.
The group released their first digital single, “2nd Confession”, on April 10, which they began promoting on music shows on April 12.
On August 29, BTOB released a music video for the song “When I Was Your Man” ahead of their upcoming September comeback. On September 4, they performed their songs “When I Was Your Man” and “Thriller” on MBC’s Show Champion, prior to the official release of their third EP, Thriller, on September 9.
2014: Japanese debut, first solo concert and more albums
BTOB released their fourth EP, Beep Beep, on February 17, including the title track of the same name produced by Brave Brothers. On the same day, they held their album showcase at Club Wave in Apgujeong, Seoul.
Beep Beep ranked number 1 on Hanteo’s real-time charts on the day of its release, as well as the Gaon Album Chart for the ninth week of 2014, making it the group’s first album release to take the top spot. It also charted within the top three spots of other major real-time charts Bugs and Soribada.
Immediately after the release of the album, BTOB started their promotions with a performance on M! Countdown on February 20 and MBC’s Show! Music Core on February 22. They followed it up with fan meetings in Busan, Daegu, Daejeon, and Seoul, as well as variety show appearances and radio broadcasts.
In July 19 and 21, they held their first solo live concert in Japan, titled “Summer Vacation with BTOB”, with two shows in Osaka and two more in Tokyo. Each of their shows was attended by over 2,000 fans.
On September 29, the group released their fifth EP, Move, with the lead single “You’re So Fly” which they began promoting on music shows starting October 3.
Also in October of the same year, BTOB signed a contract with Kiss Entertainment, a Japanese talent agency that will be in charge of the group’s activities in Japan.
Following the conclusion of their album promotions, Cube Entertainment announced that BTOB will be holding their very first solo concert, titled “Hello Melody”. The two-day concert was held at the Olympic Hall in Songpagu, Seoul on October 31 and November 1.
On November 12, they released their first Japanese single, “WOW”, and embarked on their Japanese promotions.
On December 22, the group released a winter EP in Korea, called The Winter’s Tale. It contains five tracks including the pre-released song “You Can Cry” and the lead single “The Winter’s Tale” composed and produced by members Hyunsik and Ilhoon.
2015: Career breakthrough, It’s Okay and Way Back Home
On February 14 and 22, BTOB held their first official fan meeting called “Be My Valentine” in Osaka and Tokyo, Japan. Both shows were sold out and were attended by a total of 5,000 fans. The fan meet was also held to somehow kick-off the group’s upcoming Japanese album.
And on March 25, they released Future, their first original Japanese single album, which recorded sales of 70,000 and took the second spot on Oricon’s Singles Chart.
The single also charted number 1 on the weekly overall chart for Tower Records, Japan’s largest record store, on the day of its release. The group continued their promotions in Japan upon the release of the single, holding concerts and various events in Osaka, Nagoya, and Tokyo until the end of March.
On April 4, the group held their first exclusive concert, “Hello Melody,” at the Busan KBS Hall in Busan, South Korea. Later in the month, they held their first major solo concert in Japan, “The Secret Diary,” six months after their Japanese debut, with 10,000 fans in attendance.
On June 28, BTOB released their first full-length album, Complete, with the lead single “It’s Okay”. It has a total of 13 tracks including the lead single, the bonus track “Shake It,” and an acoustic version of their debut single “Insane”.
“It’s Okay” is the group’s first ballad single and it ranked first on music charts in South Korea upon its release, marking the first time that BTOB took the top spot since their debut in 2012.
The group’s third Japanese single, Summer Color My Girl, was released on August 19 after the conclusion of their Korean promotions.
On October 12, they released their seventh EP, I Mean, along with the music video for their title song “Way Back Home,” for which they won their first ever music show trophy 3 years and 7 months after debut.
The group held their second solo concert, “Born to Beat Time,” on December 19 and 20 at the Jangchung Gymnasium in Seoul. Tickets for the two-day event were sold out in 5 minutes and attracted a total of 8,000 fans.
BTOB’s transition to ballad music earned them huge success, leading to multiple nominations on year-end award shows, where they won the “Best Vocal Group Award” on the 30th Golden Disk Awards and the “Ballad Award” for “It’s Okay” on the 25th Seoul Music Awards.
2016: More concerts and continuous Korean and Japanese promotions
BTOB kicked off their long-awaited Zepp Tour, entitled BTOB Zepp Tour 2016 B-Loved, from February 10 to 14 where they met fans across four cities in Japan (Nagoya, Tokyo, Fukuoka, and Namba).
On February 21, they held their second fan meet, “BTOB Awards,” for 3,500 fans. Three days later, they released the full Dear Bride single and began their promotions.
It was followed by a two-day concert event called “Born to Beat Time: Encore Concert” on March 27 and 28 at the Jamsil Arena in front of 14,000 fans. On the second day of the concert, BTOB released their eighth EP, Remember That, with the title track of the same name. Remember That marks the conclusion of the group’s ballad trilogy.
On June 15, the group released their fifth Japanese single, L.U.V., which debuted on top of Oricon’s Weekly Chart and Billboard Japan Hot 100 chart after selling 77,000 copies in its first week.
They then followed it up with a performance at the KCON 2016 NY in Newark, New Jersey on June 24.
On August 6, BTOB released a special digital single for summer, “I Want to Vacation,” as a present for their fans. The song was composed and produced by Jerry L and Sweetch, while the rap parts were written by members Ilhoon, Minyuk, and Peniel. It was also used by KBS2 as a theme song for their variety show Battle Trip.
The group released their ninth mini album, New Men, on November 7. The single includes the promotional track “I’ll Be Your Man”, which marks the first time that BTOB released a dance title track after more than two years.
Member Hyunsik wrote, composed, and arranged “I’ll Be Your Man” while all the members participated in the creation of side tracks from the album. The group, once again, topped several music charts shortly after the release of “I’ll Be Your Man”.
Following their promotions for New Men in South Korea, BTOB headed once more to Japan for the release of their first Japanese full-length album 24/7.
The album includes the group’s previous Japanese releases “Wow” and “Mirai Ashita,” accompanied by the lead single “Christmas Time”. 24/7 topped the weekly Oricon chart with 27,000 copies sold in one week.
2017: Feel’eM, Piece of BTOB, and Brother Act
On January 21 and 22, BTOB held their third solo concert, BTOB Time, at the SK Olympic Handball Gymnasium. And on March 5, they held their third official fan meeting, “BTOB’s Secret Room”, to drum up the release of their upcoming EP.
The group’s 10th mini album, Feel’eM, was released on March 6. It includes the pre-released single “Someday” and the lead single “Movie”. “Someday” was composed and written by Hyunsik and co-written by fellow members Minhyuk and Ilhoon, and topped several charts upon release.
“Movie,” on the other hand, was co-composed by Ilhoon and was released as a Japanese single on May 3.
On August 30, they released their seventh original Japanese single “Brand New Days”, which debuted at number 2 on the Oricon singles chart.
From April to September, the members released solo digital singles as part of their Piece of BTOB project, beginning with Changsub and his self-composed ballad track “At the End”.
Ilhoon followed it up with the hip-hop track “Fancy Shoes”. Peniel then released the song “That Girl,” while Hyunsik released his self-produced track “Swimming”.
Another hip-hop song was added to the project with Minhyuk’s “Purple Rain” featuring Cheeze, followed by Sungjae’s ballad song “Tell Me” and the b-side track “Paradise”. Eunkwang completed the project with his ballad “One Day” and the b-side track “Back Then”.
After the conclusion of their Piece of BTOB project, the group released their second studio album, Brother Act, on October 16.
The title track “Missing You,” produced and written by Hyunsik with rap verses written by Minhyuk, Ilhoon, and Peniel, topped multiple major music charts immediately after release.
It also peaked at number two on the Gaon Digital Chart, becoming the group’s highest-charting single on the chart.
On December 23 and 24, the group held their fourth solo concert, 2017 BTOB Time – Our Concert, at the Ilsan Kintex Exhibition Center.
2018: This Is Us
On February 24, BTOB held their fifth solo concert, 2017 BTOB Time – Our Concert in Busan, at BEXCO. Three days later, they were appointed as promoting ambassadors of the Korea Tourism Organization for being a group with high international recognition.
They were part of the “”7 People 7 Colors” project where they are tasked to let the world know about Korea through various content like performances, traditional market, sports, cruise, events, food, and self-experience.
On June 2018, the group is scheduled to release their eleventh mini-album, This Is Us.