Fans screamed all night whenever BTS appeared on camera, and host Kelly Clarkson was immediately overwhelmed by the crowd as she tried to introduce the group. “Y’all are crazy,” she said, before putting on enormous pink ear muffs.
The screaming continued as BTS delivered “Fake Love,” which was made for arenas like this one. Fans shouted the song’s chorus back at the group, adding a jubilant call and response to the performance. The seven members of BTS danced with rigid poise, alternating between anguished singing and staccato rapping.
This was not the first BTS appearance at the Billboard Music Awards: The group won the Top Social Artist honor, a fan-voted category, in 2017, beating out other immensely popular acts like Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez. BTS later included a snippet of their acceptance speech from the awards ceremony on their Love Yourself: Her album.
BTS released Love Yourself: Tear, last Friday. In South Korea, pre-orders of the album exceeded one million copies. BTS also has a wide reach around the world: “Fake Love” quickly climbed up Spotify’s Global Top 50 chart.
Later this year, BTS aim to build on the success of “Fake Love” with a world tour. The tour opens in September with three consecutive performances at the Staples Center in Los Angeles; BTS will also visit Oakland, Chicago and Newark, New Jersey. Additional dates will also be announced.