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Boy band BTS took the stage at Sunday’s Billboard Music Awards to premiere new single “Fake Love,” and Twitter is still recovering.
The 7-member South Korean stars were also there to pick up the show’s Top Social Artist award for the second year running, and they more than proved their credentials judging by fan reactions. Throughout the ceremony leading up to the performance, attendees in the theater chanted “BTS!” in anticipation—and when the time for the boys to actually sing actually arrived, host Kelly Clarkson pulled out a special pair of noise-canceling headphones.
It’s tough to say exactly what goes into the special sauce for BTS that makes these guys so much bigger than other K-pop groups at the moment, but one thing’s for sure: Their audience is huge, and it’s still growing. For some people tuning in Sunday night, the crowd reaction seemed to be enough to deem them stanworthy. For some, it was the undeniable pop beats—and for others, it was definitely the abs. Whatever piqued people’s interest, it’s safe to say the internet’s interest was piqued.
These BTS fans ain't playin' around. #BBMAs— Dino-Ray Ramos (@DinoRay) May 21, 2018
Omg. The f*cking roof is about to come off the building for this BTS performance. #BBMAs— Andreas Hale (@AndreasHale) May 21, 2018
when the guy from BTS lifted his shirt up... i felt that— steven j. horowitz (@speriod) May 21, 2018
I AM IN THE MIDDLE OF SHAKE SHACK AND SOMEONE NAMED ANDREW JUST AIRDROPPED ME A WHOLE ASS VIDEO OF BTS’S PERFORMANCE HELP pic.twitter.com/dc4kd6Tcab— blossom (@honeybeejimin) May 21, 2018
Yo Drake, I'm really happy for you, I'll let you finish your new album, but BTS has the best "Fake Love" song of all time. One of the best songs about Fake Love of all time! #BBMAs— Louie G (@Louiegeezy) May 21, 2018
Even celebs were stanning. Taylor Swift used many a heart emoji in her Instagram caption with the boys:
LOOK AT TYRA ENJOYING BTS PERFORMANCE! WE STAN pic.twitter.com/IqH8hRvxwq— ᴬᴸ (@JHOPEDAYDREAMS) May 21, 2018
The fact that John Legend actually got a BTS album to the BBMAs with hopes that BTS would sign his CD is so iconic I'm loving this— Pakhi ღ | LY: Tear (@Jungiving) May 21, 2018
It’s BTS’ world, we’re all just living in it.
Christine Friar is a writer and editor in New York who focuses on streaming entertainment and internet culture. Her work has appeared in the Awl, the Fader, New York Magazine, Paper Magazine, Vogue, Elle, and more.