BTS had music’s best year in late night television

BTS (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)
BTS (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images) /

In 2020, no other musical act did what BTS did in late night television

There is a good chance you’ve seen BTS near the top of a few end-of-year lists for 2020. The band had a dominant year in pop culture and that included stealing the show in late night television more than once.

The K-pop band wasted no time making a splash in 2020, releasing the single “Black Swan” in January. The song’s massive success was an indication of how big the album Map of the Soul: 7 would be when it finally reached audiences the following month.

As if a chart-topping record with millions of sales wasn’t enough, BTS added to its resume with the English-language single “Dynamite” in August. The music video set multiple YouTube records for views and further cemented the band as a worldwide sensation.

2020 wasn’t an easy year for any artist to release new music. The novel coronavirus pandemic put a halt to concert tours and limited the ability to perform live music, severely constricting how an album could be promoted.

Late night television is an important part of the promotional tour for movies, television series, comedy tours, and music. It was through this platform that BTS–Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook–found a way to reach audiences and in the process, have music’s biggest year on late night television.

BTS continued to make The Late Late Show with James Corden its late night TV home

There may be about a dozen late night television shows active right now but none have a relationship with BTS like The Late Late Show with James Corden. Always a musically-inclined show, The Late Late Show has gone above and beyond to help BTS reach American audiences. The band, and its fans, have responded by helping James Corden in more ways than one.

Back on Jan. 28, BTS performed “Black Swan” on The Late Late Show. It’s hard to think of another late night TV musical performance that had the same level of anticipation. The band delivered an entertaining rendition of the song and even had some fun with a game of Hide and Seek.

The show resulted in #ThankYouJamesCorden trending on Twitter as the BTS Army expressed its gratitude for Corden putting the spotlight on the band. The fans went even further, raising money for one of Corden’s favorite charities Magic Breakfast.

Just a month later, The Late Late Show was once again at the center of the BTS universe. Corden finally managed to get the band for an installment of “Carpool Karaoke,” marking another viral moment for the show and for the band.

In March, BTS helped Corden out with the charity concert event “Homefest.” The band joined other acts by performing remotely to benefit the CDC Foundation and Feed the Children. BTS performed “Boy With Luv” for the event.

The BTS Army also had its moment on late night TV thanks to Corden. When the fans donated millions of dollars to Black Lives Matter, The Late Late Show covered it and rewarded the fans by releasing an unseen clip from “Carpool Karaoke.”

When the band learned it was nominated for a Grammy, it was Corden who interviewed the guys to celebrate the accomplishment. The group returned the favor by giving The Late Late Show performances of “Life Goes On” and “Dynamite.”

BTS also found time to take over The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

What BTS did on The Late Late Show in 2020 sounds like what most bands would be happy with over the course of a few years. Yet the BTS reach extended beyond just one late night TV show, making its way to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon as well.

In January, Jimmy Fallon announced an entire episode of The Tonight Show would be dedicated to the band. Fans were encouraged to send in questions for the band for what became one of late night TV’s biggest events of 2020.

Whether you’re a die-hard fan or were just curious about the pop sensations, the special episode of The Tonight Show didn’t disappoint from an entertainment standpoint. The band answered fan questions, faced off against Fallon and each other in “Subway Olympics,” and performed the single “On” at Grand Central Station.

It wouldn’t be long before something like this would be impossible due to the pandemic. Fans were fortunate that the Tonight Show event was able to go live before things shut down.

BTS and The Tonight Show weren’t done there. In September, a whole week of shows was dedicated to the band. For five consecutive nights, BTS performed songs from Map of the Soul: 7 including “Dynamite” and “IDOL.”

And even when the band wasn’t the featured guest on The Tonight Show, it still found a way to dominate the conversation. Self-proclaimed BTS Army member John Cena was a guest during the band’s weeklong takeover. The actor took time from promoting his own projects to discuss his appreciation for the band’s music as well as the message of love and inclusivity it tries to spread.

The interview became very popular among fans. But more importantly, it showed just how influential BTS had become and how the band was more than just a musical act. As Cena expressed, liking or disliking BTS’s music is perfectly fine. But the charitable endeavors and positive social impact that have come from the band’s popularity can be applauded by everyone.

Other musical acts like Miley Cyrus, Megan Thee Stallion, and Dua Lipa also had incredible years in late night TV. But it’s hard to say that anyone created as much buzz or provided as much entertainment as BTS.

Related Story. Ranking the best BTS moments in late night TV. light

What was your favorite late night TV moment from BTS in 2020? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.