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K-pop sensation BTS is going on a break but promises to return

The K-pop superstar group BTS is taking a break. The South Korean boy band announced their decision over a long dinner they filmed and shared on social media.

"I always thought that BTS was different from other groups, but the problem with K-pop and the whole idol system is that they don't give you time to mature," RM, the group's leader said, according to their video's translation.

He went on to say after years of working, the group has lost its direction.

A representative for Hybe, the entertainment company that represents the band issued a statement: "To be clear, they are not on hiatus but will take time to explore some solo projects at this time and remain active in various different formats."

In the video, the seven members of BTS sit at a long table with a spread of food and drinks. Balloons and the words "BTS Festa" decorate on the wall.

BTS officially debuted in 2013. The band's members, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook, are now nearly 30 and have spent several years together reaching global success and becoming one of the world's most well-known music groups.

They've recently used their influence to send a message against anti-Asian hate at the White House last month.

But after all this time, their work has felt more robotic, according to Jin.

"I have my own hobbies, too, and things I want to do on my own," he said.

Suga said in the video that it's been a real struggle to even come up with lyrics that mean something.

For the band to go on, they need to take a step back and grow and mature as individuals, they said.

RM said they need to do their own thing. "I want BTS to go on for a long time," he said.

They did say they plan to return after this break.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Jaclyn Diaz is a reporter on Newshub.
Elizabeth Blair is a Peabody Award-winning senior producer/reporter on the Arts Desk of NPR News.