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The 100 Best BTS Songs

From “Butter” to “Butterfly” and beyond, we count down the boundary-smashing Seoul septet’s finest moments so far

Big Hit Entertainment*

Nearly a decade ago, a seven-member group from a virtually unknown label in South Korea dreamed of a “big house, big car, and big rings.” But thanks to a lethal mix of undeniable talent, remarkable lyricism, a relentless work ethic, magnetic personalities, and a few arresting dimples, BTS are now the biggest band on the planet (and likely even beyond that). Members RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jung Kook ultimately got their wish, but because they actually had something to say, they gained something much more valuable — the ability to break down walls and build bridges around the globe. 

Listing all of the band’s accolades would take longer than it would to learn all of their fan chants at once, so here are a few: BTS have five Number One albums to date and a handful of chart-topping songs, two Grammy nominations, are highly regarded ambassadors to the U.N., and bring in an estimated $5 billion to the South Korean economy annually. But at the core of BTS’ success is the unmatched relationship they have with their fan base, ARMY (“Adorable Representative M.C. for Youth”), fueled by a rich discography that transcends language and culture. Here, we highlight the songs that make up the kaleidoscope that is BTS’ message — of love for yourself and others, of introspection, of connection, and, of course, even a healthy bit of anarchy. From “Danger” and “Sea,” to “Run” and “Ugh!,” we’ve ranked the 100 best BTS songs.

From Rolling Stone US

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‘Love Maze’ (2018)

Bask in the radiant group-vocal performance on this homage to resilient, reciprocal amour. Jimin flutters in and out of his falsetto, ay-ay-ays on your heart muscle, and sets a perfectly unguarded tone. Jung Kook croons with an elegant maturity and flows into subtle runs that leave you breathless. RM tears headlong into a double-time rap that mimics the rush of early romance. And there are four voices still to go. No wonder the whole world is smitten. —C.A.

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‘Airplane Pt. 2’ (2018)

BTS’ dalliance with Latin pop is both slick and sexy, as they playfully sway between the their highest, airy registers and low, sultry ranges. A follow-up to the J-Hope solo mixtape track “Airplane,” “Pt. 2” tells the (autobiographical) story of a man dreaming of becoming a world-renowned musician, and the feeling — at times invigorating, at others completely exhausting — of finally becoming the regular jet-setter he set out to be. Fitting that here BTS shout out “el mariachi,” another group of balladeers serenading audiences around the globe. —N.M.

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‘Dream Glow’ feat. Charli XCX (2019)

Charli XCX courted BTS for a minute before the crew fixed on “Glow,” a peppy, teasing 2016 demo originally produced for Charli’s unreleased third album, a.k.a., XCX World, by Norwegian hitmaking duo Stargate. Refined into a glassy, candy-coated lattice of breathy harmonies featuring Jimin, Jung Kook, and Jin, “Dream Glow” appeared on the BTS World video game soundtrack. —C.A.

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‘Go Go’ (2017)

On its surface, “Go Go” sounds like a blissed-out trip-hop ditty that prays at the church of YOLO partying. But in fact, the lyrics contain sharp criticisms of materialism and the emptiness that comes with constantly searching for the next high. “The current generation uses phrases like YOLO and having fun squandering money, but I don’t think people think about why they use such terms so much, even while using the terms,” said Suga of this satirical song in a 2017 press conference. “It isn’t a BTS album if there isn’t a track criticizing society.” —N.M.

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‘Epiphany’ (2018)

Each BTS member has kicked off a new album cycle with a solo turn accompanied by a trailer video. But none quite shook the Bangtan firmament like Jin’s tender ode to self-acceptance, delivered as a smoldering power ballad. It’s Gen Z resculpting the sound waves of Phil Collins’ “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)” into their ultimate form. Cue waterworks. —C.A.

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‘Tomorrow’ (2014)

Released in 2014 on BTS’ second EP, Skool Luv Affair, “Tomorrow” conveys one of group’s core messages: As long as you have hope, you have a chance of bettering your future. The song looks at various hardships — unemployment, burnout, broken homes — and assures listeners that they will not be trapped in the darkness forever: “When tomorrow comes, the bright light will shine so don’t worry/This isn’t a stop but just a pause in your life for a break/Turn up your thumbs and press play so everyone can see.” The track combines booming bass percussion with a warped synth, creating a haunting foundation for their words to sink in. —R.C.