Although it may be hard to believe now, BTS, BTOB, and GFRIEND once struggled to gain popularity in the K-Pop industry. It didn’t help that they came from small and medium companies, which meant they started from humble beginnings and worked their way up to global success—a feat that is almost unheard of in the industry.
Here are pictures that show the stark difference between their popularity in the early years and today.
Only a handful of fans attended BTOB’s first fansigns, but they now sell out entire stadiums.
With every year that passes, more and more fans come to cheer on BTOB during their performances.
There was once a time when it was easy to count the number of fans who attended GFRIEND’s events. Now, however, there are too many to count because fans are eager to see them in person.
GFRIEND is now so popular that fans all over the world come to watch their concerts. The pictures above were taken during their concerts in Taipei, Hong Kong, Manila, and Seoul, where they were greeted by many fans.
GFRIEND’s first album, Season Of Glass, only sold 500 copies. In comparison, their latest album, Time For Us, sold nearly 40,000 copies.
Like the two other groups mentioned, BTS is one of K-Pop’s greatest success stories. They cannot be seen anywhere around the world without fans swarming to see them, but that was not the case in the past.
BTS sells out all of their concert tickets within minutes, whether in South Korea or across the world, and ARMYs have to struggle to buy a ticket. In the start, however, only a few people would go to their fansigns and concerts.
BTS’s latest album, MAP OF THE SOUL: 7, sold the most copies in K-Pop history at over 4,020,000. This is a colossal difference to the sales of their first album, 2 Kool 4 Skool, which sold only 24,441 copies.
BTOB, GFRIEND, and BTS may not have had the easiest journeys, but they proved that anyone can be successful.