BTS played to their many strengths during a three-song set for BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge, proving once again that they can give a moving, intimate performance just as deftly as they can dominate a stadium.
On July 27, BTS performed at the famous BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge, a stage known for displaying some of the most iconic covers in music. It’s a similar vibe to MTV Unplugged; artists strip back their music and impress listeners with their vocal and rap prowess and song selection. Many have graced the BBC Live Lounge studio including Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, Jay-Z and Ariana Grande, but what makes Live Lounge so special is that it gives artists the opportunity to pay homage to their industry peers and sing amazing covers, like Harry Styles' version of Lizzo’s “Juice,” or Stormzy’s rendition of “Sweet Like Chocolate” by Shanks & Bigfoot. BTS is no stranger to an iconic cover — hello, “Fix You” — but their Live Lounge choice was particularly inspired.
For their cover, BTS performed Puff Daddy, Faith Evans, and 112’s Grammy-winning classic “I’ll Be Missing You,” which samples Sting's “Every Breath You Take.” The group made sure to acknowledge the impact of “I'll Be Missing You” as a tribute to the legendary rapper Notorious B.I.G (Faith Evans’ husband), who died in 1997. BTS leader RM also noted during the show that the song’s message could be for their fans around the world, too.
It’s that sentiment that seemingly informed their decision to add Korean lyrics to the song, with Suga and J-hope rapping about the pandemic, their longing to see fans, and their hope for better days ahead. With RM taking the iconic original opening verse, BTS’s rapline showed why they’re revered for their skill, while Jin, Jimin, V, and Jungkook did justice to Faith Evans’ ad libs and 112’s vocal arrangement.
“It’s been almost two years we haven’t seen the ARMYs,” leader RM shared with BBC presenter Adele Roberts, also noting that his favorite thing in the UK is the National Art Gallery. “It’s like 700 days, and it’s the first time ever because sometimes we meet them three times, twice a day, and now it’s been a year or so.”
In addition to “I’ll Be Missing You,” BTS pulled off one of their best vocal performances so far of their no. 1 hit from last year, “Dynamite” — clad in preppy Gucci and looking like they could have just stepped out of the Gossip Girl reboot.
They then performed their most recent no. 1, “Permission To Dance,” written by Ed Sheeran. In true BTS fashion, the song came with an outfit change, this time with plenty of denim and a cowboy aesthetic reminiscent of the song’s music video.
BTS parted ways by telling fans how much they missed them and performing for in-person audiences: “We miss all of you, BBC, Armys, everyone abroad and in Korea too.”
And so BTS continue to be a beacon of hope for fans while showcasing their immense artistry in multiple languages. Though the world is still trying to navigate its way through this ongoing pandemic, we hope there will come a day where BTS and ARMY can see each other soon.
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Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue