Jun 14, 2024 5 min read

And Finally! BTS’s Jin trades military life for gruelling “hug event”

It only seems like yesterday that Jin became the first member of BTS to begin mandatory military service, but he’s back. He was immediately thrown back into the pop star life, hugging 1000 fans who won his embrace as a prize in a raffle. This and more of this week’s funniest music news stories await

And Finally! BTS’s Jin trades military life for gruelling “hug event”

Time flies when you’re having fun, so I must have been having the time of my life since BTS member Jin joined the South Korean army. Having served his time in mandatory military service, he’s back in pop star mode again and kicked things off with an event that seemed more gruelling than anything his training as a soldier could have thrown at him.

It was announced earlier this month that Jin would be discharged from military service on 12 Jun, having been the first member of the group to enlist in December 2022. I think I’d like a bit of a rest after all that. Maybe a week. Or a month. Maybe the rest of the year. Surely there’s no rush to get back to work.

Perhaps it’s talk like that that’s held me back from becoming an international pop star, because Jin returned to duty immediately. He went from the army base straight to a livestream address to fans - still wearing his army uniform. And then the very next day he appeared at an event as part of the annual BTS Festa event, at which fans celebrate the day that BTS released their debut single in 2013. 

A little public appearance seems fine. A quick hello, maybe a wave. But that’s not what happened. What happened was that Jin stood on stage at Seoul’s Jamsil Sports Complex and hugged 1000 fans. 

The “hug event” was announced at the same time that Jin’s discharge date was revealed. Fans entered an online raffle to be in with a chance of being given the opportunity to share a “light hug” or handshake with Jin. 

Now, obviously meet and greets are part and parcel of the pop star offering these days. But this wasn’t really one of those. It was a steady stream of 1000 fans from all over the world all expecting a hug. It seems like a punishing thing to put someone through. Especially on their first day back at work. 

If you’re still on the fence about how weird this is, you might like to watch some of the video footage. A grinning Jin gives each fan about a second of his time before turning his attention to the next fan in line. It just looks like it would be exhausting for him and disappointing for the fans. Especially those who have spent money travelling across the world for that opportunity. 

Everyone seemed quite happy in that video footage though. As far as I can tell, no one screamed, “What?! That’s it?!” and Jin didn’t collapse in a heap on the floor 300 people in demanding to be returned to a foxhole. The only controversy came when some fans attempted to kiss him, which others watching the livestream (yes, fans who missed out watched the whole thing unfold live) said made him look uncomfortable. 

Weirdness aside though, this does seem to answer the question of whether or not BTS would be able to survive its members heading off to their mandatory military service. By staggering their entry, they’ve managed to maintain an almost unbroken level of public engagement, and it’s clear that the fans are clamouring to have them back. 

By the time they all return to work next year - and have got all their hugging duties out of the way - the band will have been around for more than twelve years. That’s a long time for any boy band. It remains to be seen what shape their career takes as they fully get into their second decade.

Now, here are some other amusing music news stories from the last week…

Donald Trump Calls Taylor Swift ‘Unusually Beautiful’ but ‘Liberal’ in New ‘Apprentice’ Book (EXCLUSIVE)
Donald Trump sounds off on the “beautiful” but “liberal” Taylor Swift in “Apprentice in Wonderland,” a new book about his years as a reality star.
The mind-blowing reason David Bowie performed Glastonbury revealed
‘You naughty boys, don’t ever do that again.’
Easy Life Changes Name To Hard Life After Lawsuit, Hard-Fi Responds
Easy Life is the former name of a pop band from Leicester, England. They are not the same thing as EasyJet, which is a British budget airline. They are also not the same thing as Hard-Fi, the recently-reunited rock band also from the UK. But it appears there’s been some confusion lately!
Hand over copies of Wu-Tang album, Martin Shkreli told
Convicted fraudster Martin Shkreli has been ordered to hand over copies of the single-copy Wu-Tang album he was forced to give up to the US government in 2021. Its current owner claimed that he had boasted online about having multiple copies and played portions of it in livestreams
Simon Cowell on the chances of a One Direction reunion and why he wishes he could still profit from their name
Simon Cowell has opened up about the possibility of One Direction reuniting, and explained why he wishes he had ownership of the band name.
Taylor Swift’s Scotland fans danced so hard they set off earthquake monitors
“Swifties” attending the record-breaking Eras tour in Edinburgh last weekend danced so hard, it was felt on seismic instruments up to 6km away. They beat Beyonce, Harry Styles and Bruce Springsteen fans in how hard they danced.
Alice Cooper Kickstarts 2024 Presidential Campaign
“I have absolutely no idea what to do, so I should fit right in.”
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