BtoB (/ˈbiːtuːbiː/ BEE-too-bee; Hangul: 비투비; acronym for Born to Beat) is a South Korean boy band formed in 2012 by Cube Entertainment. The group consists of Seo Eun-kwang, Lee Min-hyuk, Lee Chang-sub, Im Hyun-sik, Peniel Shin, Jung Il-hoon, and Yook Sung-jae.
BtoB debuted on 21 March 2012, performing “Insane” (비밀) and “Imagine” on M Countdown. The group’s debut EP, Born to Beat was released on 3 April 2012. They released their first full-length album, Complete, in June 2015. In November 2014 they made their Japanese debut with “Wow” under the Japanese agency Kiss Entertainment.
Since the group’s debut in 2012, they have received multiple awards, including the Singer of the Year at the 2015 KBS Music Festival, Best Vocal Group Award at the 30th Golden Disc Awards, and a Ballad Award at the 25th Seoul Music Awards.
The group was formed by Cube Entertainment. It was stated from the start that Seo Eunkwang, Lee Minhyuk, Im Hyunsik, Jung Ilhoon and Lee Minwoo were on the list of original members who are waiting to be debuted under the name of “BtoB”. They appeared on the JTBC sitcom “I Live in Cheongdam-dong” as an aspiring boy band working towards their debut. However, Lee Minwoo had dropped out of the list of confirmed members after their first appearance on the sitcom and the fact of him not debuting with BtoB had upset many fans. On 23 March 2012, Cube Entertainment had clarified that there were problems with Minwoo’s health, resulting in him being unable to blend into the group. Adding on, he would still be a trainee under Cube. If he was to recover, he would still get a chance to debut. Minwoo was confirmed to debut as a C-Clown member under Yedang Entertainment.
On 21 March, BtoB made their debut in a showcase held in Seoul, which was streamed from their official YouTube channel. They performed their title track “Insane” (Hangul: 비밀; RR: Bimil; lit. Secret), “Imagine”, and various other songs. The EP includes the two debut title tracks of the group “Insane” and “Imagine”, while the members of the group participated on writing the lyrics and raps for the album.
In April 2012, the group starred on their first reality program, Amazon, that was aired on Mnet.
On 3 May, the group released the digital single, “Father” (Hangul: 아버지) along with a music video, in conjunction with May being the “Month of Family”. An Asia Special Edition of their first EP was released on 23 May, containing the previously released track, “Father” and the track “Irresistible Lips” (Hangul: 그 입술을 뺏었어; lit. I Stole Those Lips) which was first revealed on “I Live in Cheongdam-dong”.
The release of the Born to Beat (Asia Special Edition) album marked the official start of their Asia promotions. They kick-started their promotions with a press conference in Singapore along with a promotional event in Bugis Square which attracted a crowd of 800 people. The following day, they performed at Clarke Quay for “Music Matters Live 2012”, a five-night festival that featured 40 bands from 18 countries. A month later, they resumed their Asia promotions in Indonesia, participating in an interview with OneTV Asia. In addition, they held their first Indonesian showcase at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Jakarta on 21 June, performing for both fans and media officials. They made their debut in Japan with a performance at the “K-Dream Live” concert at Tokyo Dome on 29 July alongside 5 other groups. In addition, the group performed at Sapporo Dome on 1 August for the “K-Pop Nonstop Live 2012 In Sapporo” concert.
On 12 September, the group released their second EP, Press Play along with its title track “Wow”, which was composed by hit maker Kim Do-hoon. On 18 October, the group started promoting the follow-up single “Lover Boy” (Hangul: 사랑밖에 난 몰라; lit. I Only Know Love) on M Countdown. A music video for the song was released on 22 October which consisted of a montage of the promotional events the group undertook throughout the year.
Following the end of their promotions for “I Only Know Love”, the group commenced their overseas activities once again. They started off in Singapore on 1 December, performing as part of a line-up for “Sundown Festival 2012”, an event that invited solo and group acts from South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan. On 11 December, the group performed as the opening act for the “2012 Asia Super Showcase” in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at Kenanga Wholesale City. The group became the first Korean artist to perform at the Thai Supermodel Concert on 13 December at the Bangkok Convention Center, and later held a press conference with around 70 media outlets.
In February 2013, the group participated in the “2013 United Cube Concert” alongside other Cube Entertainment artists, 4minute, Beast, G.NA and Roh Ji-hoon. The concert took place in Seoul’s Jamsil Indoor Stadium, and attracted over 7,000 fans, local and international, with additional concert dates in China and Japan.
On 6 April, BtoB held their first fan-meet in Taiwan, “BTOB Press Play in Taiwan”, for 1,000 fans. They later held two additional fan-meets in Thailand and Cambodia, meeting with around 2,000 fans in total.
BtoB released their first digital single, “2nd Confession” (Hangul: 두 번째 고백) on 10 April. The group started to promote the single with a stage performance on 12 April on M Countdown.
On 29 August, BtoB released a music video for the track “When I Was Your Man” (Hangul: 내가 니 남자였을때), ahead of their official comeback in September. On 4 September, the group performed their new tracks, “When I Was Your Man” and “Thriller” (Hangul: 스릴러) on MBC Music’s Show Champion, prior to the release of their third EP Thriller, which was subsequently released on 9 September.
On 17 February, BtoB released the group’s fourth EP Beep Beep (Hangul: 뛰뛰빵빵; RR: Dduiddui Bbangbbang). It includes the title track of the same title, which was produced by hit composers Brave Brothers. The group also held their album showcase at the Club Wave in Apjugeong, Seoul on the same day. The EP ranked first on the Gaon Album Chart for the ninth week of 2014, making it their first album to peak at the top spot. The group then began their album promotion with a performance on M Countdown on 20 February.
In July, the group launched their first solo live concert, “Summer Vacation with BTOB”, in Japan with two concerts taking place on 19 July at Osaka and two concerts on 21 July at Tokyo, for a total of four shows. Each show gathered over 2,000 fans, for a total of 8,000 fans.
On 29 September, BtoB released their fifth EP, Move, along with the lead single “You’re So Fly” (Hangul: 넌 감동이야). They also introduced the group’s new logo image. The logo image has heart shaped symbols that represent two capital B’s for BtoB, expressing BtoB’s love for the fans and its desire to present heart touching music.
BtoB held their first-ever solo concert in Korea, Hello Melody, from 31 October–November 4 at Olympic Park’s Olympic Hall.
In October, BtoB signed a contract with a Japanese talent agency, Kiss Entertainment, for the group’s activities in Japan. On 12 November, the group released their first Japanese single, “WOW (Japanese ver.)” and began active promotions in Japan.
On 22 December, the group released their winter EP The Winter’s Tale. The EP contains five tracks including the pre-released track “You Can Cry” (Hangul: 울어도 돼) and the lead single “The Winter’s Tale” (Hangul: 울면 안 돼; lit. You Can Cry). “The Winter’s Tale” is the group’s first title track composed and produced by members Hyun-sik and Il-hoon.
On 14 and 22 February, BtoB held their first official fan-meeting titled “Be My Valentine” in Osaka and Tokyo, Japan. All shows were sold-out, gathering a total of 5,000 fans. BtoB then released their first original Japanese single album, titled “Future” on 25 March. The single recorded sales of about 70,000 and ranked second on Japan’s Oricon Singles Chart. On the same day, their single charted first on the weekly overall chart for Tower Records, Japan’s largest record store. They continued promoting throughout Japan (Osaka, Nagoya, and Tokyo) through concerts and various events until 30 March.
On 4 April, the group took its first exclusive concert “Hello Melody” in Busan, South Korea. It was held at the Busan KBS Hall. On 29 April, the group held their first major solo concert in Japan, “The Secret Diary”, six months after their Japanese debut, and reportedly gathered 10,000 fans.
On 28 June, BtoB released their first full-length album Complete. The album comprises thirteen tracks including the lead single “It’s Okay” (Hangul: 괜찮아요), “Shake It!” which was a bonus track from their fifth EP Move, and an acoustic version of their debut single “Insane”. “It’s Okay” is an R&B ballad track, and is also the group’s first ever ballad single. The title track ranked at the top of multiple major music charts in South Korea upon its release, and is the first time the group topped charts since their debut in 2012.
Their third Japanese single, “Summer Color My Girl” (夏色 MY GIRL), was released on 19 August, after the conclusion of their Korean promotions.
On 12 October, BtoB released their seventh EP, I Mean, along with the music video for their title song, “Way Back Home” (Hangul: 집으로 가는 길). On 21 October, BtoB received their first music show win, after 3 years and 7 months, on Show Champion, with the song “Way Back Home”.
BtoB held their second solo concert, Born to Beat Time, on 19 and 20 December at Seoul’s Jangchung Gymnasium. The tickets for the concert were sold-out in 5 minutes. They performed their hit songs in front of a total of 8,000 fans, and the show included special stages such as performances from their unit lines.
The group’s transition to releasing ballad music achieved the group success, earning multiple nominations on year-end awards and winning the “Best Vocal Group Award” on the 30th Golden Disc Awards and the “Ballad Award” for “It’s Okay” on the 25th Seoul Music Awards.
On 3 February, BtoB released a short preview of their fourth Japanese single, Dear Bride. The full single was released on 24 February. BtoB kicked off their long-awaited Zepp Tour, entitled BTOB Zepp Tour 2016 B-Loved, from 10–14 February. They met fans across four cities in Japan including Nagoya, Tokyo, Fukuoka and Namba.
On 21 February, the group held their second fan-meet, “BTOB Awards”, for 3,500 fans with the fan-meet being designed like an actual awards show. The group continued their successful concert events with Born to Beat Time: Encore Concert that was held on 27–28 March at Jamsil Arena for 14,000 fans. On 28 March, BtoB released their eighth EP, Remember That, with the title track “Remember That” (Hangul: 봄날의 기억; lit. Memories of Spring), concluding their ballad trilogy.
The group released their fifth Japanese single, L.U.V, on 15 June. It debuted on top of the weekly Oricon chart and Billboard Japan Hot 100 chart, selling over 77,000 copies in its first week.
On 24 June, BtoB performed at the KCON 2016 NY in Newark, New Jersey. On 6 August, BtoB released a special digital single for summer, “I Want to Vacation” (Hangul: 여행 가고 싶어), as a present for fans. The song was composed and produced by Jerry.L and Sweetch, with the rap parts written by Ilhoon, Minhyuk and Peniel. It was also used as the theme song for the KBS2 variety show Battle Trip.
On 7 November, BtoB released their ninth mini album, New Men. It includes the promotional track “I’ll Be Your Man” (Hangul: 기도; lit. Pray) which marks the group’s first dance title track release after two years and two months. “I’ll Be Your Man” is written, composed and arranged by member Im Hyun-sik while all the members participated on the side tracks of the album. The title track, shortly after its release, topped multiple music charts.
After the promotions of New Men in South Korea, the group head over to Japan and released their first Japanese full-length album 24/7. The album includes BtoB’s past Japanese singles “Wow” (Japanese ver.) and “Mirai Ashita”, and the lead single “Christmas Time”. 24/7 topped the weekly Oricon chart, selling 27,000 copies in a week.
BtoB held their third solo concert, BtoB Time, from January 21–22 at the SK Olympic Handball Gymnasium.
On March 5, BtoB held their third official fan-meeting “BtoB’s Secret Room” before the release of upcoming EP. On 30 August, the group released their seventh original Japanese single “Brand New Days” which debuted at number 2 on the Oricon chart.
From April to September, each of the BtoB members released solo digital singles as part of the Piece of BtoB project. and was concluded with Seo Eun-kwang’s ballad track “One Day” (이제 겨우 하루) and the b-side “Back Then” (그때).
On 20 September, BtoB was awarded their first Bonsang at the 1st Soribada Best K-Music Awards.
After the conclusion of their Piece of BtoB project, the group released their second studio album Brother Act. on 16 October. It also peaked at number two on the Gaon Digital Chart, becoming their highest charting single on the chart.
BtoB held their fourth solo concert 2017 BtoB Time – Our Concert, from 23–24 December at the Ilsan Kintex Exhibition Center.
BtoB held their fifth solo concert 2017 BtoB Time – Our Concert in Busan, 24 February at BEXCO.
On 27 February, BtoB was appointed as the Korea Tourism Organization promoting ambassadors, as a boy group who has high recognition overseas and gained popularity.
They released a pre-release song, “The Feeling” on 11 June. The song is a sentimental summer song composed by Jung Il-lhoon and co-written by Lee Min-hyuk, Peniel, and Jung Il-hoon ahead of the comeback on 18 June. On 13 June, they made their debut on Billboard‘s Social 50 Chart by charting at number 21.
The group released their eleventh mini album, This Is Us, on 18 June.
On 10 July, all seven members renewed their contract with Cube Entertainment.
BtoB held their sixth solo concert 2018 BtoB Time – This Is Us at Olympic Gymnastics Arena in Seoul for three days from August 10–12 and CentralPlaza Chaengwattana, Bangkok on 14 October.
On 12 November, the group released a special album titled HOUR MOMENT without the participation of Seo Eunkwang, who started fulfilling his mandatory military service in August earlier that year, with the song “Beautiful Pain” functioning as single.
In September 2016, BtoB revealed their first unit group, BtoB Blue (Korean: 비투비 블루) that consists of the group’s vocalists Eunkwang, Changsub, Hyunsik and Sungjae. BtoB Blue released the digital single “Stand By Me” (Hangul: 내 곁에 서 있어줘; RR: Nae Gyeote Seo Isseojwo) on 19 September 2016.
After two years, BToB Blue released a digital single of Hyunsik’s self composed song, “When It Rains”, on 2 August 2018.