Coldplay & BTS’ Collaboration, Its Making and Success


Photo By: TenAsia (CC BY 3.0 )

Ashley Park

On September 24, 2021, London-born band Coldplay and South Korean boy group BTS released their collaboration single “My Universe” on various music platforms. The music video for this song premiered on September 30th. It is also a featured track in Coldplay’s newest album, Music of the Spheres. Both groups participated in the production of the song and starred in the music video.

Members from the two groups are credited with the production and songwriting of this track. The song includes both English and Korean lyrics, plus raps recorded by BTS members’ Suga and J-Hope. The main theme, which seemed to be a love song, is expressed through the song’s warm lyrics, and BTS’ leader RM had shared that he personally had their fandom in mind during the writing process.

The legendary rock band known as Coldplay has been active since their formation in 1996. Four of the five members Chris Martin, Jonny Buckland, Guy Berryman, and Will Champion hold the positions of vocalist, guitarist, pianist; guitarist; bassist; and drummer, respectively. The fifth member Phil Harvey is more of an honorary star, who had passed on his original title as manager to become their creative director. Throughout their career, Coldplay became world-renowned artists to both fans and fellow artists alike. Sweeping up achievements and awards, they became best-selling artists after hitting over 100 million album sales.

BTS, an acronym for “Bangtan Sonyeondan (Bangtan Boys),” debuted in South Korea in June of 2013 under Big Hit Entertainment. Brought together in the early 2010s, the seven members of BTS (RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, & Jung Kook) have gained popularity for their discography, performances, and the Love Myself campaign they had launched with UNICEF in 2017. Within the past eight years in which they were active, their list of global accomplishments as a Korean pop group grew exponentially. Originally, debuting with a hip hop concept, they have touched upon a handful of music genres over the years, drawing in fans with each album. As of October 2021, the music video for one of their top songs, “Dynamite,” has 1.2 billion views on Youtube.

At least a year and a half prior to the song’s release, Chris Martin, the lead singer of Coldplay, was approached about the possibility of working with some of Korea’s current top artists. Martin ended up flying to Korea to record the song with BTS sometime in the first half of 2021. Both parties expressed excitement over the prospect of working together. Several BTS members had even shared what kind of person and inspiration Martin was to them. V mentioned, “He was my role model at some point. He was a very influential person to me.” After a successful release, the two groups met to perform on different occasions including the Graham Norton Show and on Global Citizen Live (although BTS was featured virtually on the latter).

The song had numerous accomplishments off the bat. As of the first week of October, (which was a little over a week after its release on September 24th) the song topped two Billboard charts, holding the place of number one on both Billboard Global 200 and Billboard Global Excluding the U.S. Also by this time, the song hit 95.4 million streams and 142,400 downloads globally. One could say that the fact that the song was quite the global collaboration definitely was a contributing factor to its success around the world.