BTS member RM has donated over $80,000 to help hearing-impaired students in South Korea.
The BTS member — formerly known as ‘Rap Monster’ — donated over 100 million Korean won to celebrate his birthday. The Seoul Samsung School received the donation from the rapper to help with music education. The donation occurred last week after the star turned 25 on September 12th.
A school official confirmed the donation, saying RM wanted to help those with hearing difficulties enjoy music.
“RM conveyed his wishes to enjoy music in a variety of ways together with students who have auditory difficulties. We plan to use the donation to maximize music education and participation in artistic performances available for students who are impaired.“
Fans helped raise funds for a variety of charitable efforts to celebrate his birthday around the world. One particular cause that gained plenty of traction is tree planting in Seoul and the Philippines.
The Seoul Samsung School is a special education school for the hearing-impaired. It has around 120 students from kindergarten to the high school level. The music education program at the school uses a combination of music, movement, and other techniques.
BTS has become one of the most dominant K-pop bands in recent years, especially in the US. Spotify has helped with the group’s promotion in its worldwide playlists. BTS has over four million followers and recently crossed 5 billion streams on Spotify.
Big Hit Entertainment has soared with the success of BTS. The company was recently valued at well above $1 billion and will explore creating its own streaming service. But that’s just one of several business ventures in motion.
Separately, K-pop and J-pop fans have also helped drive the sales of vinyl records, too. The love of CDs in Japan has helped physical sales keep K-pop lucrative in the region, with physical formats retaining their charm despite a surge in streaming popularity. Indeed, the rabid fandoms attached to groups like BTS have resulted in huge windfalls for the genre, despite some questions over K-pop’s ultimate popularity in the U.S. and other western countries.
As for RM, the BTS leader had been rumored to be considering a solo venture, though the bigger money seems to be with the group. Over the years, RM and his BTS cohorts have also battled accusations of using heavy amounts of plastic surgery, something A.R.M.Y. fans have vehemently denied.