Entertainment Music BTS Announce Temporary Hiatus to Work on Solo Projects: 'We're Trying to Find Our Identity' "I hope you don't see this as a negative thing, and see it as a healthy plan. I think BTS will become stronger that way," member J-Hope said during the group's annual FESTA dinner By Jack Irvin Jack Irvin Instagram Twitter Digital Music Writer, PEOPLE People Editorial Guidelines Published on June 14, 2022 12:31PM EDT Share Tweet Pin Email BTS. Photo: The Chosunilbo JNS/Imazins via Getty BTS is taking some time off to figure out their next steps. During the South Korean band's annual FESTA dinner to celebrate their 2013 debut, members RM, Jungkook, J-Hope, Jin, V, Jimin and Suga tearfully informed fans they're taking a break from BTS to pursue solo projects and decide their next direction as a group. "I always thought that BTS was different from other groups, but the problem with K-pop and the whole idol system is that they don't give you time to mature," said RM, 27, during the event. "You have to keep producing music and keep doing something." BTS Visit White House to Discuss Asian Inclusion and Representation as They Call Music a 'Unifier' Jimin, 26, spoke about the group's ultra dedicated fanbase of ARMYs and how BTS wants to shape their legacy with supporters in mind. "We can't help but think of our fans no matter what; we want to be the kind of artists that are remembered by our fans," he explained. For more on BTS going on hiatus for their solo projects, listen below to our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day. "I think now we're starting to think about what kind of artists we each want to be remembered by our fans," added Jimin. V, 26, insisted the group's hiatus isn't a breakup and said, "Later when we gather again as a group that synergy will be like no other." Echoing his comments, J-Hope, 28, assured fans the hiatus will be positive for the group members. "I think we should spend some time apart to learn how to be one again," he said during the live streamed event. "I hope you don't see this as a negative thing, and see it as a healthy plan," continued J-Hope. "I think BTS will become stronger that way." BTS. John Shearer/Getty for The Recording Academy While this marks BTS' first extended hiatus, it's not their first time taking time off. In 2019, the group's management company Big Hit Music announced they'd be taking a "period of rest." Charlie Puth Seemingly Confirms Rumored BTS Collaboration: 'No Idea of the Day It Comes Out' "This period of rest will be an opportunity for the members of BTS, who have relentlessly driven themselves towards their goal since their debut, to recharge and prepare to present themselves anew as musicians and creators," read a statement from the company at the time, per E! News. BTS took another break in December 2021, also announced via a statement from Big Hit Music. "We would like to inform you that BTS is planning to take a second official extended period of rest since their first in 2019," said the firm, per Newsweek. "BTS stayed active in order to engage with fans in 2020 and 2021 amidst the Covid-19 situation, and achieved dazzling results to cement themselves as top global artists," continued the statement. BTS Drops New Album Proof as They Celebrate Nine Years as Band Last week, BTS released a compilation album titled Proof, a 35-track release that includes some of the band's hits, unreleased songs, demos, and more. "The BTS anthology album that embodies the history of BTS will be released as they begin a new chapter as an artist that has been active for nine years to look back on their endeavors," a statement released by Big Hit Music read in May. "The anthology album Proof that consists of three CDs includes many different tracks — including three all-new tracks — that reflect the thoughts and ideas of the members on the past, present and future of BTS." The new album was first teased during the final evening of the group's four-night Las Vegas residency at the Allegiant Stadium. There, the date "2022.06.10" — June 10 — appeared onscreen at the end of the show, alongside the tagline: "We are bulletproof." Each member of BTS has already branched out into solo work, from music to acting roles. Most recently, Jungkook, 24, released a solo single last week titled "My You," and J-Hope was announced as a headliner for Chicago's 2022 Lollapalooza festival in July.