K-Pop group BTS open up to PEOPLE exclusively about their diehard fans, their dream collaborators and plans for the future

By Nicole Sands
December 13, 2017 06:05 PM

They already have legions of loyal fans around the world, and now South Korean boy band BTS are making their foray into the States.

The seven-member band consisting of Jin, 25, Suga, 24, J-Hope, 23, RM, 23, Jimin, 22, V, 21, and JungKook, 20 — who get their group name from the acronym for the Korean term “Bangtan Sonyeondan” (or “bulletproof boy scouts” in English) — became the first K-pop group to perform at the American Music Awards last month.

In June 2013, the group released their single “No More Dream” and began making their ascent into global super stardom.

“We were stunned by the big crowd at LAX when we arrived to attend the AMAs in L.A. in November,” V tells PEOPLE exclusively about the craziest fan encounter they’ve had thus far. “We kind of expected some welcoming fans but there were hundreds of people waiting for us at nine in the morning. It’s the craziest but also the best moment ever.”

| Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

And though they elicit screams — and even tears — from fans everywhere they go, the emotional reaction is something they will “never [get] used to.”

“Wherever we go, there are hundreds of fans waiting for us shouting our names,” says RM. “It’s so amazing that they know our names and all the Korean lyrics of our songs.”

Fresh off their 2017 BTS Live Trilogy Episode III (Final Chapter): The Wings Tour — which hit South Korea, Chile, Brazil, America, Australia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Macau and Thailand — Jin hopes to continue touring “around the world visiting all the stadiums in major cities.”

| Credit: Rich Fury

“We tour worldwide from Seoul to New York City and to Brazil,” says member J-Hope about their rise to stardom. “I … have this ‘made it’ feeling inside me [when] thousands of fans chant our songs in unison. It’s a feeling you cannot describe with words.”

In May, the group won the Top Social Artist award at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards and were up against pop icons Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande and Shawn Mendes. They spent 30 weeks at the top of Billboard‘s social 50 chart, which ranks the most active artists on the world’s top social sites.

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While Bieber, Gomez and Mendes also top their list of dream collaborators, BTS has already made a lasting impression on some of the biggest names in Hollywood.

“We were so excited to meet Post Malone, Khalid and Shawn Mendes in person,” says RM about crossing paths with the stars at the AMAs. “They were really nice and cool! It was also an honor to meet Ellen DeGeneres, Jimmy Kimmel and James Corden.”