The year was 1995 when Kim Taehyung was born and no one could have predicted that he would grow up to go by the stage name of V and be part of the phenomena known as BTS.
Happy Birthday, V!
Aside from his smooth dance moves, ocean-deep vocals, and striking visuals, what else has propelled V to international stardom? Is it his sense of fashion that can range from Parisian haute couture fresh off a runway all the way to a lazy pairing of slippers and oversized puffer jackets and sweats?
Could it be his obvious fondness for little kids and animals? (Hey, Yeontan!)
Or is it his duality that smolders during every performance and melts into a dorky demeanor once he steps off the stage?
Maybe it's the fact that he coined the term #Borahae?
Whatever it is that has turned millions of people into BTS' fiercely loyal ARMY, there's clearly only one explanation:
Aliens. (Hey, Tata!)
While V blows out his 26 birthday candles, we're taking ARMY on a trip down memory lane to see this South Korean idol grow and glow up since BTS' debut in 2013.
1. Debut Teaser Image | June 2013
This is where the Bangtan craze all began! BTS' concept was quite dark and wild during their debut days, and as you can see, you can tell the passage of time by looking at this fetus picture of V next to his recent photos on Instagram.
Yes, this is what 8 years ago looks like, and it warrants the question; was that eyeliner waterproof or not?
2. SBS MTV | October 2013
Remember when V dressed up like a ladybug fairy-ish kind of girl? Well, if you do, then you'll probably agree that this was an adorable look for him.
If you don't, then here you go; you're welcome.
3. Chuseok | 2014
Chuseok wouldn't be complete without a beautiful hanbok and V looking extremely clueless for some reason.
4. "Boy In Luv" Concept Photo | 2014
If the members of BTS were your high school classmates, you would probably vote V as the school's biggest social butterfly.
5. BTS' First Fan Meeting Muster | 2014
The first of many BTS and ARMY fan meetings!
This K-Pop group has come a long way and will probably keep going for miles from here on out. Here's to more hit songs, more sold out concerts, and a ton of new hair dyes that they are yet to try out.
6. BTS Festa | 2015
V looks sleek and cute next to his master rapper and worldwide handsome hyungs, Suga and Jin. The school uniform aesthetic that the group had going on back then was a timeless style choice; and we honestly wouldn't mind if it made a comeback.
Have you ever seen a more beautiful, more dapper, or more charming...suit paired with classic Converse sneakers?
No? Well, neither have we.
7. "I Need U" Behind the Scenes | 2015
The era of "I Need U" was defined by the start of BTS' cryptic messages that were conveyed via their stunning music videos. The storyline that drives the MV for "I Need U" is dark, deep, poignant, and puzzling. Much like a mini movie, there was a plot, protagonists, antagonists, and whole lot of baggage for the audience to unpack.
It goes without saying that V's Oscar-worthy acting skills impress viewers in that one pivotal scene; and you all know the eerie scene we're talking about. If you don't know what we're talking about, watch the MV for "I Need U" right now! Unless you're scared of blood...if you are, then avert your eyes and enjoy the audio!
Clinging onto the concept of youth, rebellion, freedom, and raw emotion, watching V perform "I Need U" is never not captivating.
8. The Most Beautiful Moment in Life Pt. 2 Concept Photo | 2015
The most beautiful moments in life are often the ones that we perceive as mundane and simple. Sure, big achievements are quite amazing and we all strive to make our dreams come true, but there is a certain wonder that can only be brought by taking a walk in the park with your best friend, cooking lunch with your family, or even going grocery shopping with a soulmate. It's those moments, whether grand or extra small, wherein you just know that you're happy. The moments in between.
It really is the million tiny things, isn't it?
9. Idol Star Athletic Championships (ISAC) | 2016
The ISAC games bring South Korea's idols together for a showdown of athleticism, and we now know 2 things about V:
Firstly, V has a future in wrestling. He is obviously very strong and strategic, and we're sure that no one would want to challenge him to a street fight.
Secondly, not so much in archery. (Please keep all bows and arrows away from this man at all costs.)
10. "Young Forever" Concept Photo | 2016
The song, "Young Forever" makes us want to make scrapbooks of our youth and paint pictures with our childhood memories. It makes us want to charter a boat and sail around the world to find the Fountain of Youth. It makes us want to dye our hair orange and ride a hot air balloon even if we're afraid of heights.
11. You Never Walk Alone Album Photoshoot Sketch | 2017
On this concept photo, V sits in front of a bathtub with the group's fearless leader, RM.
The birthday boy once portrayed the role of a fallen angel who had his wings clipped, yet he was able to fly.
You've got your wings, and they are made to fly. Don't you forget it.
12. You Never Walk Alone Album Photoshoot Sketch | 2017
ARMY, you'll never walk alone, because you will always find company in those who love you...and in the music and merch of BTS, which have most likely already taken over the majority of the floor space in your bedroom.
Also, confetti for the Winter Bear's 26th birthday!
13. BTS Prom Party | 2018
Whether you love or hate prom, we know that you love prom!
Dresses, tuxes, corsages, dancing, balloons, glitter, music, your high school gym transformed into a scene from a fairytale, and just the right amount of drama from the prom king and queen; this rite of passage is pretty much overrated, yet it's a night that we all low key look forward to.
BTS took the prom to the stage in 2018, and it's a party that we wouldn't mind attending more than once.
14. SBS Gayo Daejun | 2019
V's inner child shines even brighter when he interacts with literally every kid that he encounters. Watch this heartwarming Christmas performance to have some chicken soup for the soul. Happy holidays!
15. Happy Holidays | 2019
Santa V is here to give you your Christmas presents! Have you been good this year?
16. Boy With Luv | 2019
Oh my, my, my. Oh, my, my, my. We miss this bright blue hair!
Not gonna lie, some people might look like Smurfs with a head full of electric blue tresses, but V pulls it off effortlessly.
17. BTS 'ON' Kinetic Manifesto Film : Come Prima Photo Sketch | 2020
"On" era V is the prettiest V there ever was. Don't try to change our minds. We'll fight you.
18. Map of the Soul: 7 Comeback Stage | 2020
Oh, don't mind us. This is just another photo from V's "On" era aesthetic to prove our point.
19. Map of the Soul ON:E | 2020
The pandemic attacked us in 2020, and that meant masking up, social distancing, and shelving our plans until further notice. (What does traveling feel like again?)
Like all of us, BTS adapted and found a way to keep going. And it all started with their digital concerts!
After the success of Bangbang Con, the seven-strong broke records with their next digital event, Map of the Soul ON:E.
It was refreshing to see them perform their most iconic songs; from "Dionysus" all the way to "On", it was electrifying magic.
Hands down, each member brought their very own fire to the table and it radiated brightly from each ARMY's TV screen at home.
20. "Dynamite" Concept Photo | 2020
Ah, "Dynamite", BTS' first full English song as a group. It was a pivotal moment that elicited some cheers as much as it raised some brows, but there's no denying that it was nice for international ARMYs to be able to sing along to the entire song for a change.
(We wouldn't mind another full Korean song, though!)
On another note, the blue cotton candy cloud vibes on this photo are strong! Ethereal, really.
21. "Life Goes On" Official MV Photo Sketch | 2020
"Life Goes On", an ode to living even when the pandemic doesn't want you to.
22. "Butter" Concept Photo Sketch | 2020
If this reminds you of the first photo in this listicle, it's because of the leather jacket. He's come full circle!
23. Permission to Dance MV | 2021
From hanbok to cowboy hat real quick. Hey, duality is duality.
24. Permission to Dance on Stage Photo Sketch | 2021
BTS' latest English song titled "Permission to Dance" is an anthem to celebrating the end of the pandemic...which could be in our near future if COVID would just stop mutating already.
Once that day comes, we'll throw our masks in the air and blast this song from the speakers at an obnoxiously loud volume.
It's also worth noting that V had injured his leg the day before their digital concert, Permission To Dance On Stage, yet he attended and gave one heck of a performance from a chair.
25. United Nations General Assembly | 2021
Braving the risks of COVID-19, the South Korean boyband fulfilled their duties to appear at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) this year. With words of wisdom and an optimistic live performance of "Permission to Dance", it was a picture of hope being unmasked.
26. BTS 2022 Season's Greetings Preview Cuts | 2021
Welcome back to the present, ARMY! We hereby present you with one of BTS V's most recent photos. For this concept, the members dressed up in costumes, and V stepped into the shoes of a mysterious fortune teller.
Perhaps he can ask his crystal ball what magic 2022 has in store for us all?
Happy birthday, V!
IMAGE SOURCE: Big Hit Music