Life Goes On (BTS song)

"Life Goes On" is a song recorded by South Korean boy band BTS and released on November 20, 2020, through Big Hit Entertainment and Columbia Records as the lead single from the group's fifth Korean-language studio album Be, released the same day.

"Life Goes On"
BTS - Life Goes On (Vinyl).png
Vinyl sleeve
Single by BTS
from the album Be
ReleasedNovember 20, 2020 (2020-11-20)
Recorded2020
Genre
Length3:27
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Pdogg
BTS singles chronology
"Savage Love (Laxed – Siren Beat) (BTS Remix)"
(2020)
"Life Goes On"
(2020)
"Film Out"
(2021)
Music videos
"Life Goes On" on YouTube
Other versions
"Life Goes On" on my pillow on YouTube
"Life Goes On" in the forest on YouTube
"Life Goes On" like an arrow on YouTube

"Life Goes On" debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and became the band's third number-one single in the United States as well as the first primarily Korean-language song to debut atop the chart.

BackgroundEdit

Following the postponement of their Map of the Soul Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the group started working on a new album.[1] The group's label officially announced Be on September 27, 2020, stating via press release that the album "imparts a message of healing to the world by declaring, 'Even in the face of this new normality, our life goes on'".[2] "Life Goes On" was announced as the album's lead single on October 30.[3] J-Hope described the song's creation as:

We started this album off by getting together and asking what kind of story we wanted to tell. The end result of that conversation was, “Well, hey, we still have to live with this situation; we can’t give up.” And from there, “Life Goes On” was born, and then we got to work on the stories we each wanted to tell. I think it sounds more raw, since we tried to capture the emotions we felt living through the pandemic.

— J-Hope, Weverse Magazine.[4]

Music and lyricsEdit

"Life Goes On" was written by band members J-Hope, RM and Suga alongside Ruuth, Antonina Armato, Chris James and it's producer Pdogg. The song has been described as an alternative hip hop and synth-pop song underlaid with an acoustic guitar.[5][6] The folky[7][8] production consists of 808 drums,[9] electronic beats,[7] melodic rhymes, a stripped-down melody[10] accompanied by "acrobatic" vocals and harmonies on the chorus.[11] The lyrics of the song have been described as uplifting and seeking to provide hope to fans during the pandemic.[12][13] The song has been compared to the group's own 2017 single "Spring Day".[8]

Commercial performanceEdit

"Life Goes On" debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, on the chart issue dated December 5, 2020, becoming BTS' third number-one single in the United States in exactly three months, following "Dynamite" in September and "Savage Love (Laxed – Siren Beat) (BTS Remix)" in October.[14] This marked the fastest accumulation of three number-one songs on the chart in 42 years since the Bee Gees, who previously achieved the feat in two months and three weeks with "How Deep Is Your Love", "Stayin' Alive", and "Night Fever" from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack between December 1977 and March 1978.[14] The song topped the Digital Songs chart issue of the same date, having sold 150,000 units (pure sales) in its opening week, including 129,000 digital downloads and 20,000 physical copies.[14] It is the first Korean language song in Hot 100 history to debut atop the chart, as well as the first song sung predominantly in a non-English language since Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's "Despacito" remix with Justin Bieber in 2017.[14] The following week, the song charted at number 28. This marked the third largest drop down from the number one spot in Hot 100 history, behind Taylor Swift's "Willow" and 6ix9ine and Nicki Minaj's "Trollz", which fell to number 38 and number 34 respectively in their second weeks.[15][needs update][16] It charted at number 93 in its third week and left the chart afterwards.[17]

Music videoEdit

On November 17, Big Hit released a 26-second long trailer for the song and music video,[18] followed by another, 22-second long trailer the next day.[19] The official music video was released on November 19, along with the album, and was directed by BTS member Jungkook.[20] In the video, the members laze around in their dorm, V drives them around, and they watch movies and perform the song in an empty stadium.[21]

The video became the fifth-most viewed YouTube video in the first 24 hours, earning over 71.6 million views.[22]

In the following weeks, 3 alternate versions of the music video were released: "on my pillow", "in the forest", and "like an arrow".[23][24][25]

Live performancesEdit

BTS performed "Life Goes On"—and "Dynamite"—at the American Music Awards on November 22, 2020.[3] The following day, two pre-recorded performances of the song were shown on American television programs. The first, on Good Morning America, featured the group performing inside a decorated house, wearing pajamas and bathrobes.[26][27][28] The second performance was broadcast during The Late Late Show with James Corden. The group sang the song while dressed in pajamas again, this time on a set consisting of a series of conjoined living rooms.[29] The performance ended with them unboxing gifts in a Christmas-themed room.[30] Elle's Ariana Yaptangco said that the group "traded in their regular top-notch choreography to show off their impressive acting skills."[31] BTS also performed "Life Goes On" as part of their four-song set at the Melon Music Awards on December 5,[32] and their three-song set for the Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) on December 6. Suga, who was recovering from shoulder surgery at the time and did not attend in person, appeared as a hologram for the song's performance at MAMA.[33][34]

Credits and personnelEdit

Credits adapted from Big Hit.[35][36]

  • BTS – vocals
  • Pdogg – producer, songwriter
  • Antonina Armato – songwriter
  • Chris James – songwriter
  • Ruuth – songwriter

ChartsEdit

AccoladesEdit

Awards and nominations for "Life Goes On"
Year Organization Award Result Ref.
2021 Gaon Chart Music Awards Song of the Year – November Won [77]
Music program awards
Program Date Ref.
Show! Music Core November 28, 2020 [78]
December 5, 2020 [79]
December 12, 2020 [80]
January 2, 2021 [81]
January 9, 2021 [82]
January 16, 2021 [83]
Inkigayo November 29, 2020 [84]
December 6, 2020 [85]
December 13, 2020 [86]
Melon Popularity Award
Award Date (2020) Ref.
Weekly Popularity Award November 30 [87]
December 7
December 14
December 21
December 28

Certifications and salesEdit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[88] Gold 500,000 
Streaming
Japan (RIAJ)[89] Platinum 100,000,000 

  Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.
  Streaming-only figures based on certification alone.

Release historyEdit

Region Date Format Label Ref.
Various November 20, 2020 Big Hit [3]
United States Columbia [90][91]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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