K-pop group BTS has incredibly multifaceted members in RM, Jin, SUGA, j-hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook. Between the seven, they divide their talents between producing, songwriting, dancing, rapping, and singing, and are commonly grouped into a rap line and a vocal line.
Since BTS was originally created as a hip-hop group with RM, SUGA, and j-hope, the three were never meant to be vocalists but, as the group evolved into the pop spectrum, even they have had to belt out a note or two. As for the vocalists, monotony is not in BTS’ glossary. Jin, Jimin, V, and Jungook all bring something wildly different to the band’s sound.
If ranking BTS’ dancers, rappers, or even songwriters is already a daunting task, then categorizing them as singers definitely takes the controversial cake. Despite the vocal line’s versatility being an undeniable advantage for the band, it does ultimately make it harder to compare each singer, and thus pretty much impossible to rank them fairly. For this reason, this list mainly takes into account pitch, range, control, projection, and consistency, since these are qualities that can be more objectively judged than, say, timbre or interpretation/emotion.
Rankings of BTS’ singers are always cause for animosities. Numbers 5 and 1 on this list are the most consensual, while numbers 7 and 6 aren’t really critical, since their main job within the band is to rap. It’s the in-between rankings that are notoriously touchier subjects, with numbers 4, 3 and 2 essentially interchangeable, but for the purpose of this article, they have had to be ordered.
As mentioned, Suga could just as well be placed in 6, but his ranking as the weakest singer in BTS comes down to one basic factor: effort. Where Number 6 on this list, RM, sings more often, Suga is perfectly okay focusing on his rap (in a ranking of BTS rappers, he would come first.)
When he does try to sing though, Suga can produce solid vocals and has a somewhat higher range than number 6, even if both struggle with pitch. In BTS’ most recent releases, neither Dynamite or Permission To Dance featured any rapping moments, which granted SUGA a chance to showcase what he can actually do with his singing voice. Suga also sings in his solo song Trivia 轉 : Seesaw.
RM often adds vocal elements to his solo music. His solo mixtape mono. has singing in almost every track. RM’s singing voice is distinctly low, soft and breathy, and altogether very pleasant and melodic. As BTS’ main songwriter, RM often serves as a vocal guide in demos for the singers, which are some of the most serious and clearest examples of his vocals.
j-hope is BTS’ hidden singing weapon. Despite being one third of the rap line, the 28-year-old usually pulls his own weight when it comes to vocals. j-hope has better pitch, projection, and control than his rapper counterparts, and is generally more comfortable in a higher register. You can find some of j-hope’s best vocals in songs like MAMA, Spring Day, Make It Right, Telepathy, Life Goes On, and Dynamite.
As a countertenor, Jimin has a kind of voice any group would be lucky to have. The Promise singer is responsible for some of the most astounding high notes and moving performances in BTS’ discography. Jimin’s undeniable strength is his head voice, the most effortless, stable and clean among the vocal line, as well as a natural agility that predisposes him for beautiful stylistic complements like riffing and vibratos, that he uses with just the right amount.
To varying degrees, every BTS vocalist struggles with breath support – likely a result of inconsistent vocal training – which harms their abilities to produce sustained power vocals. To add to that, Jimin’s instrument is naturally smaller than his vocal line counterparts, which creates that tension in his voice while belting even more evident. Belting that came naturally to him in the early days became harder to sustain as a result of the group’s incessant touring and vocally demanding repertoire. Jimin can also sometimes struggle with pitch.
The unavoidable rest during the pandemic did help, though, and Jimin presented one of his strongest vocal performances in years in BTS’ 2021 Japanese-language single Film Out.
All in all, Jimin’s voice is soft, beautiful, and, when used correctly, can make BTS’ songs sound incredibly unique.
Jin, alongside Jungkook, is BTS’ most reliable, consistent singer with an impressive projection and power to his voice. The 29-year-old shines the brightest in swooping ballads like Epiphany, Awake, Yours, Abyss, and Moon where he gets to display the immense strength in his voice through his signature belting and falsettos.
Jin is less prone to crack or sing off key in BTS’ performances, but his voice does come off as overly nasal and breathy at times. Jin also tends to shout instead of supporting his high notes, a problem that occurs occasionally in all of BTS.
Jin gets third place on this list thanks to his consistency and dedication to improve. In an interview with The Korea Times, Jin’s vocal coach from before he debuted with BTS shared:
“Long after he debuted (…) he sent me a recorded song that he practiced with me when he was an idol trainee saying ‘Please listen to this’. He is a member of BTS which plays numerous gigs, but he still asked me, ‘Didn’t I improve a lot?’”
V has the biggest range, as well as one of the most powerful voices in BTS (only rivaled by Jin). An impressively strong and versatile singer, he can sing with ease in any register (head, mixed, chest), even if, just like Jin and Jimin, he also struggles with control, support, and especially pitch.
As the only baritone in the vocal line, V is the strongest vocalist in a low register, but generally finds it easier to break out of his comfort zone than his counterparts. Considering BTS mostly write songs suited to tenors, V has had to sing in a register that isn’t his most naturally comfortable, and yet still present gorgeous performances. Much like his seductive, deep voice, V’s growl is also an iconic part of the BTS lore and one of the band’s coolest secret weapons.
V’s most impressive vocals can be heard in songs like Blue & Grey, Singularity, or Stigma, among many others.
Jungkook is the main vocalist in BTS for a reason: he has been serious about his singing for a really long time. Whereas the other members in the vocal line only started training their pipes after joining BigHit (Jimin was studying dance, Jin was studying acting, and V was famously just accompanying a friend to the auditions), Jungkook had been trying to kick-start his singing career for a while.
“I had to show improvements and accomplishments. I thought that the only person who could act and make a change was myself. From that moment, I deleted the idea of a vocal training hour in my head. In the car, in the shower… Of the 24-hour day, I tried to sing and was singing during every possible minute.”
Jungkook in an interview for South Korean variety show, You Quiz on the Block.
Much like a blank canvas, Jungkook can do whatever he feels like with his voice. From runs, to belting, to falsetto, he’s excellent in all techniques. Jungkook’s the perfect pop and r&b vocalist, with a silky smooth, clean, and malleable tone. He’s also got amazing pitch and stability, considering he’s often singing while dancing. Of course, as BTS’ main vocalist, the band’s songs are catered to him, but Jungkook could surely make his mark in any popular act out right now.
As far as weaknesses go, if one can even call them that, the Euphoria singer does have some stylistic mannerisms – like breathiness and vocal fry – to his singing that can be distracting at times. Deeper notes are also more challenging for him than Jin or V, but those are simply specks in a world of qualities.
Even if not the most powerful or technically perfect, BTS does have one of the most recognizable vocal lines in K-pop, and the music industry in general. Any person interested in becoming a fan will soon notice how special each voice is and just how lucky the band is to have Jimin, Jin, Taehyung and Jungkook (and of course the rap line too!).
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