BTS delivered a moving message for those feeling isolated during the pandemic at the 75th UN General Assembly, telling people to “live on.” 

Almost two years after BTS told the world to “speak yourself” at the 2018 UN General Assembly, the septet returned to the 75th UNGA stage– virtually, of course — to deliver a powerful message to those feeling isolated during the COVID pandemic.

The group’s leader, RM, started off the speech with words that resonated with anyone who had any expectations of this year.

“Two years ago here, I asked your name. I urged you to let me hear your voice. And I let myself be filled with imagination,” he said. “As a boy from the small city of Ilsan in Korea, as a young man standing at the UNGA, as a global citizen of the world, I imagined the limitless possibilities before all of us, and my heart beating with excitement. But COVID-19 was beyond my imagination.”

The 26-year-old went on to recall how no one, not even BTS, was untouched by the resounding separation from their loved ones that COVID-19 forced upon the world.

“Our world tour was totally cancelled, all of our plans went away, and I became alone,” he said. “I looked up but couldn’t see the stars at night.”

Member Jimin continued the train of thought: “I felt hopeless. Everything fell apart. I could only look outside my window. I could only go to my room. Yesterday, I was singing and dancing with fans around the world, and now my world had shrunk to a room.”

Earlier in April, with COVID-19 just catching fire across the world, the septet cancelled the North American leg of their Map Of The Soul World Tour. While the blow was hard for fans all across the world, there was comfort to be found in the announcement of the release of their docu-series Break The Silence. 

“And then, my friends took my hand,” continued Jimin. “We comforted each other and talked about what we could do together.”

“Life became simple, maybe for the first time,” member Suga continued the hopeful message, saying how he was used to the entire world shrinking in an instant. “It was a precious time, unwanted but welcome… The room itself was small, but my world and our world reached far and wide.”

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V took over next and shared how, despite feeling “frustrated and depressed”, the pandemic gave him time to think about who he was. “I thought: ‘If I give up here, I’m not the star of my life.'”

“Our lives are unpredictable. We don’t know all the answers,” said J-Hope. “I knew where I wanted to go, but not how I could get there. All I did to get here was trust ourselves, do my best, and love what I do.”

The group’s eldest, Jin, stressed the importance of ‘cherishing yourself, encouraging yourself’ during this time. “In a world of uncertainty, we must cherish the importance of ‘me’, ‘you’, and ‘us.'” he said. His words were echoed by the youngest Jungkook, who reminded fans that BTS would keep on making music as long as their “voices give strength to people.”

The group closed out the speech with a powerful reminder about the times we live in: “Now more than ever, we must try to remember who we are, and face who we are… Our tomorrow may be dark, painful, difficult. And we might stumble and fall down. But the stars shine brightest when the night is darkest. And if the stars are hidden, we’ll let the moonlight guide us.”

Watch BTS’ full speech at the 75th UN General Assembly: