K-pop superstar J-Hope of BTS made history on Sunday as the closer at Chicago’s annual Lollapalooza weekend, becoming the first South Korean act to headline a major US music festival.
The star appeared to dramatically pop out of a box as he took the stage in Chicago’s Grant Park, and was greeted by a sea of screaming fans.
The crowd rapped and sang along to songs from J-Hope’s new solo album and to BTS classics such as “Dynamite.”
J-Hope, who also presented a special message to viewers in Korean, was joined at the end of his set by singer Becky G for a rendition of their collaboration “Chicken Noodle Soup.”
This year’s edition of Lollapalooza, which was streamed live on the Hulu platform, also featured the US festival debut of Tomorrow X Together, another South Korean boy band that is under the same label as BTS.
J-Hope’s main-stage performance comes more than a month after the seven members of BTS – one of the world’s most popular acts – said they were taking a break from the group to focus on solo pursuits.
In an emotional video clip posted to the septet’s official YouTube channel, they told fans they were “exhausted” and needed time apart.
At the time, J-Hope said the move could help BTS “become a stronger group.” The 28-year-old performer’s debut solo mixtape “Hope World” peaked at number 38 on the Billboard top albums chart in 2018.