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Suga returns on BTS 'MTV Unplugged' special, plus the K-pop stars drop surprise Coldplay cover


Gary Dinges
 
| USA TODAY

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Members of BTS teamed up with MTV to treat fans to performances from their latest album “Be” in a special edition of “MTV Unplugged” that aired tonight.  

Oh, and smash hit “Dynamite,” of course. 

“It’s really an honor to be a part of the ‘MTV Unplugged’ legacy, where so many legends have performed,” group leader RM said at the top of the 30-minute broadcast. “We’re definitely thankful, honored we got to be a part of this.”

During its ’90s heyday, a string of top musicians including Mariah Carey, Eric Clapton, Nirvana and Shakira graced the MTV Unplugged stage. The show, known for presenting a stripped-down look at musicians and their songs, picked one of the world’s most popular groups in BTS, which includes members RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, V, Jimin and Jungkook, and was named Time magazine’s 2020 Entertainer of the Year.

More: From best-selling albums to YouTube records: A look at K-pop group BTS’ milestones so far

One of the most exciting moments for fans, is seeing Suga return to performing. He’d been sidelined after undergoing shoulder surgery last fall. The group’s record label, Big Hit Entertainment, said the surgery was needed because it was “a problem that had constantly been a health and wellness issue” for the singer. 

“It’s been a while since I’ve been on stage, and I missed it a lot while I was recovering,” Suga said. “It feels good to be performing together. I’m very happy.”

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The ‘Unplugged’ special hops between slick performances on highly produced sets (“Telepathy” and “Blue & Grey”) to more intimate conversations between group members and a surprise cover of Coldplay’s “Fix You”. (Which, along with the rousing rendition of No. 1 song “Dynamite”, put each member’s talents front and center.)

The framework for the special is BTS’ latest album, “Be,” which dropped in November. Many of the tracks were influenced by the pandemic which has prevented the group from touring and connecting with its devoted fanbase in person. 

“We miss you ARMY so much,” Jungkook said. “We look forward to seeing you again, and until then we will continue to stay by your side this year with good music.”

“Blue & Grey” is one of those tracks spawned by the pandemic. Member V, who helped write the song, explains it to viewers: ” ‘Blue & Grey’ is a pop ballad track with charming acoustic guitar sounds. I tried to express my inner sadness and uncertainty so I translated the feeling of burning out as ‘blue’ and the sadness of not being able see the ARMY as ‘grey.’ The melody of the song is simple, so I paid closer attention to delivering emotions through the lyrics.”     

The song expresses despair, with lyrics such as these: “Where is my angel? // Someone come and save me, please // Can you look at me? ‘Cause I am blue and grey.”

The show wraps on an upbeat note with BTS performing “Dynamite,” their first song recorded entirely in English, first to debut at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and first to earn them a Grammy nomination. The wall of framed record awards in the background underscores why BTS earned its own MTV special.

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