K-pop group BTS, one of the most popular bands in the world, announced a “hiatus” on Tuesday as the band members seek to launch solo careers. The seven members of the group have been credited with generating billions for the South Korean economy. They announced the news during their annual streaming “FESTA” dinner which marks the K-pop act’s anniversary. (Also read: Music festival season kicks off in Europe)

Hybe, the label behind the global sensation, however, denied the band was going on hiatus.

As the band members were talking in Korean over dinner, the word “hiatus” popped up in the captions below.

Why is BTS on hiatus?

BTS member RM, 27, said, “I always thought BTS was different from other groups.

After the band’s final singles, RM said he “didn’t know what kind of band we were anymore”. He then added, “But the problem with K-pop and the whole idol system is that they don’t give you time to mature.”

The news, which is sure to devastate dedicated fans, known as Army, comes hot on the heels of the release of “Proof,” a three-disc anthology album that included a new single, “Yet To Come ( The Most Beautiful Moment)”.

RM also said that the members of the Grammy-nominated group were “exhausted”.

Another member of the group, Jimin, 26, said that as the group matured, the group members were “slowly trying to figure things out now” and that “we are starting to think about what kind of artists which we each want to be remembered by us. Fans.”

Jimin added, “We are trying to find our identity.”

How did the BTS group members react?

When the “FESTA” dinner ended, several BTS members were in tears and emotional as they thanked their fans.

Bandmate J-Hope said, “Change is what we need right now,” adding, “It’s important for BTS to start our second chapter.”

J-Hope is currently scheduled to headline as a solo act at Lollapalooza in Chicago later this summer.

BTS has already announced breaks. The first time was in 2019 and later they did it again in December 2021.

BTS debuted in 2013. Last month, they appeared at the White House to speak out against anti-Asian racism in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic alongside US President Joe Biden.