Butter
by BTS

Album: Proof (2021)
Charted: 3 1
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • Here, BTS recount a sweet romantic love. Because they are "smooth like butter" and have a "superstar glow," the girl is falling for the group's charm.

    The pop anthem also gives a shout out to the BTS ARMY as they encourage the listeners to dance.

    All the playas get movin' when the bass low
    Got ARMY right behind us when we say so
  • BTS' RM co-wrote the song with:

    American music executive Ron Perry. Before becoming the Chairman and CEO of Columbia Records in 2018, he was the president of SONGS Music Publishing. Perry has signed and overseen the careers of many artists, including The Weeknd, XXXTentacion and Lorde. This is one of the few times he's been credited as a writer or producer on a song.

    Frequent Queen Naija collaborator Rob Grimaldi. His credits for the rapper include her singles "Butterflies" and "Karma." Grimaldi also co-produced BlackPink's "Love To Hate Me."

    Canadian singer-songwriter Jenna Andrews, whose other credits include Band Perry's "Live Forever" and Benee's "Supalonely."

    Newcomers Sebastian Garcia, Alex Bilowitz, and Stephen Kirk.

    Ron Perry, Rob Grimaldi and Stephen Kirk also produced the track.
  • RM told MTV Australia when they received this song's demo it was already very good and they didn't need to add much. However, because the rap parts weren't "fully compatible with our style" he made some modifications in that area.
  • Released on May 21, 2021, this is BTS' second English-language single, following 2020's "Dynamite." RM told Apple Music the band hadn't planned on dropping another single, but as COVID continued to keep them from touring, they thought they needed to drop a summer song. "Butter" was selected among many, many others as a perfect fit.
  • BTS see this as a summer anthem. "While 'Dynamite' was an upbeat, kind of like a disco-pop [track] that we tried to give hope to global listeners in the middle of the pandemic, 'Butter,' you know, it's summer," RM told Billboard. "It's very, kind of like seasoning. It's also a more upbeat, fresh dance-pop track, like more like a summer anthem. Just all the positive vibes and upbeat energy. That's it. That's what 'Butter''s about."
  • Yong Seok Choi directed the colorful and vibrant music video. The clip finds the septet dancing suited up before switching to gym clothes.

    According to V, the elevator dances were all improvised. "There's a part where the members are each dancing in an elevator set, expressing their feelings," the BTS member explained. "We ad-libbed them - they're freestyle dances we came up with on set and we chose how we could express ourselves best."
  • "Butter" set the record for biggest music video premiere when it garnered over 3.9 million concurrent viewers on YouTube. It surpassed the record previously set by "Dynamite" when around 3 million people viewed the debut simultaneously.

    It also broke the YouTube 24-hour viewing record with 108.2 million views superseding "Dynamite," which clocked 101.1 million hits in the first 24 hours.
  • BTS gave the song its live debut when they performed it at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards on May 23, 2021. The pre-recorded performance, filmed in Seoul, South Korea, saw the guys singing in a backstage area and on a replica of the Billboard Music Awards red carpet.
  • This was BTS' fourth Hot 100 #1, following "Dynamite," "Savage Love (Laxed - Siren Beat) BTS Remix" and "Life Goes On." The band racked up the quartet of chart-topping hits in nine months, the fastest first four visits to the summit since Justin Timberlake in 2007.
  • Stephen Kirk wrote the initial chorus melody and lyrics before creating the original demo with producers Rob Grimaldi and Sebastian Garcia. Grimaldi is signed to Jenna Andrews and Barry Weiss' 27 Publishing venture with Sony, and he sent the session over to Andrews for feedback.

    Andrews told Genius she couldn't get the melody out of her head and saw its potential to be a huge hit. After fruitlessly playing it to several labels, Ron Perry latched onto the tune. "He was the one who really threw his weight behind it and pushed for me to get back in the studio and do a rewrite to get the rest of the song on par with that melody," she said.
  • When Ron Perry and Jenna Andrews got together with songwriter Alex Bilowitz to pen the updated demo, Perry proposed a Michael Jackson "Smooth Criminal" concept and vibe for the song. As soon as he suggested it, Andrews freestyled, "Smooth like butter. Like a criminal undercover." The three writers then inserted other lyrical Jacko references like "Man In The Mirror" and "Rock With You."

    "Our goal was to hit that sweet spot for the retro sound where millennials and older would know everything by heart," said Andrews, "and Gen Z would get the vibe but might not know some of the smaller details."
  • V drew inspiration for the song's video from teen movies and musicals, in particular the 1990 Johnny Depp film Cry-Baby. "The image I got from that was really intense," he told Weverse magazine.

    V said he tried to shoot the elevator scene so it felt like a teen movie, but because many of his takes were edited his original vision got diluted.
  • BTS and Megan Thee Stallion started working together In June 2021 after BTS' label, BigHit Music, reached out to Megan about jumping on a remix. The Texan Rapper wrote her verse within two weeks, and she and BTS completed their recordings by early August.

    For a few weeks it wasn't clear if the remix would ever see the light of day. 1501 Certified Entertainment, the local Houston label Megan signed to at 20 years old, blocked her from appearing on the tune, so the rapper filed an emergency temporary restraining order that would allow the remix to be released. A Texas judge ruled in favor of her request to extend the TRO, allowing BTS to drop the new version on August 27, 2021.

    Megan adds a fresh verse early in the remix; she flexes about her come up from writing flows in college to becoming "Houston's finest." Her vocals continue to be incorporated throughout the track, including a harmonized rap between her and BTS' Suga.
  • "Butter" won for Best Pop Song at the 2021 American Music Awards. BTS also took home the trophies for Artist of the Year and Favorite Pop Duo from the Los Angeles ceremony.
  • Audacy selected this as their Top Video of 2021. They said: "With their dancing and singing 'hot like summer,' and their smirking and winking, 'smooth like butter,' plus the power of the BTS ARMY behind them, this K-Pop bop naturally claims the #1 spot."
  • Consequence Of Sound chose this as their Best Song of 2021. They wrote: "'Butter' is two minutes and 44 seconds of fine-tuned catharsis (and a killer music video). For a moment, all you have to worry about is getting it and letting it roll."
  • In January 2022, Billboard announced "Butter" as the best-selling digital song of 2021 in the United States with nearly 1.9 million sales. BTS also has the best-selling song of 2020 in the US: "Dynamite" sold 1.26 million copies that year.
  • BTS lit up the Grammy stage in 2022 with an electrifying performance of "Butter" with a secret agent theme. The song was nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance but lost to "Kiss Me More" by Doja Cat.

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