Time for a new era! j-hope, one of the seven members of the iconic K-Pop group BTStook to the stage solo in Times Square for a performance as part of Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2023! Fans around the world clamored to see the South Korean do his thing on the biggest stage in the world, and he did not disappoint.
Donning a cream colored sweater, bucket hat & bright pink sneakers, j-hope performed his solo tracks “= (Equal Sign)” and “Chicken Noodle Soup” as well as a remix of the smash BTS’ song “Butter” all while being pelted with rain from every angle. Yes, the rain was coming down HARD while the K-Pop got through his set, and he did it like a real pro, with a huge, bright smile on his face.
Earlier in the night, j-hope rehearsed in very chilly, wet weather, ensuring he and his dancers would hit every important step, despite the less than ideal conditions. Donning huge sweatshirts with their hoods all the way up, j-hope and his dancers gave a glimpse of what was to come on Twitter for the ‘Rockin’ Eve’ account.
— New Year’s Rockin’ Eve (@RockinEve) January 1, 2023
Arguably, this is the first major performance of a member of BTS solo since the band announced they’d be going on hiatus to fulfill their mandatory military duty. It is not expected that BTS will reconvene as a group until 2025, so members of the group who are not yet eligible to enlist have started putting out their solo work. Meanwhile, the first member of the group to enlist Jin reported for duty on Tuesday (Dec. 13). Before he began his 18 months in uniform, Jin, 30, showed off his newly shaved head on the Korean app Weverse, joking that his look is “cuter” than expected (h/t PEOPLE).
But j-hope wasn’t alone in Times Square. Along with resident host Ryan Seacresttwo big bands rounded out the roster performing at the center of the world on NYE. Duran Duran and New Edition both came together to perform their hits live from the center of all the NYE action as well!