As BTS Enters ‘Hiatus,’ J-Hope Sets Solo Album

As news broke of BTS’ open-ended hiatus, ARMY shed tears, and the K-pop superstars’ music company shed market cap.

One door closes, and in the case of BTS, seven individual windows should open. Beginning with J-Hope.

Buried in the announcement of this “new chapter,” BYTE, the pop group’s reps, acknowledges the group “will allow themselves to express their individuality through the release of solo albums and collaborations with other artists.”

J-Hope will mark “the beginning with his upcoming solo album,” the message continues, with further information to be shared in due course.

The 28-year-old artist gave fans a little more insight into his and his bandmates’ mindsets during an hour-long FESTA dinner. In short, it’s not the end. “I think that change is what we need right now,” he explained. “It’s important for BTS to start our second chapter.”

The announcement that BTS would take indefinite time off caught ARMY, and everyone else, off guard, coming so just just days after dropping a three-disc career retrospective compilation Proof, along with a new single, “Yet to Come.”

The impact was measurable, certainly for HYBE, whose shareprice fell 27.5% in early trading Wednesday morning, briefly knocking off about $1.7 billion of market capitalization, before rebounding.

It’s not the first time BTS has had a break. In 2021, the seven-piece announced an “extended period of rest” to enable the singers to get “re-inspired and recharge with creative energy,” a statement read at the time.

They did so when Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook were at the peak of their powers, as the year’s top international artist, finishing 2021 with the top song on Apple Music and the Billboard Global Excl. U.S. chart, with “Dynamite.”

Earlier, in late 2019, the pop stars scheduled a several-week break, and returned with all-guns blazing.

Based on midweek data, Proof is on track for a U.K. Top 5 berth, and “Yet to Come” is eyeing a Top 20 debut, for what should be the week’s best-performing new title. 

Teen Singer Wins Golden Buzzer With Billie Eilish Cover on ‘America’s Got Talent’: Watch

Sara James isn’t the first person to go west in the pursuit of fame and glory.

Few have come from central Europe at age 13 to compete in America’s Got Talent.

James did just that.

Hailing from Poland, James made herself at home on the AGT stage during the opening rounds on Tuesday night (June 14).

So why complete a trans-Atlantic flight, only to compete with the might of the U.S. of A? Well, it’s often said dreams come true in America, and she simply wanted to be sure.

Those dreams did come true when James auditioned with a Billie Eilish cover.

She might want to stay a little longer Stateside after a faultless display that had three of the four judges on their feet. Only Simon Cowell remained seated, though he was glowing with praise.

“We’ve heard a lot of singers over the years, but wow,” he enthused. “This wasn’t perfect, however, you have a real star-glow about you.”

The youngster admitted it was her first time in America. And, Cowell, a Brit who has never forgotten his own first Atlantic crossing, made sure it was an experience to remember by activating the Golden Buzzer.

With that, the golden confetti rained down, the tears came too, and James is fast-tracked to the live rounds.

She’s the second youngster in the past week to score a Golden Buzzer, after 11-year-old Madison Taylor Baez’s emotional performance.

Watch below.

DEL Records CEO Angel del Villar Arrested for Working With Mexican Promoter Tied to Cartels

DEL Records CEO Angel del Villar was arrested by FBI agents on Tuesday (June 14) and is being charged with “conspiring to violate the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act,” according to an official statement issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Luca Scalisi, CFO of DEL Entertainment, was also arrested.

According to the U.S. Attorney, del Villar and Scalisi were charged for “conducting business with a Guadalajara-based concert promoter with ties to Mexican drug cartels.” A third defendant named in the complaint is Mexican music promoter Jesus Perez Alvear, who leads Gallistica Diamente (Ticket Premier) and until March 2019 promoted concerts in Mexico for DEL Entertainment.

Perez and Gallistica Diamante are listed as “Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers” under the Kingpin Act, “which prevents people in the United States from conducting business with the two entities,” according the information released by the Department of Justice.

The criminal complaint alleges that on April 19, 2018, FBI agents approached a “well-known musician” who in the complaint is referred to as Individual A. “[Agents] explicitly told Individual A about Perez’s designation under the Kingpin Act and how that prohibited him from conducting business with Perez and performing concerts that Perez promoted.” Nearly ten days later, Individual A performed at a concert organized by Perez where Del Villar’s credit card was used to pay for a private jet that took the musician from Van Nuys Airport to the performance in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

Additionally, Individual A performed four additional concerts in Mexico — specifically in Mexicali, Salamanca, Chiapas and San Jose Iturbide — promoted by Perez. “Individual A acted at the direction or with the knowledge of Del Villar, Scalisi and Perez,” the document explains.

Del Villar and Scalisi made appearances at the United States District Court in downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday (June 14) where del Villar was ordered released on $100,000 bond and Scalisi was ordered released on $35,000 bond. Arraignments have been scheduled for July 20. If either are convicted of violating the Kingpin Act, they could face a statutory maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison. Perez would also face a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.

Del Villar’a arrest comes two years after FBI agents conducted a raid at DEL Records’ headquarters after the label — home to chart-topping artists Eslabon Armado and Lenin Ramirez — was sued by former signee Gerardo Ortiz for alleged fraudulent conduct, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract and violation of the Talent Agencies Act.

DEL Records did not respond to a request for comment at time of publishing.