As main rapper and leader of BTS, Kim Nam-joon -- better known as RM or Rap Monster -- topped charts across the globe with the K-pop powerhouse boy band, while also launching a successful solo career in 2015 with debut mixtape RM.
Born in Ilsan, South Korea, the Seoul-based artist developed a love of hip-hop at a young age (influenced by Korean rap outfit Epik High), and honed his English skills by viewing the American television show Friends. He started performing as Runch Randa and collaborated with fellow Korean rapper Zico. It wasn't until 2010, during auditions with Big Hit, that Kim was recruited as the first member of BTS. Soon joined by Suga, J-Hope, Jin, Jimin, Jungkook, and V, Kim and his BTS bandmates quickly ascended to the top of the K-pop ranks, breaking chart records in the U.S. -- where they became the first Asian act to top the Billboard 200 with 2018's Love Yourself: Tear -- and selling out world tours. On the side, Kim branched out with his own solo material, debuting in 2015 with the self-titled mixtape, RM, which peaked at number 12 on the U.S. World Albums chart. Three years later, he issued his sophomore solo effort, Mono, which bested his previous effort with a strong number two showing on the World Albums chart. ~ Neil Z. Yeung, Rovi