BTS recently appeared on BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge to perform their hit songs “Dynamite” and “Permission to Dance.” They also covered “I’ll Be Missing You” by Puff Daddy, Faith Evans, and 112.
“I’ll Be Missing You” was recorded by American rapper Puff Daddy (also known as Sean Combs and P. Diddy), singer Faith Evans, and R&B group 112. It samples English rock band the Police‘s “Every Breath You Take” and includes a choral version of American composer Samuel Barber‘s “Adagio for Strings” during its spoken intro.
The song was a huge hit as it became “one of the best-selling singles of all time.” it spent eleven weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States and even reached number one in fifteen other countries. It ultimately won the Grammy award for “Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group” at the 40th Annual Grammy Awards.
“I’ll Be Missing You” was originally recorded as a tribute for their fellow Bad Boy Records artist and the husband of Evans’, legendary rapper Christopher “The Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace (also known as Biggie Smalls or Biggie), after his tragic death in 1997 from a murder. As a result, the song holds great meaning, particularly within the black community. So, some fans were hesitant when they heard that BTS would cover the song. Other fans were commenting on the original song’s music video, saying they just discovered it because of BTS or “here because of BTS,” which made black fans feel the original song was being disrespected.
i’ll be missing you means too much to the black community and i’m not gon let y’all try to ruin it for us. if you’re nb and i see u speaking on the song in a way i don’t like you will be blocked simple as that
— micah⁷ ❆ (@htpxelyssa) July 22, 2021
If you don’t know who he is that’s totally fine. His songs have been the backbone on the black community and if you have the time I advise do research about him.
— Jaz ⁷ 💕 commission queue (4/5) (@kirijaz) July 22, 2021
Despite this, many fans were also happy to hear about the cover, especially knowing BTS themselves have always been respectful in their previous covers.
I’ll be missing you is such an important song to black people and now bts covering it, a song that gave so much comfort to black people around the world. I’m so happy and emotional
— raven ⁷ (@taestylze) July 27, 2021
When interviewed by the BBC, BTS was asked about their cover song choice and its significance. Leader RM revealed that they would be covering “I’ll Be Missing You” and that they were well-aware of the song’s cultural significance. As a result, he felt hesitancy and burden about covering it.
It was a tribute, so you know, at first, we kind of like had some burdens in our mind since it’s a tribute to the legend Notorious B.I.G….
He said that ultimately they chose to go with the song because it seemed so right for the group as it had both rap and vocals. And, he felt the lyrics contained exactly the message they wanted to deliver to fans.
But the lyrics and the vibe just felt so right for us, and there was some rap and vocals together at the same time. And, it’s … a very famous song. It hit the Billboard No. 1, so that’s why we chose this song. And we just want to say that we miss all of you, BBC … ARMYs, everyone abroad, of course, in Korea too. …It’s kind of like a message to all of the ARMYs all over the world.
ARMYs ended up loving the cover, saying that it was as great as their cover of Coldplay‘s “Fix You.”
bts ‘fix you’ and “i’ll be missing you’ cover is gold. so wholesome 😭
— ًac ⁷ daddeh 💃🏻 (@vminggukx) July 27, 2021
bts knows, they always know. this cover of " i’ll be missing you" was really needed during this hard time. they are indeed comfort personified 😭
— tonni⁷ (@jtoni_n) July 27, 2021
The fact that the covers BTS has chosen to perform since the pandemic – Fix You by Coldplay and I’ll Be Missing You by Puff Daddy & Faith Evans – are both songs about grief and loss…
Their own English songs have been hopeful reprieves, but they are just so…aware…+
— Ren⁷⟬⟭💜 ⟭⟬ (new account) (@renkiger_) July 22, 2021
Something about The Police being from England writing Every Breath You Take in the 80s, Diddy and Faith Evans from the US singing I’ll Be Missing You in the 90s, and now BTS from Korea covering it in 2021- the journey of this song and melody, uniting the world and the decades.
— Miche⁷ (@MicheBangtan) July 22, 2021
Check out BTS’s cover of “I’ll Be Missing You” below:
Listen to a portion of the interview below:
'I'll Be Missing You' 선곡 이유 pic.twitter.com/4s3GfFhyv1
— 지민투데이☺️🧈💛 (@jimintoday__) July 27, 2021
Check out ARMY reactions to the performance below: