Shirtless photo of V from K-pop group BTS whips fans into a frenzy

The post accumulated more than 13 million likes in less than 24 hours. PHOTO: THV/INSTAGRAM

SEOUL - Singing superstar V of K-pop boy band BTS has once again caused a social media stir.

On Thursday (Sept 8), the 26-year-old heart-throb - whose real name is Kim Tae-hyung - took to Instagram to share a photograph of himself lounging shirtless in the sun. The caption was blank aside from an emoji of an uncertain face.

There was also a second photo in the set; a black-and-white variation of the first.

Though the image appears rather tame, showing only a portion of his unclothed back, his 50 million followers were thrown into a frenzy by this unprecedented display of skin.

BTS has maintained a largely chaste image since debuting in 2013.

The post accumulated more than 13 million likes in less than 24 hours, and elicited a reply from his bandmate J-Hope which also comprised of emojis - namely, a shocked face, an extended ellipsis, and fire.

On Twitter, the BTS Army fanbase was out in full force to mark the moment.

“I’m crying real tears,” wrote one fan.

Another added: “If Tae-hyung ever thinks of posting the front view of him shirtless on a table, I’ll show him what insane looks like.”

The post comes on the heels of V gracing Vogue Korea’s October cover - the first time a member of BTS has landed a solo Vogue cover.

Sharp-eyed netizens noticed that Vogue Korea’s editor-in-chief Kwang Ho Shin shared an Instagram Story on Friday (Sept 9) teasing “V2 coming soon”, which some interpreted would be the front view of the shirtless photo.

V is no stranger to social media fervour.

When he started his Instagram account in December last year, he broke the Guinness World Records for the fastest time to reach one million Instagram followers (43 minutes) and 10 million Instagram followers (4 hours 52 minutes).

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