Do BTS’ Album Sales Surpass Boy Bands Like One Direction and the Backstreet Boys?

BTS is one of the biggest boy bands in the world, but there were a few record-breaking groups that came before them. Here’s our look into the most popular albums of boy bands like Nysync, One Direction, and, of course, BTS. 

One Direction was one of the most popular boy bands of the 2010s

Although they’ve since found success as solo artists, five contestants on X-Factor came together to create the popular boy band, One Direction. Together, they sold out stadiums and performed for fans across the globe, earning millions of streams on Spotify. 

A few One Direction singles earned their spot on the Billboard Hot 100 music chart, including “What Make You Beautiful” (peaked at the No. 4 spot) and “Story of My Life” (peaked at the No. 6 spot.) As one of their most popular songs, “Best Song Ever” peaked at No. 2 on this chart, back when it first premiered. 

According to One Direction Fandom, “Up All Night was the third best selling album of 2012 globally, selling 4.5 million copies and reaching #1 in sixteen countries. The album debuted at number on the US Billboard 200, selling 176,000 copies in its first week.”

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Other popular boy bands include Nsync and the Backstreet Boys

According to Top 10 HQ, as of 2017, The Backstreet Boys is the boy band with the most successful album. The group sold 130 million records and their first nine albums reached the top 10 on the “Billboard 2000.”

NSYNC is up there in their album sales, too, earning 50 million albums sold in less than 10 years. Based on the number of streams on Spotify, though, BTS still far surpasses these boy bands in terms of plays on the platform. 

BTS members visit the 'Today Show'
BTS members visit the ‘Today Show’ | Efren Landaos / Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

BTS has some of the best-selling albums in South Korean history

It’s no surprise that BTS broke a few records in the K-pop industry. They became the first group to perform at the Grammy Awards. Their album, Map of the Soul: 7, became the album with the most number of presales for a South Korean artist — over 4 million.

Their most popular song, “Boy With Luv” featuring Halsey peaked at the No. 8 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 music chart. Of course, when it comes to album sales, there’s inflation to account for, as there is the accessibility of BTS thanks to social media.

Now more than ever, it’s easier to share songs, pictures, and videos of this K-pop boy band. That could be why BTS has some of the most popular music videos on YouTube. Some songs surpassed 100 million plays on Spotify.

“Global audiences have become fanatical about the music videos where Korean singers sing in Korean language and dance,” Big Hit Entertainment CEO, Bang Si-Hyuk said during an interview with Billboard

“Globally, the lyrics, dialogues, and messages of BTS are translated and shared worldwide, which has made BTS into The Beatles of the YouTube generation and a hero at the periphery. Conversely, the success of BTS has proved the existence and value of YouTube technology,” he continued.

Music by BTS, including Map of the Soul: Persona, is available on Spotify, Apple Music, and most streaming platforms.