BTS Break Major Chart Record
BTS quickly evolved from being one of the biggest acts in Asia to being one of the biggest acts in the entire world. While they previously had an underground following in the United States, their singles and albums are now beginning to significantly impact the American charts. Their most recent compilation album, Love Yourself: Answer, recently broke a record. Let’s look at the details behind this landmark for K-pop.
BTS tops the charts for a year
Love Yourself: Answer is not one of BTS’ trademark concept albums, rather, it’s a compilation album featuring many of the group’s biggest hits so far. While many BTS fans love listening to their concept albums all the way through so that they can determine the themes that hold them together, it appears that the general public is more interested in the group’s biggest hits on their own.
Because of this, it was a compilation record, rather than a regular album, that has become the group’s most popular release in the United States. Forbes reported that the album has now earned its 52nd week on the Billboard 200 album chart, making it the very first album in K-pop history to spend an entire year on the American charts.
Did BTS accomplish this feat on their own?
While this feat is certainly impressive, one could argue that the album’s success was partially due to Nicki Minaj. One of the seven original songs on Love Yourself: Answer is “Idol,” a collaboration with Minaj. Relying on Minaj’s established hit-making power was a perfect way to help BTS become popular in the West. The group did something similar with their single “Boy with Luv,” which features one of the most popular American pop singers – Halsey.
On the other hand, BTS has proven that they produce hits on their own. To date, only four K-pop albums have peaked at the top of the Billboard 200. Three of them – Love Yourself: Answer, Love Yourself: Fear, and Map of the Soul: PERSONA – are by BTS. The fourth K-pop album to reach that level of success is SuperM’s self-titled album.
Can they break the all-time record?
Although Love Yourself: Answer has spent more time on the Billboard 200 than any other K-pop album, it has a long way to go before it comes close to beating the album that has spent the longest amount of time on the chart, Pink Floyd‘s The Dark Side of the Moon. Pink Floyd’s classic concept album remained on the chart for a staggering 970 weeks, which means that it would take several more years for BTS to catch up.
By comparison, the album that has spent the second longest amount of time on the Billboard 200, Johnny’s Greatest Hits by Johnny Mathis, spent 490 weeks on the chart, falling considerably short of The Dark Side of the Moon. Chart runs of that length are rare in the current age; perhaps the longest run on the charts by a contemporary artist was the time that Adele’s breakthrough album 21 stayed on the chart for 437 weeks.
Will BTS outshine the likes of Adele or Pink Floyd as time goes on? No one knows for sure, however, BTS have managed to consistently dazzle their fans and defy commercial expectations. The group’s fans could shatter this chart record if given enough time.