BTS Have Dominated 2020 and Their New Album Isn’t Even Out Yet

BTS’s highly-anticipated album Map of the Soul: 7 drops on Feb. 21. Since the album was announced, BTS have dominated news cycles, broken pre-sale records, and employed a multitude of unique and innovative promotion tactics. The year just started and the album isn’t out yet, but BTS have already proved that 2020 is their year.

BTS | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

BTS made history in January 2020

In the span of less than a week, BTS made history twice. First the Recording Industry Association of America announced that BTS’s 2018 album Love Yourself: Answer was certified platinum. For an album to achieve a platinum certification, the album must record at least 1 million units in the U.S. A unit is equal to one album sale, 1,500 audio or video streams from the album, or 10 tracks sold from the album.

Love Yourself: Answer received a gold certification by the RIAA with half a million units recorded in November 2018. This made it the first Korean album to ever be recognized by the organization. With the album’s new platinum certification, BTS became the first Korean act to have an album certified platinum by the RIAA.

Days later, BTS made history again when they became the first Korean act to perform at the Grammy Awards. The group took part in the “Old Town Road All-Stars” medley with Billy Ray Cyrus, Lil Nas X, Diplo, and Mason Ramsey. These accomplishments seemed to foreshadow what the rest of 2020 holds for BTS.

BTS made history with an album that is not out yet

The release of BTS’s next album is a little over 24 hours away, but Map of the Soul: 7 already made history. With 4.02 million pre-orders, the album is the most-pre-ordered album from South Korea. In its first week, Map of the Soul: 7 sold 3.42 million stock preorders.

By comparison, BTS’s 2019 album Map of the Soul: Persona set a pre-order record with 2.685 million pre-orders in its first five days. The album went on to be the best-selling album in history in South Korea with over 3.7 million copies sold in the country.

Map of the Soul: Persona also sold over 4 million copies worldwide by September 2019. BTS achieved this sales milestone less than five months after releasing the EP, and they became the first artists in 2019 to sell 4 million album copies worldwide.

Map of the Soul: 7 has already beaten the pre-order record set by Map of the Soul: Persona. The album is expected to top music charts across the world, meaning the album is already set to become the best-selling album in South Korea and one of the best-selling albums in the world in 2020.

The promotion for BTS’s album is unique

The rollout for Map of the Soul: 7 has been expansive and innovative. With “Connect, BTS,” the K-pop group started another global movement. BTS acted as patrons by showcasing 22 artists at different public art exhibits in London, New York, Berlin, Buenos Aires, and Seoul.

For the release of the album’s first single “Black Swan,” Big Hit Entertainment released an art film with MN Dance Company. The unique release once again put an emphasis on art. It also demonstrated BTS and the label were releasing music the way they wanted it to be heard.

Similarly, the release of the album’s lead single “ON” will be accompanied by Kinetic Manifesto Film : Come Prima performed by BTS for Lead Single. The film will act as the song’s official music video and “best depicts the concept of the lead single.” According to the album’s comeback map, a second official music video for the song will be released on Feb. 28.

BTS have dominated news cycles

On top of the unique promotion focused on art, BTS have incorporated mainstream talk shows and apps to promote Map of the Soul: 7. Their first performance of “Black Swan” took place on The Late Late Show with James Corden. The group will also appear on the talk show’s famous “Carpool Karaoke” segment on Feb. 25.

On Feb. 24, BTS will have an entire episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon dedicated to them. The unprecedented episode will feature a performance in Grand Central Terminal, an extended interview, a tournament game, and BTS will explore New York City with Fallon.

The day of the album’s release, BTS will appear for a live interview on the TODAY Show on NBC. At 6 a.m. KST on Feb. 21, BTS will reveal a 30-second preview video of “ON” through TikTok. Using the viral app, fans will get a preview of the lead single 12 hours before it’s officially released.

BTS have already sold out several tour stops

BTS’s Map of the Soul Tour kicks off in April 2020, and tickets for North American show dates went on sale at the beginning of February. Already, several of those tour dates have completely sold out. The tour is still months away, and Map of the Soul: 7 isn’t out yet, but the competition for BTS concert tickets was overwhelming.

At the 2020 Grammy Awards, J-Hope said, “You will know when you listen to our new album and watch the performance that liking BTS was the best decision ever.”

BTS have confidently told fans that Map of the Soul: 7 will exceed expectations since before the album’s title was officially released. Given BTS’s humble journey to where they are now, it seems fitting that an introspective album could possibly be their best work in an already exemplary discography. BTS have made history in 2020, and Map of the Soul: 7 will no doubt elevate them even more.