It’s been two weeks since BTS released their latest EP titled ‘Map of the Soul: Persona’ and during this time they have broken more records than we can count but more importantly, they have proved their power.
Map of the Soul: Persona collected an astonishing 2.5 million worldwide sales in just one week. To put that into perspective, it is the highest first-week sales since Adele with her earth-shattering album ’25’ in 2015, who gathered 5.7 million sales worldwide. Drake has not achieved these first week numbers, Taylor Swift has not achieved these first week numbers, but a Korean boy group has. This also makes Persona the best selling album of 2019 thus far; again, this is incredible for a group who are not singing primarily in English.
Furthermore, after hitting Number One on the Billboard Top 200 for the third time, as well as being the only Korean artist to do so, they have also become the fastest group to debut at the top of the Billboard Top 200 three times in one year, doing so in only 10.5 months since The Beatles back in 1996. Again, to put this into perspective, BTS’ member Jungkook was not even born when The Beatles achieved this. Among topping the Billboard Top 200, the group surpassed 230K combined album sales, with 196K being pure copies. In an era where physical sales are declining and streaming services are thriving, to achieve to have such a high percentage of pure albums being sold is absolutely phenomenal.
You may not like BTS, you may not understand why a group who sings in Korean, where 6 of the members are not fluent in English and do not conform to the conventional Western standards of what men ‘should’ be like are thriving so much in the Western market. But you cannot discredit their success or belittle their accomplishments and be blind to the fact that they are achieving things that many American or British artists wish that they could. They are selling out stadiums worldwide, they have broken a record that was held by the biggest boy band of all time, and it took a Korean artist to break this record…23 years later. They’ve sold more tour tickets in 2019 than Drake, they have broken into some of the hardest music markets to succeed in. Whether you like them or not, you cannot belittle what they are doing for Asian representation in a Western market.
BTS have proven time and time again that they are a powerhouse and a force to be reckoned with, consistently thriving in an industry that is being shaken by being taken over by a foreign group. One day maybe the world will realise that it is not the multiple versions of an album that keep them securing Number One’s, but that their music has captured hundreds of thousands of fans.
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