How BTS’ latest EP Map of the Soul: Persona heightened their career

It’s been one month since BTS released their highly anticipated sixth EP ‘Map of the Soul: Persona’, seeing the boys embark on a new journey and era. Persona elevated the career for these seven boys to new heights so we are taking a look into exactly how this mini album heightened an already incredible career.

BTS shattered pre-order records

It is obvious that BTS is absolutely killing physical album sales in a digitally ran world, but Map of the Soul: Persona truly outsold everyone. In the month prior to its release, the album achieved a mind-blowing 3 million pre-orders globally (including stores ordering in bulk for release day.) They shattered their own pre-order records but also became the most pre-ordered album in South Korean history.

Their historic SNL Performance

BTS made history when they became the first Asian act to be a musical guest on the prestigious tv show. Their debut performance on SNL introduced them to a new audience, who may not have been familiar with the boys prior to the show, but they left their mark on the stage. After performing a live band version of their latest single Boy with Luv, accompanied with perfectly executed choreography and their hit single Mic Drop (Remix), BTS left the stage full of praise from the general public, who were thoroughly impressed. Even Matty Healy from The 1975 sang his praises of their debut stage.

Boy With Luv became a smash hit

Boy with Luv became an instant summer smash with its incredibly catchy chorus and bright aura. The Halsey collaboration became an instant hit with fans and radio stations have been spinning it ever since release. BBC Radio 1 made the single their ‘Track of the Weekend’ and it has impacted every big US radio station also, making Boy With Luv their biggest radio success yet globally. The song became BTS’ biggest chart success landing in at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became their first Top 15 hit in the UK, skyrocketing to #13. The single is still going strong across both charts, remaining in the Top 40. In South Korea, the single has won ten music show awards including a triple crown on Music Core, reached #1 on their Hot 100 and Gaon charts, showing they truly are dominating the game.

It wasn’t only on the charts the Boy With Luv dominated, but on YouTube as well. The music video completely knocked all competition out of the park when it made its YouTube debut with a mind-boggling  78 million views (even with views being deleted during the 24 hours), making it not only the biggest KPOP debut of all time but the biggest 24-hour debut of all time among any artist.

BTS’ first-week sales made literal history

After achieving their record-breaking preorders, Persona had the pressure to deliver in its first week, and boy did it. In their native country, they garnered a phenomenal 2.13 million sales on the Hanteo chart, marking the highest first-week sales since the chart began and of course, reached #1 on the Gaon Album Chart. It has also been announced that Persona is now officially the best selling album in South Korea of all time with 3,229,032 units in less than a month, surpassing Kim Gunmo’s album Wrongful Encounter, which was released in 1995.

Across the pond, BTS finally achieve their first #1 album on the UK Official Charts and also became the first Korean act to do so. With an incredible 26,500 sales (and an estimated 18,000+ being pure sales) BTS literally outsold their last three releases in one week. They also hit #1 on the Australian ARIA chart, becoming the first album to hit number one in an Asian language. Arguably the biggest success on the Western charts came from the US where Map of the Soul: Persona debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 with 232,000 combined units and 196,000 of these being pure album sales. Not only was this a career-best for the boys, but this became BTS’ third number one album in around 11 months, making them the first band to achieve this since The Beatles in 1995-1996. At the time of release, it is also the best selling album of 2019 thus far. Finally, the album has surpassed 200 million streams on Spotify in under a month, another career best for these boys.


The Persona era has truly been a career-changing moment for BTS despite the already incredible few years these seven boys have had. 2019 has truly been THAT year for BTS and we are only five months into it, and with a remaining few dates left on the Speak Yourself tour and much more these boys have up their sleeves, the rest of the year is looking super special for the biggest group in the world right now.

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Written by Ellie Nicholas

A 23-year-old UK-based graduate.
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