In 2016, BTS — also known as the Bangtan Boys or the Bulletproof Boy Scouts — had one of the best years in their career. The seven-member K-pop boy band, formed under Big Hit Entertainment and consisting of Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Rap Monster, Jimin, V, and Jungkook, had two major comebacks, numerous international concerts, fantastic solo and group opportunities outside of K-pop, and constantly jockeyed for the number one spot with EXO.
The highlight of their phenomenal 2016 year was definitely the release of their second full-length studio album, Wings, featuring the blockbuster hit song “Blood, Sweat & Tears.” It sold over 773,000 copies in South Korea, 23,000 copies in the U.S., over 26,000 copies in Japan, and over 154,000 copies in China, a new world record for any K-pop act. Take note that half a million of those sales were pre-orders too.
BTS looks to continue their success from 2016 into this year with their first K-pop comeback of 2017, an extension of Wings titled You Never Walk Alone. Right now, one of their two featured songs titled “Spring Day” is dominating. It has achieved an “All-Kill” but also topped the top 10 of the iTunes U.S. chart.
“Spring Day” has swept an “All-Kill” on music charts, as reported by AllKpop. This means that it ranked number one on eight real-time charts in South Korea, specifically Mnet, MelOn, Soribada, olleh, Monkey3, Genie, Naver Music, and Bugs. Along with “Spring Day,” other new songs on You Never Walk Alone, such as “Not Today,” “Outro: Wings,” and “A Supplementary Story: You Never Walk Alone,” have all ranked high on the charts too.
However, the most amazing accomplishment “Spring Day” achieved was not the “All-Kill,” or even if it earned a “Perfect All-Kill.” According to Soompi, the song is the first by a K-pop band or group to break into the top 10 on the iTunes song chart in the United States. The only other K-pop act to reach the top 10 was Psy with “Gangnam Style” as he was on top of the mountain at number one. However, he is considered a K-pop soloist. Prior to BTS, no other K-pop boy band or girl group has made it to the top 10 and that includes internationally established worldwide groups like EXO, Big Bang, and Girls’ Generation.
Finally, You Never Walk Alone topped the iTunes album charts in 13 countries including Armenia, Brunei, Finland, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Peru, the Philippines, Singapore, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Probably the most amazing detail about BTS breaking all these K-pop records is the fact it is on an extension of an album and technically not something new. It seems K-pop acts are finding more success with their extensions than they are with the original albums themselves. For example, EXO released EX’ACT back in June of 2016, but found more success with its re-release LOTTO. The same goes with Big Bang. Throughout 2015, they released four extended plays or mini-albums as part of the MADE Series. Late last year, they combined them all into a full-length studio album and added three more songs for MADE: The Full Album, which did far better than the EPs.
You Never Walk Alone, which is the re-release of WINGS with no content, will be released on Tuesday, February 14, at midnight KST. Now that the individual songs and album are available, BTS can move onward to post-release promotions such as music competitions to win trophies.
[Featured Image by Big Hit Entertainment/Official Daum Cafe]