K-pop dominates the Billboard 200 albums chart this week for the first time ever as BTS’ Love Yourself: Tear debuts in the highly-coveted top slot.
The South Korean boy band’s latest album, released via BitHit Entertainment, dropped May 18 and sold the equivalent of 135,000 units in the U.S., according to Billboard. Also impressive is the fact that 100,000 of those units were traditional album sales.
This is the second BTS album — and the second record from the K-pop genre as a whole — to hit the top 10. The seven-member group’s Love Yourself: Her peaked at No. 7 last October.
Another noteworthy statistic is that the 11 tunes on Love Yourself: Tear are sung mostly in Korean, making it the first primarily foreign-language album to top the charts in more than 12 years. (Il Divo’s Ancora — sung in Spanish, Italian, French and English — was No. 1 in February 2006.)
BTS has been driving American fans wild for some time now. Earlier this month, it was hard to hear the boys singing their hit “Fake Love” at the Billboard Music Awards as girls in the audience screamed at the top of their lungs.
At the awards ceremony, the popular group took home the trophy for Top Social Artist — for the second year in a row.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in congratulated BTS on its accomplishments via Facebook. “The songs, dance, dreams and enthusiasm of BTS energized and gave strength to young people around the world,” he said.
“At the very heart of BTS’ outstanding dancing and singing is sincerity,” the president continued. “This magical power turns grief into hope and differences into similarity. Each of the seven members sings in a way that is true to himself and the life he wants to live. Their melody and lyrics transcend regional borders, language, culture, and institutions.”
BTS — Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook — first hit the music scene in 2013 with the single “No More Dream,” according to Forbes. In Korean, the group’s name is short for Bangtan Sonyeondan, which loosely translates to Bulletproof Boyscouts in English.
The group — whose members are all in their 20s — will start a world tour at the end of August. Launching Aug. 25 in Seoul, South Korea, BTS will hit the U.S. (Los Angeles, Oakland, Calif.; Fort Worth, Texas; Newark, N.J.; and Chicago), Canada, the U.K., the Netherlands, Germany, and France. More dates will likely be added to the itinerary.