South Korean boy group BTS have beaten a record that British singer Adele held for five years, and they did it with a song that has been out for six months.
‘Black Swan’, off their latest album ‘Map of the Soul: 7’, topped the iTunes charts in 104 countries, overtaking Adele’s record of 102 for the 2015 hit ‘Hello’.
This is the first song from a group — South Korean or otherwise — to hit this milestone.
This race up the iTunes charts comes at a time when BTS — made up of members RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook — have been largely quiet while working on a new album.
So where did this sudden collective push from fans — called ARMY — to secure this record come from? Some joked that this was a result of ARMY being bored and wanting to show their affection for the K-Pop sensation.
Various fan bases on Twitter urged people to buy the single in countries where ‘Black Swan’ had not peaked, which led to the song rising to the top of the iTunes charts in Nepal, Zimbabwe, Cape Verde and Belize.
‘Map of the Soul: 7’, released on February 21, debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart with 422,000 album-equivalent units earned in its first week. It is the highest selling album in South Korean history.
The group have been keeping busy despite their ‘Map of the Soul’ world tour being postponed indefinitely due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The seven young men recently broke another record — their streamed concert ‘Bang Bang Con: The Live’ on June 14 was the most viewed paid online music event in the world, Big Hit Entertainment said.
Their agency said that 756,000 concurrent viewers from 107 countries and territories tuned in to watch the group perform live from a studio in Seoul. The virtual attendance was the equivalent of 15 shows at a 50,000-seat stadium, Variety reported.