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K-Pop continues to sweep the UAE — but there are five acts who have topped the popularity list with the most listeners locally on Spotify. So, who are fans in the UAE streaming on repeat? We count down to number one…
Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News
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5: IU: It looks like UAE fans can’t get enough of IU. The soulful South Korean singer-songwriter, born Lee Ji-eun, has been active since 2008; she has four studio albums and nine EPs to date. It’s no surprise that the 27-year-old artist comes in at No 5 on this list: she also holds the record for most No 1 hits on Billboard’s K-Pop Hot 100 (12 songs) and has spent the most number of weeks at No 1. In both cases, BTS come second.
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4: Stray Kids: Eight-piece South Korean boy band Stray Kids come in strong at the fourth spot on this list. The group formed in 2017 on a reality show, which was also called ‘Stray Kids’. The band has one studio album and eight EPs. They recently made a visit to the Middle East, performing in Saudi Arabia in July of last year.
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3: Twice: South Korean girl group Twice come in hot at number three. The nine-member group were also formed on a TV programme, ‘Sixteen’, back in 2015. Their first EP titled ‘The Story Begins’ dropped that same year. The record-breaking band has two Korean albums and two Japanese albums, as well as nine EPs.
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2: Blackpink: The Blackpink fever is only getting stronger. The four-piece South Korean girl group have become a global sensation; they’re the most-followed girl group on Spotify, and they’re the second most-subscribed music act on YouTube. With more than 50 million subscribers, they’re second only to Justin Bieber. Blackpink peaked at No 13 in the US with their 2020 track ‘Ice Cream’ with Selena Gomez. Their album, ‘The Album’, peaked at No 2 on the Billboard 200. Want more? Well, the group this month premiered their first documentary, ‘Blackpink: Light Up the Sky’ on Netflix.
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1: BTS: South Korean boy band BTS tops the list with the most streams on Spotify in the UAE for any K-Pop act. This comes on the heels of other historic news for BTS — the band’s biggest international hit to date, ‘Dynamite’, set a record on Spotify, with 12.6 million streams within the first 24 hors of its release. They already had a huge and dedicated fan base, but BTS’ reach got even bigger with ‘Dynamite’ — it was added to 3.5 million playlists and marked a 300 per cent increase in people listening to the band for the first time on Spotify. If that’s not enough, BTS had four out of the five top songs streamed on Spotify in the UAE in 2020, including ‘Boy with Luv’, ‘Black Swan’ and ‘ON’.
Image Credit: AP