BTS score a first for Korean band on Billboard chart with ‘Dynamite’

FILE PHOTO: Band BTS performs during the 2020 MTV VMAs
FILE PHOTO: Band BTS performs during the 2020 MTV VMAs in this screen grab image made available on August 30, 2020. VIACOM/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

September 1, 2020

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – K-Pop band BTS roared to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 singles charts in the United States on Monday, becoming the first Korean pop act to debut at No. 1.

“Dynamite,” the first all-English language single from the seven-member boy band, notched 33.9 million U.S. streams and 300,000 sales in its first week, according to Nielsen Music data. The band also scored the biggest digital sales week in nearly three years since Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” in September 2017.

The band took to Twitter to thank their fans, and in response to a congratulatory statement from South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in, said the song was aimed at helping rejuvenate cities around the world.

“It’s a difficult time, but I hope our songs can give you a little comfort and positive energy,” the group said in a Korean language response to Moon on Twitter.

Moon said the group is “writing a new chapter in K-pop history”, and that the song was all the more meaningful as a message of comfort and hope to people around the world who are struggling with COVID-19.

The Billboard Hot 100 singles chart combines U.S. streaming, radio airplay and sales data.

Formed in 2013, BTS has spearheaded the K-Pop drive into the United States over the past three years with catchy, upbeat music.

South Korean solo artist PSY reached a No. 2 Hot 100 best with his viral hit “Gangnam Style” in 2012.

Although the band had previously broken into the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching the No. 4 spot with its March release “On,” Monday marked the first time it made is debut at No. 1.

The band on Sunday performed at the MTV Video Music Awards show for the first time and won four trophies, including best group and best pop group.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Additional reporting by Josh Smith in Seoul; Editing by Howard Goller and Gerry Doyle)