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(News Focus) BTS grows from K-pop phenomenon to global act with U.S., U.K. victories

All Headlines 17:59 April 17, 2019

By Park Boram

SEOUL, April 17 (Yonhap) -- Six years following its humble debut with a then unknown music label in 2013, K-pop boy band BTS has conquered two of the world's most prominent music charts, proving its successful leap from K-pop phenomenon to world-acclaimed act.

Billboard reported on Tuesday (Korean time) that BTS' latest album, "Map of the Soul: Persona," is "bound for No. 1" on the Billboard 200 album chart for the week of April 27.

The upcoming Billboard 200 victory will further elevate BTS' record-breaking career after the septet topped the chart twice last year with two "Love Yourself" albums.

"Love Yourself: Tear" hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in May before "Love Yourself: Answer" topped the chart in September, making the K-pop band the first music act to score a double victory on the album chart within twelve months since British boy band One Direction. The British group topped the chart in late 2013 and again in late 2014.

The latest feat will further add to BTS' profile on Billboard, making it a rare band to record three No. 1s on the Billboard 200 within the span of one year.

Also on Tuesday, Official Charts, the leading British music chart company, heralded BTS' first No. 1 on its main album chart.

If "Map of the Soul: Persona" makes it to the top of the Official Album Chart this week, it will be the first-ever K-pop record to do so.

This photo shows the BTS members during a press conference on April 17, 2019. (Yonhap)

The two imminent achievements are likely to bring BTS further to the forefront on the global pop scene as they carve out an iconic presence with their own unique musical and artistic qualities.

Such a massive success would push the band one step closer to the possibility of winning major American music awards, namely the Billboard Music Awards and the Grammy Awards, which rarely recognize non-Western pop artists.

Driven by its recent Billboard feats, BTS was nominated for the 2019 Billboard Music Awards, set for May 1, in two categories -- Top Duo/Group and Top Social Artist.

"Taking No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and other (excellent) chart performances on Spotify and iTunes are signs that BTS has been guaranteed universal fandom. ... It also drives up the possibility of the band winning at world-renowned award shows, such as the Billboard Music Awards and the Grammy Awards," pop columnist Kim Heon-sik said.

"The explosiveness (of 'Map of the Soul: Persona') would go up further as time passes, given that its No. 1 status became almost certain just in five days of its release."

This photo shows BTS leader RM during a press conference on April 17, 2019. (Yonhap)


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