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(LEAD) BTS again tops Billboard 200 with latest album 'BE'

K-pop 09:07 November 30, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS details, photos throughout)

SEOUL, Nov. 30 (Yonhap) -- "BE," the latest album by K-pop megastars BTS, has landed at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, becoming the group's fifth album to top the Billboard's main albums chart.

"BTS lands its fifth No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart, as 'Be' bows atop the tally," U.S. music publication Billboard reported Sunday (U.S. time). "The set, which was released via Big Hit Entertainment on Nov. 20, arrives with 242,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending Nov. 26."

Of the album sales data for the week ending Nov. 26, album sales accounted for 177,000 units, while digital downloads and streaming accounted for the remaining, according to Billboard.

The Billboard noted how the record is more significant, considering that the album was only released in two versions "unlike many other high-selling albums that benefit from an array of available formats and exclusive or limited editions."

This photo, provided by Big Hit Entertainment, shows a concept photo for BTS' latest album "BE." (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

BTS released the new album, fronted by the ballad "Life Goes On," on Nov. 20. In a press conference held on the same date, members said they hoped "BE" would offer a message of hope to people going through difficult times.

"We encountered a situation where everything came to a stop. I feel that the past year was spent in confusion and in emptiness ... we tried to honestly put in that sentiment in the album," Jin said in a press conference held at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza in central Seoul. "We felt it would be great for listeners to empathize and comfort each other and people around them."

The band's seven members said they took a hands-on approach for the album production by taking on behind-the-scenes roles. Jimin, for instance, took part as music project manager, while V supervised the overall visuals of the album. Jungkook directed the teasers and music video for the lead track.

This photo, provided by Big Hit Entertainment on Nov. 11, 2020, shows the track list for the upcoming BTS album "BE." (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

With the latest record, BTS now owns five No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200. They are "Love Yourself: Tear," "Love Yourself: Answer," "Map of the Soul: Persona," "Map of the Soul: 7" and "BE." The last two made No. 1 this year.

The seven-piece band also made history this year by becoming the first K-pop act to top the Billboard Hot 100, the main singles chart, with its pop-disco track "Dynamite." The upbeat track was included as the final track for "BE."

With the track, BTS became the first pop music act from South Korea to be nominated in the best pop duo/group performance category for the Grammy Awards scheduled for January.

BTS poses for the cameras ahead of a press conference marking its new album release at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza in central Seoul on Nov. 20, 2020. (Yonhap)

mlee@yna.co.kr
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