K-pop has finally gone to No. 1.
“Love Yourself: Tear,” the new album by the Korean boy band BTS, has opened at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart. This makes it the first entrant of the exuberant Korean K-pop genre to reach the top of the album chart, six years after Psy’s song and video “Gangnam Style” brought the style to the U.S. mainstream.
“Love Yourself: Tear” had the equivalent of 135,000 sales in the United States in its first week out, of which 100,000 were copies sold as a full album, according to Nielsen; streams and downloads of individual tracks made up the rest. The seven-member group, which has been steadily building its U.S. fan army online, performed its hit “Fake Love” at the Billboard Music Awards last week, where BTS also won top social artist.
Not only is “Love Yourself: Tear” the first K-pop album to reach No. 1, but it is the first foreign-language album — it is sung mainly in Korean, with some English — to go to the top since 2006, when the classical crossover group Il Divo released “Ancora,” according to Billboard.
Also on this week’s chart, Post Malone’s “Beerbongs & Bentleys,” the top album for the past three weeks, falls to No. 2, and rapper Lil Baby opens at No. 3 with “Harder Than Ever.”
Rock band Five Finger Death Punch is No. 4 with “And Justice for None,” and Cardi B’s “Invasion of Privacy” is in fifth place.