In this digital age, our world has clearly gotten smaller than ever. Asian countries used to be highly influenced by Western pop culture. But, these days, it appears that the tables are starting to turn, and one proof is the massive reach of Korean pop music overseas.
We've witnessed a handful of K-pop acts making it big in the Western side of the globe in the past, but 2018 has seen the most impact–probably ever–thanks to the power of social media. But fanbases and social following aside, another way that we can measure the success of these K-pop groups is by the numbers. And if we're talking about legitimate stats, we can always turn to Billboard which has the ultimate authority when it comes to music charts.
We're not here to start fan wars or claim who's better than who. (No bashing please!) We're only here to prove that K-pop is indeed dominating the global scene, and we've got the facts to support it. After all, the goal of each of these artists is to promote their culture and put Korea on the map of the international music scene. Here, we list the three highest-ranking groups according to Billboard who are writing history and making us all prouder than ever.
With an astoundingly massive fanbase called the ARMY, BTS is undeniably the most popular K-pop act in a global scale. From dominating social media to selling out their first stadium concert in New York, the 7-piece group's success obviously translates to their status on the Billboard charts. They first broke through the Billboard Hot 100 in December 2017 with "Mic Drop" at No. 28, but it was in June of this year that they peaked in the top 10 with "Fake Love."
In the Billboard 200, they cracked the No. 1 spot this year with two albums, Love Yourself: Tear in June and Love Yourself: Answer in September, making them highest-charting K-pop group ever. They also reached the top of the Artist 100 chart and reigned for two weeks for both June and September.
Setting more records, BTS just garnered 100 total weeks at No. 1 on the Social 50 chart as of the Nov. 17 list, coming in second to Justin Bieber with 163 weeks in total. If this doesn't convince you that BTS is taking over the international scene, then we don't know what will.
RELATED: In Focus: 6 Things Every ARMY Does To Show Their Love For BTS
Another group that's becoming more and more visible Stateside is NCT 127. Even before they released their first full-length album, the young 10-membered crew was already promoting in the U.S. with their appearance at KCON 2018 in New York and other press junkets which introduced them to a wider Western audience.
So, naturally, when they dropped Regular-Irregular, they debuted at No. 86 on the Billboard 200 chart, making them the second highest-charting K-pop group next to BTS at that time. The two-year-old group beat more seasoned acts like EXO, who peaked at 87 with The War in 2017, and BIGBANG, who reached No. 150 with Made in 2012.
Releasing their title track "Regular" with an English version, NCT 127 proves to be promising in terms of capturing the Western market, and we're all here for it! NCTzens, watch out!
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The dark horse of K-pop in the Billboard charts, supergroup EXO is making their way to the top with comparably less effort than the two other acts in this list. Considering that both BTS and NCT 127 have been actively promoting Stateside, it's impressive how EXO broke through the charts with their latest comeback Don't Mess Up My Tempo without physically going outside Asia.
On the Nov. 17-dated Top 200 Albums chart, EXO debuted at No. 23, rising above NCT 127 as the second highest-charting K-pop group on Billboard. On the Artist 100 chart, EXO is currently at No. 9, becoming the only K-pop artist to be in the Top 10 along with BTS.
And for an added feather in EXO's cap, their 9th member Chinese musician Lay is also smashing it with his solo album NAMANANA which currently sits at No. 2 on the World Albums chart behind EXO's DMUMT. EXO-Ls, are you proud of your boys? Because we are!
RELATED: In Focus: EXO Reminds Us That They're Visual Kings With "Don't Mess Up My Tempo"
In case you're still doubting the power of K-pop, we hope that this list has proved you wrong. Here's to seeing more and more Asian talents taking over the global stage in the near future! Gaja!
ALSO READ: #ChalkAsks: How Did You Become A K-Pop Fan?