BTS Jungkook Takes Solo Debut to the Top of Billboard's Hot 100: What Does it Mean for K-pop?

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BTS Jungkook has taken his solo debut straight to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States. He is the second member from Korea and third from Asia to achieve this feat. With this, he has also become the first K-pop artist to reach number one on all three of Billboard's major charts, setting a new record. This unique achievement underlines BTS' exceptional capability to conquer the Hot 100 charts both as a group and individually.
BTS JungkookPhoto byBig Hit Music

According to an announcement made by Billboard on July 24, Jungkook's debut single "Seven" (feat. Latto) has secured the top spot on the Hot 100 chart for the week of July 29. This impressive debut, referred to as a "Hot Shot Debut," occurred immediately upon the song's release.

A Golden Achievement: Jungkook's Triple Billboard Domination

This is the 1,151st record since the establishment of the Hot 100 chart in 1958, with Jungkook's "Hot Shot" debut being the 68th of its kind. Latto, who featured on "Seven", also reached number one on the Hot 100 for the first time through this collaboration.

The Hot 100 chart ranks the most popular songs in the U.S., integrating data from streaming, radio broadcast scores (airplay), and sales. "Seven" topped the chart with 21.9 million streams, 6.4 million airplays, and a combined digital and CD sales total of 153,000 during the tracking period.

The accomplishment is all the more noteworthy as it occurred despite the revision of Billboard's chart calculation method. Starting in June, Billboard began excluding music sales from artists' official websites and other D2C (Direct-to-Consumer) sites from chart calculations. This change made it more challenging for K-pop artists, who have often relied on fans' music downloads, to enter the charts. Yet, the overwhelming number of streams and sales, which cannot be attributed to fandom consumption alone, enabled "Seven" to secure the top spot.

Moreover, Jungkook has not only topped the Hot 100 but also the Global 200 and Global Excl. U.S. charts, making him the first Asian solo artist to 'sweep' all three Billboard charts. His music's global popularity is further demonstrated by topping domestic music sites, and claiming number one on iTunes in 106 countries.

A Legacy Continued: From BTS to Individual BTS Members

Previously, the only Koreans to have topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart were BTS members. BTS scored three number ones with "Dynamite" in 2020, followed by "Savage Love" Remix (1 time), featuring members Jungkook, Suga, and J-Hope, and the Korean single "Life Goes On" (1 time). In 2021, "Butter" clinched ten number ones, and "Permission to Dance" achieved one. Their collaboration with British band Coldplay on "My Universe" also hit number one once.

The first member to earn a number one spot on the Hot 100 chart after BTS was Jimin, who achieved a 'Hot Shot Debut' with his solo song "Like Crazy" last March, surpassing the second place previously held by Psy's "Gangnam Style" in 2012. Jungkook's "Seven" follows Jimin's successful debut. Billboard explained, "Jungkook is the second BTS member to reach number one on the Hot 100, following Jimin," adding that "BTS, having claimed the top spot with a total of six songs, is the ninth group in history where more than one member has topped the Hot 100, joining the ranks of The Beatles, Black Eyed Peas, Destiny's Child, Genesis, One Direction, and others."

Roughly a year after beginning individual activities due to members' staggered military enlistments, BTS continues to reign globally without any hiatus. The world's attention is focused on the new history they will continue to write in the global music market.

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Alex Ho, who has been writing news for over 10 years


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