BTS makes history, tops Billboard Hot 100

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Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

(L-R) Jimin, Jungkook, RM, J-Hope, V, Jin, and SUGA of the K-pop boy band BTS visit the "Today" Show at Rockefeller Plaza on February 21, 2020 in New York City. Photo credit: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Mirella Vargas

BTS made history on Monday, by becoming the first South Korean act to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart with their first all-English-Language single, “Dynamite”.

This is the first time BTS has hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 list, which includes all-genre U.S. streaming, radio airplay, and sales data.

Following its August 21 debut, “Dynamite” was streamed 33.9 million times and sold 300,000 times in its first week, according to Nielsen Music and MRC data.

The seven-member group, who resides in South Korea, received the news in the middle of the night, and during an interview group member, Jimin shared his reaction, “I don’t know why I cried. I heard the news pretty late, around 4 a.m., and cried until 7 a.m. falling asleep on the couch. I was so surprised I kept looking at the chart.”

BTS also made sure to recognize their beloved fans – who are some of the most loyal and dedicated fandom out there (also known as “Army”) – and thanked them for their support.

“I feel overwhelmed because my team’s sincerity seems to be connected with the world. It is an honor for our fans too. The fan’s support is my driving force to work hard,” said BTS member J-Hope “I want to give all the glory to our fans.”

Other fellow artists including The Weeknd and the Jonas Brothers took to social media to celebrate the group’s accomplishment.

“Really cool. this is so big for Asian artists,” The Weeknd wrote, retweeting the news that “Dynamite” marks the first song by an Asian act to hit the top of the Hot 100 in 57 years (since Kyu Sakamoto’s 1963 single “Sukiyaki”). “Huge congratulations to @bts_bighit.”

Their now chart-topping single, “Dynamite” also makes BTS history, by being their first-ever English single to be released – previously their song lyrics were written in Korean or combined both the Korean and English Language.

BTS is not new to having their hit singles appear on the Hot 100 chart – they have previously ranked on the list a total of twelve times.

However, their latest single breaks the language barrier, reaching a wider audience and catapulting them to the top spot, which is usually occupied by other, more mainstream, and western artists.

On Twitter, many South Koreans shared the significance of seeing a Korean artist reach the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart and expressed how the feeling was similar to the moment when South Korean film, “Parasite”, also made history by being the first non-English language film to win Best Picture at the Oscars, earlier this year.

BTS also made their first-ever MTV Video Music Awards appearance on Sunday, giving perhaps the most anticipated performance of the night via Livestream.

The K-pop group received several awards that night, including Best K-pop, Best Group, Best Pop, and Best Choreography.

There is no doubt that this year has been momentous for South Korean pop culture and entertainment, as it continues to see global acclamation.

One does not have to be a BTS fan to appreciate how this historical achievement can further open the door of inclusivity for more diverse acts of talent, in which representation matters.