BTS has added more accolades to its already impressive resume, becoming the first South Korean act to win two Gold certifications in the US market with its “Map of the Soul: Persona” album.
Recent data from the Recording Industry Association of America confirmed that the boy band’s sixth EP had received Gold certification as of Aug. 22, a little over four months after its April 12 release. The RIAA grants recognition to albums based on the number of sales: 500,000 or more for Gold, 1 million or more for Platinum, and 10 million or more for Diamond.
Last November, BTS became the first Korean act with a Gold album in the US market, “Love Yourself: Answer.” It remains the only Korean act to get Gold certification stateside.
BTS (Big Hit Entertainment)
This marks the latest feat by the Korean pop sensation and its wildly popular album, which has sold over 3.5 million copies to date and is currently the bestselling record in Korean history.
BTS is the only Korean act to officially sell over 3 million copies of an album, although the previous record holder for best-selling album, Kim Gun-mo, is widely believed to have sold around 3.3 million with his 1995 hit “Wrongful Encounter.”
The seven-piece band is the only Korean act to have debuted in the new millennium and sold more than 2 million records, although EXO’s 2018 “Don’t Mess Up My Tempo” is closing in on that record. The Korean music market peaked in the 1990s, but had shrunk by the 2000s as people came to prefer buying individual songs over entire albums.
After g.o.d. sold 1.74 million copies of “Chapter 4: Road” in 2001, no Korean artist came close for a long time. The bestselling record of 2002 -- “7even” by Cool -- sold a meager 647,052 copies. Since then, no Korean artist had cracked the 1 million mark until 2013, when EXO broke through with “XOXO.” At the lowest point, 2007, no one outsold SG Wannabe’s “The Sentimental Chord” at just 190,998 copies.
In an added bonus, MTV UK announced Saturday that BTS had won the “Hottest Summer Superstar” vote for 2019.
Thanks to its loyal fan base, the BTS Army, the band got 19.7 million out of 44 million votes, winning by a landslide over 2017 winner Lady Gaga, who had received 12.7 million votes.
Fellow Korea-based artist Blackpink finished third with 3.9 million, followed by Ariana Grande, Cardi B and 5 Seconds of Summer.
By Yoon Min-sik