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Solent researcher, Dr Kim-Marie Spence discusses the significance of K-pop group, BTS being the first Korean band to have a number one single on the Billboard 100

9th September 2020
Music and performanceResearch

Post-doctoral researcher, Dr Kim-Marie Spence discusses the significance of K-pop group, BTS being the first Korean band to have a number one single on the Billboard 100.

K-pop supergroup BTS made pop history on August 31 when it became the first Korean group to have a number one single on the Billboard Hot 100 with their first wholly English-language single Dynamite. The song topped Spotify’s Global Top 50 chart and rose to number one on the iTunes charts in over 100 countries. It also set a YouTube record for the most views in 24 hours. BTS’s success, particularly on the Billboard Hot 100 recently, highlights the need to re-examine how we define pop music within the global music industry.

The Billboard Hot 100 and Top 200 are pop music’s apex. These charts are based on three metrics – streaming, radio airplay and digital sales in order of importance.

The radio component of the charts is derived from monitoring radio airplay from over 1,200 radio stations throughout the US. Interestingly, in the week that Dynamite topped the charts, it didn’t enter the Top 50 Radio Songs chart. BTS’s, and to a wider extent K-pop’s, lack of western radio airplay has been a consistent bugbear.

Read Dr Kim-Marie Spence's article in full on The Conversation