2020 was a year of K-Pop domination in the international music industry, and nothing proves that better than Billboard‘s recently released Top 10 Highest-Selling Physical Albums list for the year. Not one, not two, but a staggering three K-Pop albums made it to the US ranking!
1. BTS – “Map of the Soul: 7”
BTS’s Map of the Soul: 7 was the no.1 best-selling physical album in the US last year, achieving a total of 646,000 sales in around 10 months. BTS was also the 2nd highest-selling album by total sales, right behind Taylor Swift with Folklore.
BTS worked with some of the biggest international singer-songwriters for Map of the Soul: 7, including Halsey, Ed Sheeran, Troye Sivan, and Sia. Upon release, the album debuted at no.1 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 422,000 units in its first week. It also spawned two Billboard Hot 100 singles, including “ON”—BTS’s first top-five hit on the chart.
2. BTS – “BE”
BTS’s BE was the 5th best-selling physical album in the US last year, achieving a total of 252,000 sales in just over a month.
Inspiring by their experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic, BE became BTS’s fifth album to go no.1 on the Billboard 200 chart, making them the fastest group in world history to reach the accolade since the Beatles. The achievement also made them the only male act to ever debut on the Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard 200 simultaneously, with “Life Goes On” shooting to the single chart’s top spot.
3. NCT 127 – “Neo Zone”
NCT 127’s Neo Zone was the 6th best-selling physical album in the US last year, achieving a total of 249,000 sales in just over 9 months.
Upon release, Neo Zone became NCT 127’s first album to enter the Billboard 200 top five chart, selling 87,000 units in its first week. Combining a huge range of genres (from 90’s hip-hop and R&B to trap and dance pop), Neo Zone received positive reviews from critics across the US and beyond.