Back in the earlier K-pop era, entering Billboard was only a dream. So, thanks to these Korean artists - BoA, BIGBANG, SNSD, EXO, BTS, etc. - K-pop now leads in the U.S. charts.
According to the latest chart released by Billboard, BTS' "Butter" secured its No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. This is the first time that a K-pop group was able to sit atop the chart for four consecutive weeks.
With this, the global K-pop group also became the first Asian artist to achieve it, breaking the record of Japanese Ku Sakamoto who topped the list for three consecutive weeks in 1963.
The septet's success in Billboard finally broke the language and genre barrier in the U.S. market, opening the doors for other K-pop artists.
In this article, let's give credits to the pioneers who first shook Billboard.
BIGBANG, SNSD, EXO, and More: K-pop Groups and Artists Who First Opened the Door to Billboard Charts
[Disclaimer: This article only includes artists who topped Billboard 200 and Hot 100, considered as the two main Billboard Charts.]
Before BTS, there was one lady songstress who paved the way to Billboard - BoA.
BoA was the first K-pop artist to open the door to the Billboard 200. Her self-titled album, also her first studio album, ranked 127th on the chart at the time. In that same year, Wonder Girls' "Nobody" wrote their first record in the U.S. chart after reaching No. 76 on the Hot 100.
After three years, it was Psy who later rose to prominence on the Hot 100 chart. In 2012, "Gangnam Style" ranked second for seven weeks. Although it was regrettable that it failed to regain the first place, it later entered consecutively with "Gentleman," "Hangover," and "Daddy," raising K-pop's status.
Since then, second-generation idols have reopened Billboard 200 for K-pop in 2012 - steadily gaining their names since then.
BIGBANG's "Alive" ranked 150th, while Girls' Generation-TTS' "Twinkle" ranked 126th.
In addition, "King of K-pop" BIGBANG G-Dragon's "One of a Kind" ranked 161st, and "Coup D'Etat Pt.1" ranked 182nd.
In 2014, Girls' Generation's "Mr. Mr." ranked 110th, 2NE1's "Crush" 61st, and Taeyang's "Rise" in 112th.
Meanwhile, EXO also played a huge role as one of the first third-gen groups to enter Billboard 200. Their album "Overdose" ranked 129th while "Exodus" was 95th, making K-pop's presence even more known.
BTS, MONSTA X, BLACKPINK, TWICE and More: K-pop Groups Who Broke the Barriers to Billboard
The door to Billboard for K-pop has opened years ago, but language and genre barriers remain a hindrance. But with the following groups including BTS, entry into the two main charts has become much more frequent.
BTS, which topped the Billboard 200 list, as well as groups SuperM, NCT 127, MONSTA X, and TXT, ranked in the top five of the Billboard 200.
The rise of girl groups is also noticeable. According to Billboard on June 20, TWICE's 10th mini-album "Taste of Love" ranked 6th on the Billboard 200 chart. TWICE, who ranked 72nd with their second full-length album "Eyes Wide Open," released in December last year, showed explosive growth, raising expectations from the future.
TWICE has also become the second Korean girl group to make it to the top 10 on the chart after BLACKPINK.
Speaking of BLACKPINK, the quartet ranked 24th with "Kill This Love" in 2019 after ranking 40th with "SQUARE UP" in 2018 and second with "The Album" last year.
With these amazing K-pop acts who's made achievements on the Billboard charts, fourth-gen groups like TXT, ENHYPEN, and ITZY (who previously entered the main charts) made K-pop industry realize that the world, not Korea, is now the K-pop stage.
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Written by Eunice Dawson