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BTS on course to take No. 1 on Billboard 200, U.K. Official Chart

Yonhap News logo Yonhap News 3 days ago

(ATTN: UPDATES headline; ADDS new info in paras 6-9)

SEOUL, April 16 (Yonhap) -- Global K-pop sensation BTS is on its way to score its third No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart with its latest release, Billboard's official website showed Tuesday.

"Industry forecasters suggest the set, which was released on April 12, could earn between 200,000 and 225,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in the week ending April 18," Billboard said in a posting uploaded on Monday (U.S. time), reporting that the septet is "bound for No. 1" on the main album chart.

"If the album opens at No. 1, it will mark the third leader for the act, following 2018's 'Love Yourself: Answer' and 'Love Yourself: Tear,'" Billboard said.

This image of BTS is provided by Big Hit Entertainment. (Yonhap) © 제공: Yonhap News Agency (Korea) This image of BTS is provided by Big Hit Entertainment. (Yonhap)

The Billboard 200 chart is the weekly list of the world's most popular albums, measuring physical album sales and online streams.

Billboard is scheduled to reveal, on April 21, the chart's top 10 artists for the week of April 27, where the Korean band is expected to come out on top.

The compiler of Official Charts, the leading music charts of the United Kingdom, also heralded the new BTS album's debut atop the main album chart.

"BTS are set to make Official Chart history this week as the K-pop boy band's new EP, 'Map of the Soul: Persona,' leads the Official Chart Update by over 10,000 combined chart sales," the chart compiler said, referring to the Official Album Chart.

"If the group keep up their momentum, it will mark their highest charting release yet in the U.K. and become the first Number 1 album from a Korean act on the Official Chart," it said, adding that the new album's midweek sales already surpassed the first-week sales of their three previous albums combined, including "Love Yourself: Tear."

This image provided by Big Hit Entertainment on April 15, 2019, shows the number of YouTube views for BTS' music video © 제공: Yonhap News Agency (Korea) This image provided by Big Hit Entertainment on April 15, 2019, shows the number of YouTube views for BTS' music video

The Billboard and Official Charts news came a few days after the latest seven-track EP, "Map of the Soul: Persona," was released Friday. It immediately fascinated the world, with the music video of the main track, "Boy With Luv," becoming the fastest YouTube video to garner 100 million views. It took less than 38 hours for the band to top the milestone.

"Boy with Luv" ranked third on the global top 200 chart of Sweden-based Spotify, the world's largest digital streaming service provider, on Sunday.

The surefire chart success is the latest evidence that BTS has grown out of a K-pop phenomenon to become world-acclaimed musicians who can sustain their global presence with their own unique musicality and artistry.

The recent chain of wild success is also likely to bring the septet a Billboard or Grammy award in major competition categories.

How high "Boy With Luv" will chart on Billboard's Hot 100 list is also a matter of intense curiosity after "Fake Love," the main track off BTS' 2018 album "Love Yourself: Tear" peaked at 10th, the highest the band has gone so far on the Hot 100.

"The explosiveness (of 'Map of the Soul: Persona') would go up further as time passes, given that its No. 1 became almost certain just in five days of its release," pop columnist Kim Heon-sik said.

"Taking No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and (excellent) chart performances on Spotify and iTunes are signs that BTS has been guaranteed universal fandom ... it also drives up the possibility of the band winning at world-renowned award shows, such as the Billboard Music Awards and the Grammy Awards."

brk@yna.co.kr

pbr@yna.co.kr

(END)

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