BTS notches the first hit for a K-pop group in the history of Billboard's Pop Songs radio airplay chart, as "MIC Drop," featuring Desiigner (and remixed by Steve Aoki), debuts at No. 37 (on the chart dated Dec. 23). The song is just the second K-pop song overall to reach the ranking, following singer/rapper PSY's smash "Gangnam Style" which hit No. 10 on Pop Songs in 2012.
The Pop Songs chart, which began in 1992 (and just celebrated its 25th anniversary), measures total weekly plays, as tabulated by Nielsen Music, among its reporting panel of 160 mainstream top 40 stations.
The chart honors continue to flow for BTS, as, a week earlier, "MIC Drop" debuted at No. 28 on the streaming, sales and airplay-based Billboard Hot 100 songs chart, likewise marking the first top 40 Hot 100 entry for a K-pop group.
Meanwhile, on the Billboard 200 albums chart dated Oct. 7, the seven-member South Korean boy band earned the first top 10 for a K-pop act when its Love Yourself: Her debuted at No. 7 (its peak to date).
KJYO Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, led all Pop Songs reporters with 56 plays for "MIC Drop," making it the station's 10th-most played song, in the week ending Dec. 10, followed by KROI Houston (40 plays), KLLY Bakersfield, California (39), and Radio Disney (37).
"It's probably going to take a song with more English in it [than previous singles] to fit that mass-appeal audience who doesn't know who BTS is or doesn't know anything about K-pop," KJYO program director JJ Ryan mused on the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast last week.
"'MIC Drop' definitely seems to be doing that."