As previously reported, BTS collects its third No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart with Map of the Soul: Persona. The set launches with 230,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending April 18, according to Nielsen Music – a career-best week for the South Korean pop group in terms of units earned.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption as measured in equivalent album units. Units are comprised of traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new April 27-dated chart (where Persona enters at No. 1) will be posted in full on Billboard's websites on April 23.
Some acts take years to accumulate three No. 1 albums, but for BTS, the group needed just under 11 months, starting with its first No. 1, Love Yourself: Tear (June 2, 2018-dated chart), continuing through its second No. 1, Love Yourself: Answer (Sept. 8, 2018), and now with Persona (April 27, 2019).
The last act to score three No. 1s faster was Future, when he logged his first three No. 1s in just six months and three weeks, with DS2 (Aug. 8, 2015); What a Time to Be Alive, with Drake (Oct. 10, 2015); and Evol (Feb. 27, 2016).
Notably, before Future’s feat, the ensemble cast of the Fox TV series Glee notched all three of its No. 1 soundtracks in just one month and three weeks in 2010. Glee: The Music — The Power of Madonna, bowed at No. 1 on May 8, 2010 and was quickly followed by the chart-topping Glee: The Music, Volume 3 — Showstoppers (June 5, 2010) and Glee: The Music — Journey to Regionals (June 26, 2010).
It’s uncommon for any act to tally three Billboard 200 No. 1s in less than a year. How rare? Before BTS, the last traditional group (excluding the Glee ensemble, whose multiple cast members rotated) to log three leaders within such a quick span was the Beatles in 1995-96, when the band’s archival releases Anthology 1, Anthology 2 and Anthology 3 all debuted at No. 1 in a stretch of 11 months and a week (between Dec. 9, 1995 and Nov. 16, 1996).
The last group to collect three No. 1s at a faster pace than BTS was the Monkees in 1967, when the quartet reached No. 1 with More of the Monkees (Feb. 11, 1967), Headquarters (June 24, 1967) and Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, and Jones LTD. (Dec. 2, 1967) in just nine months and three weeks. (Dates mark each album’s first week at No. 1.)