The Year in Social Charts 2019: BTS Utterly Dominates as Top Artist

DO NOT USE!!!! ISSUE NOT OUT YET!
Peter Ash Lee
From left: V, Suga, Jin, Jungkook, RM, Jimin and J-Hope of BTS photographed Jan. 19 at Korea House in Seoul. Styling by Lee Ha Jung. V, Suga and J-Hope wear Saint Laurent tops and jackets. Jin wears a COS top and Saint Laurent jacket and shoes. Jungkook wears a COS top, Saint Laurent jacket and Prada shoes. RM wears a Saint Laurent jacket and shoes. Jimin wears a Saint Laurent top, jacket and shoes. 

In 2018, BTS became the first act ever to lead Billboard’s Social 50 chart for an entire year.

Now, make that two years.

The K-poppers picked up where they left off, ruling the Social 50 for each week during the 2019 chart year (Nov. 24, 2018, to Nov. 16, 2019) to become the No. 1 artist on the 2019 year-end Social 50 chart. During that span, the group continued to rack up more and more weeks at No. 1, becoming the first act not named Justin Bieber to lead the list for 150 total weeks.

Billboard’s year-end music recaps are based on chart performance during the charts dated Nov. 24, 2018, to Nov. 16, 2019. Data registered before or after a title’s chart run is not considered in these standings. That methodology detail, and the December-to-November time period, account for some of the differences between these lists and the calendar-year recaps that are independently compiled by Nielsen Music.

Explore All of Billboard's 2019 Year-End Charts

In that span (Nov. 24, 2018, to Nov. 16, 2019), BTS debuted its latest album, Map of the Soul: Persona, becoming the group’s third straight No. 1 debut on the Billboard 200 (April 27). Its lead single, “Boy With Luv” with Halsey, bowed at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100, BTS’ highest-charting song on the list yet.

Through Nov. 16, BTS racked up 152 weeks atop the list versus Bieber’s 163. You’ll want to check out this space in 2020, when chances are BTS will not just have beaten Bieber’s all-time weeks-at-No.-1 record – it’ll also have ruled the list for the entirety of the year for the third year in a row.

That is, unless some of the group’s genre-mates have anything to say about it.

The year-end Social 50’s top 10 features a grand total of seven K-pop acts for 2019, shattering the record for most such acts in the top 10 set last year, when four ranked in 2018’s year-end top 10.

Three of those four return in 2019; behind BTS, EXO ranks at No. 2 for the second straight year, while GOT7 also returns, moving up to No. 4 from last year’s ranking of No. 6. EXO’s success comes despite no albums released during the 2019 chart year, as EXO 5: Don’t Mess Up My Tempo appeared during the final week of the 2018 chart year (Nov. 17, 2018).

They’re joined in 2019 by the following: SEVENTEEN (No. 6), NCT 127 (No. 7), Monsta X (No. 8) and BLACKPINK (No. 9). The latter becomes the first K-pop girl group in the year-end top 10.

The top non-K-pop artist, meanwhile, is Ariana Grande, who ranks at No. 3 after ending the 2018 list at No. 4.

Grande’s year on the chart included not only promo of her fourth album, Sweetener, released in August 2018 – shortly before the beginning of the 2019 chart year, she debuted “Thank U, Next,” which referenced her split with Pete Davidson among others, debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 dated Nov. 17, 2018. That release turned into an album of the same name, which bowed at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 dated Feb. 23 and reigned for two weeks.

Billie Eilish follows Grande at No. 5 on the year-end Social 50, marking her first time on the year-end list at all, let alone in its top five. Following her Social 50 debut in June 2018, she began appearing regularly in its top 20 come November 2018, followed by her first top 10 in February.

She eventually peaked at No. 3 in April, amid the release of her debut LP, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, her quirky personality shining through to social media as she gained legions of fans won over by her alternative-pop songs that eventually crowned the Hot 100 via “bad guy” in August. While Grande’s penchant for replying to her fans on social media may continue to give her an edge on the Social 50, don’t count out Eilish, who already seems to be ramping up for a sophomore album, in 2020, especially as her star continues to rise.

2019 Billboard Year in Music


THE BILLBOARD BIZ
SUBSCRIBER EXPERIENCE

The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.


To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.