Chart Beat

Who Runs the World? A Recap of the First 6 Months of Billboard's Global Charts

BTS
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Dick Clark Productions

BTS attend Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve With Ryan Seacrest 2020 on Dec. 31, 2019 in New York City.

A look at the songs, artists & countries that have scored the most success so far.

In September 2020, Billboard unveiled the Billboard Global 200 and Billboard Global Excl. U.S. charts. Both surveys rank the biggest songs in the world, based on streams and digital sales from more than 200 international territories, with the latter excluding U.S. data.

This week's March 13-dated editions mark six months of the global charts, so we're taking a look at who has been ruling the world in that span.

The rankings have reflected achievements of both new and veteran acts from all around the globe. Still, while 31 distinct territories have been represented on the Global 200, American acts lead the charge, claiming 52% of all charted entries across the list's first 26 weeks (based on all songs' total weeks to date).

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That slight majority suggests the global dominance of Western pop acts (as well as the fact that both surveys do not yet include local streams from digital music services in certain territories). But it is significantly less than the U.S. share on the domestic-based Billboard Hot 100, where American artists boast 77% on the latest list. Further, on the Global Excl. U.S. chart, which, again, ranks the top songs in the world except for the U.S., American acts still lead but with a 34% share.

Puerto Rico (as tracked separately from the U.S. in this research, to highlight its own reach) and the U.K. follow, with 11% and 10%, respectively, on the Global 200, and 13% each on the Global Excl. U.S. chart. Canada, Colombia, Japan and South Korea place next in terms of overall representation.

A territory with a notable difference between its showing on the Global 200 vs. the Global Excl. U.S. chart is Brazil, which averages two songs a week on the former, compared to nine on the latter. India, Mexico and Norway also see significant upticks when U.S. data is removed from the equation.

In accordance with the domination of the U.S., U.K. and Canada, English is the most popular language on the global charts. Songs with English lyrics (including multi-lingual songs) comprise 79% of the Global 200 and 66% of the Global Excl. U.S. chart so far (and compared to 96% on the Hot 100 this week). Spanish has scored 14% and 18%, respectively, along with Japanese (3% and 7%), Korean (1.5% and 3%) and Portuguese (1% and 4%).

Over half a year, 10 songs have topped either global chart, six of which presided over both. Here's a chronological breakdown.

No. 1 on both Global 200 & Global Excl. U.S.
"Dynamite," BTS (from South Korea) (four weeks, Global 200; eight, Global Excl. U.S.)
"Positions," Ariana Grande (U.S.) (two; one)
"Dakiti," Bad Bunny & Jhay Cortez (Puerto Rico) (three; five)
"Life Goes On," BTS (South Korea) (one; one)
"All I Want for Christmas Is You," Mariah Carey (U.S.) (four; one)
"Driver's License," Olivia Rodrigo (U.S.) (eight; eight)

No. 1 on Global 200-only
"WAP," Cardi B feat. Megan Thee Stallion (U.S.) (one)
"Savage Love (Laxed – Siren Beat)," Jawsh 685 (New Zealand) x Jason Derulo (U.S.) x BTS (South Korea) (one)

No. 1 on Global Excl. U.S.-only
"Hawái," Maluma (Colombia) (one)
"Lovesick Girls," BLACKPINK (South Korea) (one)

Unsurprisingly, the songs to have led only the Global 200 each include U.S. acts, while the No. 1s to top only the Global Excl. U.S. tally are by acts from Colombia and South Korea.

The charts' current champ, "Drivers License" by Olivia Rodrigo, has logged the longest reign on both tallies: eight weeks each to date. It shares the mark on the Global Excl. U.S. chart with BTS' "Dynamite."

BTS claims additional honors as the only act so far with multiple No. 1s: three on the Global 200 ("Dynamite," "Savage Love [Laxed – Siren Beat]" and "Life Goes On") and two on the Global Excl. U.S. chart ("Dynamite" and "Life Goes On").

The South Korean superstars have scored the second-most top 10s on the Global 200, three, along with DaBaby, Ariana Grande and The Weeknd. Justin Bieber leads with four ("Holy," featuring Chance the Rapper; "Lonely," with Benny Blanco; "Monster," with Shawn Mendes; and "Anyone").

When it comes to the most charted songs overall? Taylor Swift leads the Global 200 with 22 (fittingly, of course), while Grande paces the Global Excl. U.S. chart with 20. Notably, both artists released albums since the global tallies launched, charting every song from their respective LPs in their first tracking weeks.

Canada's Bieber has the most combined weeks for all songs on each chart: 176. Grande (156), Juice WRLD (139), Drake (137) and Myke Towers (135) follow on the Global 200, while Dua Lipa (165), Towers (165), Grande (146) and Ed Sheeran (139) trail Bieber on the Global Excl. U.S. chart.

Since the charts' inceptions, 51 songs have logged all 26 weeks so far on the Global 200, while 59 songs have a perfect attendance record on the Global Excl. U.S. chart. Three of those songs rank in the top 10 of both charts this week: "Blinding Lights" by The Weeknd, "Mood" by 24kgoldn featuring Iann Dior and "Dynamite" by BTS. ("Mood" and "Dynamite" have spent all 26 weeks in the top 10 of the Global Excl. U.S. chart and 25 in the top 10 of the Global 200; they each dropped out on the Jan. 2-dated chart, pushed down a few boughs by Christmas hits.)

There are only two 26-weekers on both charts that do not include any lyrics in English or Spanish. "Yoru ni kakeru" by Yoasobi peaked at No. 6 on the Global Excl. U.S. chart and No. 16 on the Global 200. (The Japanese duo has logged seven and four entries on the respective surveys.) Plus, "Jerusalema" by Master KG featuring Burna Boy and Nomcebo Zikode is the only song sung in Zulu to appear on either chart, while its three performers are the only artists from their home countries to make either ranking: Master KG and Zikode are from South Africa and Burna Boy is from Nigeria.

Without any recurrent rules, the global charts allow older songs to appear despite being, in some cases, decades past their original release dates. The oldest song, other than holiday fare, to chart so far is Queen's 1975 opus "Bohemian Rhapsody," which has reached Nos. 113 and 128 on the Global 200 and Global Excl. U.S. charts, respectively.

Notably, Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams," from 1976, hit No. 10 on the Global 200 after Nathan Apodaca's viral video on TikTok helped the song skate to a resurgence that continues, as the song ranks at No. 88 on the current chart. Michael Jackson's 1983 classic "Thriller" is the only other song from the 20th century to have hit the top 100 of the Global 200 so far, as it reached No. 51 in November after it scared up more audience over Halloween.