Latin Grammys 2018

BTS, EXO, BIGBANG and Seventeen Increase K-Pop's Visibility on Year-End Charts

Emma McIntyre/AMA2017/Getty Images for dcp
BTS attends the 2017 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on Nov. 19, 2017 in Los Angeles. 

It was K-pop's biggest year on the charts yet.

At the end of 2016, K-pop was celebrating two artists hitting new heights Billboard's year-end world and social charts, but those accomplishments nearly pale in comparison to the performance from a slew of superstars this year that prove the growing visibility (and, at times, dominance) that Korean artists have made on the charts this year.

BTS leads the pack, beating their own records and hitting new chart heights for K-pop, most notably flying to No. 10 on the the 2017 Top Artists chart. This is a new high for the music scene since PSY made his debut on the year-end chart in 2012 at No. 56 and a year later landed at No. 42.

Billboard's year-end music recaps are based on chart performance during the span of Dec. 3, 2016, to Nov. 25, 2017, with the year-end Top Artists category ranking the best-performing acts of the year based on activity on the Billboard 200 albums tally and the Billboard Hot 100 singles list, as well as streaming, social media and Billboard Boxscore data. 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.

Undoubtedly, BTS' incredible dominance on the Social 50 chart this year pushed them high on the ranking, particularly when you compare their activity on the Billboard 200 and Hot 100 to their fellow top 10 honorees like Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber and Drake.

BTS also rules as the No. 1 year-end World Albums Artist -- which ranks acts' performance on the World Albums chart -- leading a pack of four K-pop acts including G-Dragon (at No. 5), BIGBANG (No. 6) and EXO (No. 7). Previously, only as many as two K-pop artists made the ranking starting in 2013 with G-Dragon and SHINee at Nos. 9 and 10, respectively. 

Furthermore, BTS' Love Yourself: Her album ranks at No. 2 on the year-end World Albums chart, making it 2017's second-best performing record on the chart. K-pop acts particularly shone here, taking over six entries thanks to Love Yourself, G-Dragon's Kwon Ji Yong (at No. 5), BIGBANG's Made (No. 6), EXO's The War (No. 7), along with two more BTS entries with Wings (No. 9) and You Never Walk Alone (No. 11). Last year, three albums made the list with two entries from BTS and one from GOT7

K-pop also made some major inroads on the year-end Social 50 Artists chart where three acts made the year-end chart. BTS leads the pack at No. 1 for the year, marking a huge jump from their No. 34 position last year. They are followed by fellow boy-band sensations EXO -- who only opened an official Twitter account in July -- at No. 35 along with Seventeen at No. 41. Notably, all three went on tours this year -- including stops in America -- making them the highest-ranking boy bands among all boy bands in the world. PSY made the list in 2012 and 2013 (at Nos. 15 and 18, respectively).

All in all, the higher-than-ever visibility for K-pop on the year-end charts prove the continuing healthy growth of the music scene celebrating what is almost undoubtedly its biggest year in America yet.