Pop Shop Podcast: Why BTS Became the Breakthrough K-Pop Act in America

Courtesy of BigHit Entertainment


Welcome to the new episode of the Billboard Pop Shop Podcast, your one-stop shop for all things pop on Billboard's weekly charts. You can always count on a lively discussion about the latest pop news, fun chart stats and stories, new music, and guest interviews with music stars and folks from the world of pop. Casual pop fans and chart junkies can hear Billboard's senior director of charts Keith Caulfield and deputy editor, digital Katie Atkinson every week on the podcast, which can be streamed below on Billboard.com or downloaded in iTunes. (Click here to listen to the previous Tuesday’s edition of the show on Billboard.com.)

On the latest Pop Shop Podcast — in light of BTS debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart with Love Yourself: Answer — this special episode of the show is dedicated to a discussion about why the South Korean boy band has been the breakout K-pop act in the U.S. Answer is the seven-member group's second No. 1 album, following Love Yourself: Tear earlier in 2018. BTS is the only K-pop act with a top 10 or No. 1 album on the chart.

Billboard contributor and K-pop expert Jeff Benjamin joins Keith and Katie to chat about how BTS’ approach to their music and engagement with fans have distinguished them from other K-pop acts and helped them build a strong connection to American audiences, and how the group got its start back in 2013.

Plus, Benjamin gives us a brief history of K-pop’s beginnings on Billboard’s charts, pre-BTS, when such acts as Wonder Girls and Girls’ Generation were notching their first hits on our lists. Benjamin also alerts listeners as to what other K-pop artists could follow in BTS’ successful footsteps in America.

Listen below and click here to subscribe/rate the Pop Shop Podcast on iTunes.