BTS' 'Map of the Soul: Persona' Heading For U.K. No. 1

BTS is on the cusp of creating chart history once more, this time in the United Kingdom where the K-pop boy band’s latest EP is heading for the summit. 

The set, Map of the Soul: Persona (Big Hit Entertainment), leads the Official U.K. Albums Chart Update and is more than 10,000 combined chart sales ahead of the second-placed LP, Chemical Brothers ninth studio album No Geography (Virgin), the OCC reports.

If BTS' EP holds its ground when the official weekly chart is published this Friday, it’ll become the first No. 1 album from a Korean act in the U.K.

Midweek sales of Map of the Soul have already eclipsed the first week efforts of their three previous top 20 albums combined, including their only other top 10 release, Love Yourself: Tear, which last year peaked at No. 8. 

On the other side of the Atlantic, Map of the Soul is cruising to the top of the Billboard 200. Should it get there, it would mark the group’s third U.S. chart leader following 2018’s Love Yourself: Answer and Love Yourself: Tear. No other act in the K-pop genre has impacted the top 10 on the U.S. albums chart. 

Meanwhile, new releases from Dublin's Fontaines DC (Dogrel via Partisan) and Spice Girl Emma Bunton (My Happy Place via BMG) occupy positions 4 and 5 on the midweek survey. 

Following Record Store Day 2019, a raft of exclusive vinyl releases crack the top 40 on the midweek chart, led by David Bowie’s Pin Ups (Parlophone) at No. 16 and Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks (Sony Music CG) at No. 19.

On the midweek singles chart, Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” (Lil Nas X) is in the lead and it’s bolting to the title. 

Fueled by the viral “Yeehaw Challenge” meme, “Old Town Road” overtakes the single that denied it the top spot last week, Lewis Capaldi’s “Someone You Loved” (EMI).