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BTS’s ‘On’ Becomes 20th Non-English-Language Top 10 in Hot 100 History

As BTS celebrates its third career top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 (on the chart dated March 7), as "On" rockets in at No. 4, the best placement yet for the South Korean pop superstars, the song…

As BTS celebrates its third career top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 (on the chart dated March 7), as “On” rockets in at No. 4, the best placement yet for the Korean pop superstars, the song also earns the distinction as the 20th hit sung primarily in a language other than English to hit the top 10. The total is out of over 4,800 total top 10s to date in the chart’s 61-year history.

“On,” which is sung primarily in Korean, is from the group’s latest LP Map of the Soul: 7, which vaults in at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with 422,000 equivalent album units, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data, the largest week for any album so far in 2020.

BTS boasts the most non-English-language Hot 100 top 10s, three, besting PSY, who has two.

Seven of the 20 songs have reached No. 1, including Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito” (featuring Justin Bieber), which spent a then-record-tying 16 weeks at No. 1 in 2017, and Los Del Rio’s “Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix),” which ruled for 14 weeks in 1996.

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Notably, “On” is the highest-charting non-English-language Hot 100 top 10 by a duo or group since “Macarena” in 1996. Before that, Los Lobos’ cover of Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba” led in 1987.

Spanish is the most common non-English language listed below (seven of 20 top 10s), followed by Korean (five), German (three), French and Italian (two each) and Japanese (one).

Notably, the 20 top 10s below are sung entirely or mainly in a language other than English; the list does not include songs with portions in other languages, such as “Enrique Iglesias’ “Bailamos” or Cardi B, Bad Bunny and J Balvin’s “I Like It.”

In chronological order of their peak dates, here are all 20 non-English-language songs to reach the Hot 100’s top 10 (with thanks to Paul Haney at Joel Whitburn’s Record Research for research assistance).

Artist, Title, Peak Date, Peak Position (weeks at No. 1), Language

Domenico Modugno, “Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare),” Aug. 18, 1958, No. 1 (five weeks), Italian

Lolita, “Sailor (Your Home Is the Sea),” Dec. 19, 1960, No. 5, German

Emilio Pericoli, “Al Di La’,” July 7, 1962, No. 6, Italian

Kyu Sakamoto, “Sukiyaki,” June 15, 1963, No. 1 (three weeks), Japanese

The Singing Nun (Soeur Sourire), “Dominique,” Dec. 7, 1963, No. 1 (four weeks), French

The Sandpipers, “Guantanamera,” Sept. 17, 1966, No. 9, Spanish

Mocedades, “Eres Tu (Touch the Wind),” March 23, 1974, No. 9, Spanish

Nena, “99 Luftballons,” March 3, 1984, No. 2, German

Falco, “Rock Me Amadeus,” March 29, 1986, No. 1 (three weeks), German

Los Lobos, “La Bamba,” Aug. 29, 1987, No. 1 (three weeks), Spanish

Enigma, “Sadeness (Part 1),” April 6, 1991, No. 5, Latin/French

Los Del Rio, “Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix),” Aug. 3, 1996, No. 1 (14 weeks), Spanish

PSY, “Gangnam Style,” Oct. 6, 2012, No. 2, Korean

PSY, “Gentleman,” May 4, 2013, No. 5, Korean

Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee feat. Justin Bieber, “Despacito,” May 27, 2017, No. 1 (16 weeks), Spanish

J Balvin & Willy William feat. Beyoncé, “Mi Gente,” Oct. 21, 2017, No. 3, Spanish

BTS, “Fake Love,” June 2, 2018, No. 10, Korean

Bad Bunny feat. Drake, “MIA,” Oct. 27, 2018, No. 5, Spanish

BTS feat. Halsey, “Boy With Luv,” April 27, 2019, No. 8, Korean

BTS, “On,” March 7, 2020, No. 4 (to date), Korean