Even when times are tough for BTS, their famous ARMY fanbase is proving the multiple ways they have the K-pop supergroup’s back.
After a week that included headlines about BTS having past photos of an A-bomb T-shirt and depicting the band in Nazi-related imagery, fans around the world showed solidarity with the septet by coming together to purchase and stream the BTS song “2! 3!” The track — originally included on BTS’ 2016 album Wings, which earned the band their first top 40 entry on the Billboard 200 — is largely considered a song specifically dedicated to ARMY.
“2! 3!” debuts at No. 1 on Billboard‘s World Digital Song Sales chart this week, selling 7,000 downloads in the week ending Nov. 15, according to Nielsen Music. Previously, “2! 3!” had never appeared on a Billboard chart, with this week’s download total representing a remarkable 17,610 percent increase in sales. The cut also earned 137,000 on-demand audio streams in the week ending Nov. 15, up 37 percent compared to last week.
BTS also score their 14th entry on the Digital Song Sales chart, where “2! 3!” starts at No. 47. The band has two No. 1s on the all-genre ranking, first with “Fake Love” in June of this year and followed by “Idol” featuring Nicki Minaj in September.
As a means to show worldwide support for the band, the online initiative #ProjectBuy23 encouraged fans to download and “gift” purchases of the track to make a statement that fans are still supporting the band despite the headlines. ARMY focused on “2! 3!” as the track largely considered to be the first song BTS wrote and released specifically for fans. The boom-bap–inspired track’s Korean title roughly translates to “Still Wishing for Better Days” and is meant to be an uplifting song for which fans can find comfort. The guys shout a few thank yous throughout the track and encourage a sense of hopefulness even in the toughest times.
‘2!3!’ — iTunes
#2 Argentina (NEW)
#2 Chile (NEW)
#2 Poland (NEW)
#4 Brazil (+23)
#23 Indonesia (NEW)
#21 Netherlands (+42)
#23 Portugal (NEW)
#33 Singapore (NEW)
#66 Russia (+82)
#73 Canada (+62)
#93 Germany (NEW)
#126 Belgium (NEW) https://t.co/FLw8wSCH23
— BTS Charts • News (@btschartdata) November 12, 2018
This is not about Billboard, just showing love to @BTS_twt.
You can buy and/or gift for this purpose.
NOT intended to take away from WIOM & charts pic.twitter.com/3dcgRThHqQ
— –HippieWings– (@KiyakakaHippie) November 12, 2018
Following an apology from BTS’ management, ARMY is now sending the message of comfort back to BTS and, with that, earning the group their 10th No. 1 on World Digital Song Sales. The boys first topped the chart with “Fire” in mid-2016 and now score their tenth just as 2018 is wrapping up.
There’s further love for the Wings album on this week’s World Digital Song Sales too as the LP’s lead single “Blood Sweat & Tears” re-enters the chart at No. 25 marking its 105th week on the tally. BTS leader RM also makes a new solo appearance this week as “Timeless,” a new collaboration recorded with legendary Korean rapper Drunken Tiger, debuts at No. 4.