The song is the South Korean septet’s third Hot 100 No. 1, all in a span of three months, following “Dynamite” and Jawsh 685 and Jason Derulo’s “Savage Love (Laxed – Siren Beat),” the latter of which led aided by BTS remixes.
“Life Goes On” is also the first Hot 100 No. 1 in the chart’s 62-year history sung predominantly in Korean.
The Hot 100 blends all-genre U.S. streaming (official audio and official video), radio airplay and sales data. All charts (dated Dec. 5) will update on Billboard.com tomorrow (Dec. 1). For all chart news, you can follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.
Here’s a deeper look at the coronation of “Life Goes On,” released Nov. 20 on BigHit Entertainment/Columbia Records as part of BTS’ new album Be, which opens at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. The song is the 1,114th No. 1 in the Hot 100’s history.
Streams, sales & airplay: “Life Goes On” drew 14.9 million U.S. streams and sold 150,000 in the week ending Nov. 26, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. It also earned 410,000 radio airplay audience impressions in the week ending Nov. 29 (with KJYO Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the lone reporter to play it double-digit times: 13).
(Breaking down the song’s first-week sales, it sold over 129,000 digital downloads and 20,000 physical singles. The digital download was sale-priced to 69 cents, while a cassette single sold for $6.98 and a vinyl single went for $7.98.)
BTS’ 3rd Hot 100 No. 1 in 3 months: “Life Goes On” is BTS’ third Hot 100 No. 1, all in a span of three months. Its launch atop the Dec. 5-dated chart follows “Dynamite,” which began atop the Sept. 5 survey and led for three total weeks, and Jawsh 685 and Jason Derulo’s “Savage Love (Laxed – Siren Beat),” which, helped by BTS remixes, topped the Oct. 17 chart.
Covering a span of exactly three months (Sept. 5-Dec. 5-dated charts), BTS scores the fastest accumulation of three Hot 100 No. 1s in over 42 years, since the Bee Gees tripled up over two months and three weeks, with a trio of singles from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack: “How Deep Is Your Love” (three weeks at No. 1, beginning Dec. 24, 1977); “Stayin’ Alive” (four, Feb. 4, 1978); and “Night Fever” (eight, March 18, 1978).
BTS has landed its first three No. 1s more quickly than any act since The Beatles, whose first three leaders, “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “She Loves You” and “Can’t Buy Me Love,” hit No. 1 over a span of just two months and three days (Feb. 1-April 4, 1964).
BTS is the second act with three Hot 100 No. 1s in 2020, following Ariana Grande, who has led with “Stuck With U” (with Bieber; May 23); “Rain on Me” (with Lady Gaga; June 6); and “Positions” (Nov. 7). BTS is the first act of more than two members with three songs to spend their first weeks each at No. 1 in the same year since, again, trio the Bee Gees, who sent three hits to No. 1 in 1979: “Too Much Heaven,” “Tragedy” and “Love You Inside Out.”
First duo/group with 2 No. 1 Hot 100 debuts: BTS is the first duo or group with two No. 1 Hot 100 debuts, as “Life Goes On” follows “Dynamite” in having premiered at the summit.
“Life Goes On” is the 46th single overall to start at No. 1 on the Hot 100. It’s the 11th to do so in 2020 (all since April), nearly triple the previous record for the most in a single year, as four songs entered at No. 1 in both 1995 and 2018.
First predominantly non-English-language No. 1 debut: “Life Goes On” is the first song sung in a non-English language to open atop the Hot 100.
The first Hot 100 No. 1 in the Hot 100’s history sung predominantly in Korean, it’s the first No. 1 sung mostly in a language other than English since Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s predominantly Spanish-language “Despacito” (featuring Bieber), which reigned for 16 weeks in 2017. Before “Despacito,” no such song had topped the Hot 100 since Los Del Rio’s “Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix),” which ruled for 14 weeks in 1996. Before that, Los Lobos’ all-Spanish-language cover of Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba” led in 1987.
19th No. 1 of 2020: “Life Goes On” is the 19th song to ascend to No. 1 on the Hot 100 for the first time in 2020. This year marks the highest total of songs earning their first weeks on top since 19 also did in 2006 (and the most by the first chart week of December since Nielsen Music/MRC Data-based information began fueling the chart in November 1991).
“Dynamite” back in top 5: “Dynamite,” on BTS’ album Be, rebounds from No. 14 to No. 3 on the Hot 100. Among acts of more than two members, BTS is the first to claim two spots in the Hot 100’s top three, or top five, simultaneously since The Black Eyed Peas, which doubled for five weeks in June-July 2009 with “Boom Boom Pow” and “I Gotta Feeling.”
24kGoldn’s “Mood,” featuring Iann Dior, drops to No. 2 on the Hot 100 after five nonconsecutive weeks at No. 1, with 87.3 million in airplay reach (up 2%), as it leads the Radio Songs chart for a fifth week, 21.9 million streams (down 2%) and 7,000 sold (down 13%). It tops the multi-metric Hot Rock & Alternative Songs and Hot Alternative Songs charts for a 14th week each and Hot Rap Songs for a seventh frame (with all three charts using the same methodology as the Hot 100).
Ariana Grande’s “Positions” slips 3-4 on the Hot 100, after it led the Nov. 7-dated chart upon its debut. It charges 14-9 on Radio Songs (47.9 million, up 27%), where it becomes her 14th top 10; dating to her first week in the tier (June 7, 2014), with “Problem,” featuring Iggy Azalea, she ties Bieber for the most top 10s in that span.
Gabby Barrett’s “I Hope,” featuring Charlie Puth, dips 4-5 on the Hot 100, after reaching No. 3, as it dominates the multi-metric Hot Country Songs chart for an 18th week, and Bieber’s “Holy,” featuring Chance the Rapper, keeps at No. 6 on the Hot 100, after debuting at its No. 3 high.
Drake’s “Laugh Now Cry Later,” featuring Lil Durk, descends 5-7 on the Hot 100, after debuting at its No. 2 peak, and notches a fifth week atop the multi-metric Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart (where it marks Drake’s record-setting 21st No. 1).
Shawn Mendes and Justin Bieber’s “Monster” enters the Hot 100 at No. 8, with 19.1 million streams, 14.4 million in airplay audience and 17,000 sold. It starts at No. 5 on Streaming Songs and No. 7 on Digital Song Sales. (The song sold 15,000 downloads and 2,000 CD singles, with three CD versions available for $3 each: one with a cover showing both Mendes and Bieber and one each showing only Mendes and Bieber, respectively.)
Mendes earns his sixth Hot 100 top 10 and Bieber adds his 21st.
The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” retreats 7-9 on the Hot 100, after spending four weeks at No. 1. It banks a record-extending 41st week in the top 10, while ruling the multi-metric Hot R&B Songs chart for a record-furthering 37th week.
Rounding out the Hot 100’s top 10, Internet Money and Gunna’s “Lemonade,” featuring Don Toliver and NAV, slips 8-10, after rising to No. 6.
Again, for all chart news, you can follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram and all charts (dated Dec. 5), including the Hot 100 in its entirety, will refresh on Billboard.com tomorrow (Dec. 1).