Girls’ Generation‘s Lion Heart found a special place in the hearts of fans, who sent it to No. 1 on Billboard‘s World Albums chart. It’s the second chart-topper for the act, putting them in a select group of K-pop artists with multiple No. 1s.
The 12-track LP was revealed in an ambitious, but unconventional manner. Its first six tracks and music video for the single “Lion Heart” were released in South Korea on Aug. 18 at noon local time, 12 hours before the other six songs were revealed alongside the music video for “You Think” at midnight. The full album hit digital retailers in America on Tuesday, Aug. 18 local time, giving it less than three days to rack up sales for Billboard‘s altered chart tracking week following the new global release day — a change which most K-pop labels have not adhered. Lion Heart sold a little more than 1,000 copies.
The set is the group’s fifth full-length Korean album and first without original member Jessica Jung. The 12-track effort had a grand rollout with two tracks revealed in June as the girls promoted first single “Party,” before unleashing the other 10 tracks and two more singles that are currently being promoted. All three singles are on this week’s World Digital Songs chart with “You Think” snagging the biggest-selling K-pop song in America this week at No. 3, followed by “Lion Heart” at No. 4 — both selling 2,000 downloads each. “Party” rises from 16 to 15 for its seventh week on the chart.
Girls’ Generation’s latest No. 1 follows their other chart-topper on World Albums, 2013’s I Got a Boy. GG is now the sixth K-pop act to score multiple No. 1s on the ranking. They join SHINee, EXO, G-Dragon and their own splinter sub-unit consisting of members Taeyeon, Tiffany and Seohyun in Girls’ Generation-TTS (all with two), plus B.A.P (with three). Notably, four out of the six acts to earn multiple chart-toppers come from SM Entertainment: Girls’ Generation, Girls’ Generation-TTS, SHINee and EXO are all under the same Korean label.
Still, the girl group does miss out on the Billboard 200 after last year’s Mr.Mr. EP bowed at No. 110 when it sold more than 3,000 copies. The release date’s timing could have contributed to the miss.