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South Korea’s LOONA Score First Pop Airplay Hit With ‘Star’

South Korea's LOONA score their first entry on Billboard's Pop Airplay chart, as "Star" opens at No. 40 on the list dated Feb…

South Korea’s LOONA score their first entry on Billboard‘s Pop Airplay chart, as “Star” opens at No. 40 on the list dated Feb. 6.

The song, released on BlockBerryCreative, isn’t just LOONA’s first Pop Airplay hit, but the group’s first entry on any Billboard radio airplay chart. It debuts with a 53% gain in plays (which translates to 756,000 audience impressions at the format) in the week ending Jan. 31, according to MRC Data. (Pop Airplay reflects weekly plays on more than 160 mainstream top 40 radio stations.)


LOONA is the second all-female Korean act to chart on Pop Airplay after BLACKPINK’s “Ice Cream,” with Selena Gomez, reached No. 21 in October. LOONA is also among a select list of Korean acts overall to have appeared on Pop Airplay, joining PSY, BTS, Monsta X, BLACKPINK and BTS member SUGA as a soloist.

Here’s a recap of every Pop Airplay hit by a Korean act, sorted chronologically by peak date. Two titles have reached the top 10 to date: the first such entry, PSY’s “Gangnam Style,” hit No. 10 in 2012, and BTS’s “Dynamite” climbed to No. 5 in December.

Artist Billing, Title, Peak Position, Peak Date
PSY, “Gangnam Style,” No. 10, Oct. 27, 2012
BTS feat. Desiigner, “MIC Drop,” No. 25, Jan. 27, 2018
BTS, “Fake Love,” No. 34, July 21, 2018
Steve Aoki feat. BTS, “Waste It On Me,” No. 38, Dec. 8, 2018
BTS feat. Halsey, “Boy With Luv,” No. 22, May 11, 2019
Monsta X & French Montana, “Who Do U Love?,” No. 26, Oct. 12, 2019
BTS feat. Lauv, “Make It Right,” No. 24, Feb. 8, 2020
Monsta X, “You Can’t Hold My Heart,” No. 40, March 28, 2020
BLACKPINK x Selena Gomez, “Ice Cream,” No. 21, Oct. 20, 2020
BTS, “Dynamite,” No. 5, Dec. 19, 2020
MAX feat. SUGA, “Blueberry Eyes,” No. 39, Jan. 16, 2021
LOONA, “Star,” No. 40, Feb. 6, 2021

KFRH Las Vegas led all Pop Airplay reporters with 45 plays for “Star” in the tracking week, followed by KREV San Francisco (37), WKSC Chicago (27) and KLCA Reno, Nevada (24).

“‘Star’ has a unique sound that top 40 is missing right now,” says KLCA program director Bill Schulz. “It’s a great balance record for sound and tempo.”

“Star,” which was co-written by Georgia Ku, Jesse Saint John, Diederik van Elsas and Parris Warrington, is from LOONA’s set [12:00], which hit No. 4, marking the group’s sixth top 10, on the World Albums chart in November.