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The Year in World Music Charts: BTS and GOT7 Hit New Heights for K-Pop Acts

K-pop proves to have its biggest year yet on Billboard's year-end charts with BTS and GOT7 leading the pack.

K-pop has its biggest year yet on Billboard‘s year-end charts with BTS and GOT7 leading the pack. The boy bands both land on multiple year-end charts that track world music as the groups help K-pop for the scene’s best year-end performance.

BTS’ record-breaking Wings album is at No. 6 on Billboard‘s year-end World Albums chart, the group’s first-ever entry. Incredibly, that not only marks the highest-ranking K-pop album of 2016, but the highest year-end ranking for a K-pop album ever. They edge out the previously highest-ranked EXO‘s Exodus, which held the record when it landed at No. 8 in 2015.

The “Blood, Sweat & Tears” band also mark another first for K-pop acts on the year-end World Albums chart: They’re the first and, so far, only act to send two entries to the tally as their 2015 EP The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Pt. 2 ranks at No. 9. 

The performance of those two releases help BTS land at No. 5 on the year-end World Albums Artists chart, which tallies all the work an artist charted on World Albums through the year. The guys are the highest-ever charting K-pop act on this ranking, too, once again snatching the best ranking from EXO, who landed at No. 7 in both 2014 and 2015.


GOT7 also helps propel K-pop to break more records. 

The seven-member boy band’s Fly EP charts at No. 15 on the year-end World Albums chart, also their first appearance on the chart. Remarkably, Fly helps mark 2016 as the year with the most K-pop albums ever on the tally.

The “Hard Carry” boys also rank at No. 6 on the year-end World Albums Artists chart making them the highest-charting act other than BTS. To date, only G-Dragon, SHINee, 2NE1 and EXO have landed on this chart.

The K-pop scene also has its best showing on the year-end World Digital Songs charts. For 2016, there were 17 entries from K-pop acts, including BTS (who have six entries), BlackpinkPSY4MinuteNCT U and EXO. Previously, K-pop represented only as many as 14 entries on the 2015 tally. Korean-pop acts have been charting on the year-end World Digital Songs chart since 2011 when SHINee and 2NE1 both landed entries.


Lastly, K-pop also hits new records on the year-end World Digital Songs Artists chart, which tracks the best-performing artists on World Digital Songs throughout the year, with entries from six artists including BTS, EXO, GOT7, Blackpink, PSY and BIGBANG. This is another record for K-pop acts who previously had only sent as many as five entries in the past in 2015. Korean-pop acts have been charting on the year-end World Digital Songs Artists since 2012.