How precisely do you wish to quantify the otherworldly success of BTS’s “Dynamite”? Quarter-million first-week gross sales? Check. Biggest 24-hour YouTube debut of all time? Of course. Just shy of 40 million first-week Spotify streams? Easy.
Or possibly we should always simply go for the large one, the one you and I and each different particular person even remotely plugged into the music business has been ready for since final Friday: a No. 1 debut on the Billboard Hot 100.
The success of “Dynamite” is nothing in need of a paradigm shift for the best way Western listeners regard non-Western artists. Not solely does it mark BTS’s first No. 1 hit on the Hot 100, but it surely’s the primary track by an all-South Korean act to high the chart. After years of sold-out stadium reveals, shattered YouTube information and 4 consecutive No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200, BTS has crossed the ultimate frontier of world pop superstardom. To deny their standing as one of many largest artists on this planet at this level can be an act of willful ignorance.
Perhaps the most effective a part of BTS’s Hot 100 dominance is that they beat their Western contemporaries at their very own sport with out resorting to low-cost gimmickry. The group’s choice to carry out “Dynamite” solely in English gave the track a lift on terrestrial radio, and the staggered launch of a number of remixes elevated the track’s first-week gross sales and streams. The ebullient disco-pop observe has additionally unfold like wildfire on TikTookay, which has helped rocket a number of songs to the highest of the Hot 100 this yr.
What BTS didn’t do was bundle the observe with a bunch of irrelevant merchandise or bundle the bodily editions of the only with a digital obtain so they might wait a number of months to ship them. Throughout the track’s promotional marketing campaign, the group demonstrated a transparency and dedication to their music that’s typically absent within the cutthroat race for Hot 100 dominance.
Those traits have earned BTS one of many largest fan bases on this planet, and people followers confirmed up in a giant option to launch their favs to the highest of the chart. People who purchased or streamed “Dynamite” weren’t doing so underneath false pretenses; they didn’t buy the observe simply so they might snag some branded sweatpants or lollipops or fireworks (though, let’s face it, that final one would have been cool). They did so as a result of they cared in regards to the track and the artist behind it.
For years, BTS has fought for legitimacy within the eyes of Western gatekeepers, be it radio programmers, journalists or informal music listeners. They’ve needed to work twice as laborious as their friends at each juncture, and so they’ve continued to one-up themselves within the face of adversity. That contains charting a number of Top 10 hits on the Hot 100 regardless of minimal radio play and delivering stellar performances on the identical awards reveals that routinely snubbed them. A No. 1 debut for “Dynamite” is the fruits of years of laborious work, creative evolution and a one-of-a-kind relationship with their followers that usually resembles a mutual partnership.
With a No. 1 hit on the Hot 100 underneath their belt, BTS has cleared the ultimate hurdle of their quest for U.S. and international superstardom. The solely factor left for them to do is repeat their successes sooner or later—which, if their followers have something to say about it, shouldn’t be an issue.