Pop megastars BTS displayed their massive selling power by posting yet another unbeatable sales figure in the world's largest music market.
RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook's hit single "Butter" has now tallied over 2.5 million units in the United States, scoring the biggest sales sum in the country so far for 2021.
The milestone comes just a little over three months after the Koreans dropped the track and a year after they made history as the first Asian act to debut atop the Billboard Hot 100 with their disco-pop "Dynamite."
To date, "Butter" has tallied 13 frames at No. 1 on Billboard's Digital Song Sales chart, the longest run for any song this year and the fourth overall.
The supergroup’s own "Dynamite" is the current all-time ruler on the purchase-only ranking after clinching 18 frames at the top of the list.
The release of "Butter (Remix)" featuring Megan Thee Stallion last August 27, however, positions the track to contend for the disco pop's record on the Digital Song Sales chart, as well as make a return on the Billboard Hot 100, extending its reign as the longest-charting No. 1 hit for 2021 and the longest for any Asian artist dating the chart’s inception.
The feat that is breaking racial barriers and challenging the dominance of the West over the global music industry, however, is often met with a heated debate on social media.
Critics claim that the voluntary effort of international ARMYs to pool their money and buy BTS' music in the United States "skews" the chart, preventing the authoritative list from showing the “organic” popularity of other songs.
While more attention has recently been given to the metric tallying purchases due to the summer anthem’s success on the Billboard Hot 100, it is important to note that prior to BTS' English releases, they had long been a sales behemoth in countries across the globe, including the US.
BTS, the first non-Western act named as the world's best-selling artist of 2020 by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, has landed 57 songs on the Digital Song Sales chart. Of the number, 26 entered the top 10 bracket, while 8 peaked at the very top.
Along with their English titles “Dynamite,” “Butter,” and “Permission to Dance,” 2021's top three best-selling digital downloads in the U.S, their Korean singles “Life Goes On,” “Fake Love,” “ON,” Idol” featuring Nicki Minaj and Japanese song “Film Out” also scored the No. 1 spot on the ranking.
Meanwhile, BTS has charted 139 titles on Billboard's World Digital Song Sales tally. Out of the 107 songs that made it to the top 10, 31 reached the very top, setting the record for most No. 1 hits bagged by an artist.
Their studio albums likewise proved to be a huge sales gainer. RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook, have logged 11 records on the music publication's Album Sales chart, with 5 records that arrived at No. 1.
The Bangtan boys also scored 12 No. 1 releases on the World Albums chart, including their Japanese full-lengths "Map of the Soul: 7 - The Journey” and "BTS the Best.”
The frequent leader on the World Albums even once monopolized the World Albums chart’s top three ranks for an impressive 29 weeks, the first act to achieve the feat since the list's 1990 launch.
BTS has also occupied as much as 50-70 percent of the list's upper tiers on several occasions.
Beyond the charts, the K-pop titan also demonstrated their colossal pull in the U.S after selling out all the dates in their "Love Yourself: Speak Yourself" tour in 2019, which were held at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Los Angeles, Metlife Stadium in New Jersey, and Soldier Field Stadium in Chicago, some of the country's hardest to fill venues.
Before the outbreak of the new coronavirus, BTS was slated to return with an even larger tour. The "Map of the Soul" tour was officially canceled nearly a year after it was set to end due to concerns over the safety of their fans amid the ongoing pandemic.