(UPDATE) K-pop deftly grew from just being a niche interest into a multi-billion dollar industry that has been challenging the West’s long-standing reign over the global music scene.
Undoubtedly, the most visible driver of the fast-growing market is BTS, the seven-member boy band who had been on an unstoppable record-breaking spree since their third full-length "Love Yourself: Tear" landed on top of Billboard's 200 chart in 2018, marking the first-ever Korean album to claim the top spot, as well as the first non-English record to do so in over 12 years.
The Bangtan boys' contribution to the Hallyu or Korean wave taking over the world, however, is not limited to their efforts as a team as each member has demonstrated an extensive pull that rivals the influence of some of the biggest names in K-pop.
Most recently, Kim Taehyung, also known by his stage name V, and Jeon Jungkook, the youngest members of BTS, snagged career milestones most artists could only dream of.
V’s self-composed “Sweet Night,” the first and only title to hit No.1 in 118 countries on iTunes, scored the idol two new records.
The piece from the official soundtrack of the wildly popular K-drama “Itaewon Class” has now amassed 170 million streams on Spotify, besting “Stay With Me" by CHANYEOL and Punch, one of the themes from the 2016 series "Guardian: The Lonely and Great God,” as the most played South Korean OST on the platform.
"Sweet Night," albeit unpromoted and was only played once as the closing song of the last episode, also emerged as the most listened-to piece among all the titles released in 2020 by a South Korean solo act.
IU's “eight” featuring BTS rapper Suga previously held the record with 167 million plays.
The pensive tune presently reigns as the top-selling international song on Amazon, along with V's solo materials from BTS' official discography.
Sweet Night" led at No. 1, while “Stigma” from the septet's second studio album “Wings” and “Inner Child” from the group's fourth full-length “Map of the Soul: 7" followed at No. 2 and No. 3.
Jungkook, on the other hand, made sales history with "Euphoria" and "My Time," his solo performances from BTS' repackaged album "Love Myself: Answer" and "Map of the Soul: 7."
The titles, which have respectively tallied 85 and 81 weeks on Billboard's World Digital Song Sales chart, currently rule as the two longest-running tunes by a single idol as well as the longest-running B-side track by a South Korean act on Billboard's World Digital Song Sales chart.
Since the purchase-only list's inception, no South Korean solo artist has had two tracks surpass 80 frames.
Both songs, which peaked at No. 1, are among the few pieces that have been on the sales tally for a full year.
In Billboard's latest update (week of October 23), "Euphoria" ranked at No. 7 while "My Time" landed at No. 6.
"Euphoria" is also inching closer towards setting a new record on Spotify. As of this writing, the pop track is only 2 million streams away from becoming the most played solo song by a male Korean artist on the platform.
The viral hit "Gangnam Style" by PSY is the reigning record holder with about 290 million hits.
V and Jungkook previously revealed they have started working on their own mixtapes. The release date of the highly-anticipated materials, however, is yet to be announced.