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EPA-EFE/Nina Prommer
Thanks, Army.
EYE ON THE PRIZE

K-pop’s biggest dream just came true

By Isabella Steger

K-pop’s done it—it’s finally put a Korean group at the top of the Billboard charts.

Boy band BTS just shot to the top of the Billboard 200 albums chart with with Love Yourself: Tear, knocking off rapper Paul Malone, who had held the top spot since May 12. The ranking measures the most popular albums in the US across a number of metrics, including streaming. According to Billboard magazine, it’s the first foreign language album to hit No. 1 on the chart since Il Divo’s Ancora in 2006.

BTS firmly planted its flag in the US in November when it became the first Korean group to perform at the American Music Awards. At the time, the seven-member group performed its single “DNA,” which was the highest-charting song by a Korean group in the Billboard Hot 100, surpassing the record set by Korean girl group Wonder Girls in 2009. It was also the first Korean group to win a Billboard award last year when it won Top Social Artist.

The group’s fans, known as the Army, were instrumental in propelling BTS to the top. BTS fans are incredibly engaged on social media, and, according to Billboard, the group has held the No. 1 spot for 75 non-consecutive weeks on its Social 50 chart, which measures the most popular musical acts on social media.

Some of them now have their sights set on what might be America’s biggest prize in music: