K-pop superstar BTS said Thursday that their years of efforts to overcome linguistic and racial barriers have appealed to the musical mainstream in the United States and exploded with their latest hit “Dynamite.”
The boy band debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart with the English-language song last week, becoming the first-ever South Korean singer or group to conquer the highly coveted chart.
“Dynamite” retained the top position for a second consecutive week. It is the 20th song that has remained on top in its second week after making a No. 1 entry on Hot 100.
“We did not expect or predict our song to take first place for two straight weeks on the Billboard chart,” band leader RM said during a news program on KBS. “I think because this song is in English, and its familiar disco-pop genre and cheerful and simple melody played a role.”
But he said it was not achieved by a fluke, but by their yearslong endeavor to make their presence felt in the mainstream U.S. music industry.
Their 2015 album, “The Most Beautiful Moment In Life, Pt. 2,” was their first to make the Hot 200 chart, and since then BTS’ albums and songs have gradually climbed the world’s most influential music charts.
Just before “Dynamite,” its fourth studio album “Map of the Soul: 7” (2020) debuted at No. 1 on Hot 200 and its lead track “On” rose to the fourth place on Hot 100. All of their Billboard-listed songs and albums, except “Dynamite,” are written and sung in Korean.
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“We started to get into Billboard charts from 2015. We haven’t mapped out detailed strategies to push up our rankings,” RM said. “But our sincerity to overcome the language and other worries, like race, has appealed to many fans, and their fondness or favorable impression exploded right now with ‘Dynamite.'”
Now, BTS is dreaming of performing as a stand-alone act and winning a prize at the Grammy Awards in the United States. Last year, BTS performed at the Grammys in a collaboration.
“First of all, we have to be nominated for an award at the Grammys and perform as a stand-alone act,” Suga said. “And we dare to dream of earning a trophy. We can have a happy dream.”
The septet shared some information about their upcoming album.
“It’s too early to talk about it, but there will be many songs as good as ‘Dynamite,'” Jimin said. “We’ve been trying to represent our feelings of sadness and happiness in our new songs.”
BTS performed “Dynamite” and “Anpanman” on NBC’s “Today” show on Thursday.