For several years now, musical groups who got their start in South Korea have been rapidly taking over the world, charting huge hits and landing successful albums in nearly every major territory there is. It may have taken far too long for people to open their ears to the music coming from that part of the world, but now that the surge is well underway, more and more names are making history with each subsequent release.
As of this week in the U.S., five groups from South Korea have now charted top 10 titles on the Billboard 200, the all-encompassing ranking of the most-consumed albums in the U.S., with a fifth act just now joining in on the fun.
Blackpink is now the fifth musical act from South Korea to appear inside the highest tier on the Billboard 200, the most competitive space on the very important ranking. The quartet launch their first full-length The Album at No. 2, also making history as the first girl group from the Asian nation to find their way into the arena.
The four-member vocal outfit joins four other groups (all composed entirely of men) who reached the top 10 on the Billboard 200 before them, some only very recently.
The first South Korean musical act to place inside the Billboard 200’s loftiest tier was BTS, who managed to feat way back in 2017. The septet has since gone on to drop five different collections into the area, including four chart-toppers, and that sum will surely rise again in a month or so when they release their next set Be.
SuperM became just the second South Korean group to find their way into the top 10 on the Billboard 200 with their debut release, a self-titled EP. That project opened in first place last year, also making them just the second-ever act from their home country to rule over the ranking. They nearly repeated that win a week ago, when their second release and first album Super One opened at No. 2 on the chart.
In 2020 alone, three more South Korean music makers have reached the top 10 for the first time on the Billboard 200, including Blackpink. This spring, both Monsta X and NCT 127, two more incredibly popular boy bands, also landed their first placements inside the tier, and they may very well do so again when they have new music ready.
It’s likely that more South Korean artists, both groups and solo, will chart top 10 efforts on the Billboard 200 in the coming months and years, as the phenomenon that is the spread of K-pop around the planet isn’t slowing down. The five names mentioned above will forever be known as the first to climb to the highest highs of the ranking, no matter what happens from here on out.