This is a list of notable achievements that BTS has had outside of streaming charts like Gaon and Billboard (which are catalogued on separate pages). The majority of them come from Korean and U.S. based magazines and websites (YouTube, Tumblr, Spotify, etc.) because this is what I’m familiar with as an American K-pop fan. But I’d also like to point out that BTS is incredibly popular across the globe and has had plenty other accomplishments in many other countries!
Though BTS’s rise to global fame officially started in 2017, my detailed documentation of their achievements starts at 2018. The reason is because are so many BTS related posts on Soompi – my primary news source – that the website malfunctions and won’t let me check any BTS news past January 2018. (And I don’t remember enough information to be able to search retroactively.) BTS also tends to break their own records a lot, so I might only mention what the latest record is and not every single time they ever broke it. If you want further details, you can read the articles I linked in my bullet point lists and/or in the source notes.
RIAA stands for “Recording Industry Association of America,” so these are BTS songs and albums that have been certified in the United States. A song must sell 500,000 units to be certified gold, and 1,000,000 units to be certified platinum. (One unit = 1 permanent purchased download or 150 streams.) The same goes for albums, but units would be actual physical or digital purchases of the album.
BTS was the first Korean group to have a gold single and a platinum single (both “Mic Drop (Remix)”). (PSY’s “Gangnam Style” was certified gold and platinum in 2012/2013.) They were the first Korean artist to have a gold album and a platinum album (both Love Yourself: Answer), as well as the first Korean artist to have multiple songs and albums certified gold or platinum in the U.S.
NOTE: The years listed refer to when the songs were released, not when they were certified.
|Gold (Songs)||Gold (Albums)||Platinum (Songs)||Platinum (Albums)|
|“Mic Drop (Remix)” (2017)|
“Fake Love” (2018)
|Love Yourself: Answer (2018)|
Map of the Soul: Persona (2019)
|“Mic Drop (Remix)” (2018)|
“Boy With Luv” (2019)
|Love Yourself: Answer (2018)|
Map of the Soul: 7 (2020)
BTS’s Accomplishments in Previous Years
Click on the year in the table to go the designated page.
BTS’s Accomplishments in 2020
NOTE: Some American awards and prizes are mentioned here, but they are all listened on BTS’s Awards page.
Map of the Soul: 7 (“Black Swan,” “ON,” etc.)
- When Map of the Soul: 7 was released, all 20 songs on the album took the Top 20 spots on the iTunes Top Songs chart. It also placed first on the Top Albums chart.
- “Black Swan” reached #1 on the iTunes Top Songs chart in 103 regions, beating a record set by Adele for highest amount of #1s by any artist (for one song). Two days later, this was broken by V with his “Sweet Night” OST for Itaewon Class.
- Map of the Soul: 7 was featured on Rolling Stone‘s “The 50 Best Albums of 2020 So Far.” It was the only K-pop album on the list.
- Map of the Soul: 7 currently holds the Guinness World Record for Best Selling Album in Korean History with over 4 million copies sold.
- “ON” won Best Choreography at the MTV VMAs (Video Music Awards). BTS also won for Best Pop, Best K-pop, and Best Group.
- The “Dynamite” music video broke the record for YouTube’s biggest music video premiere, with at least 4 million people watching it live.
- “Dynamite” had over 7.7 million streams on Spotify on its first day, debuting at #1 on the Global Top 50 and becoming the streaming service’s biggest debut of 2020. BTS is also the first Korean artist to top the chart.
- “Dynamite” currently holds three Guinness World Records: Most viewed YouTube video in 24 hours, Most viewed YouTube music video in 24 hours, and Most viewed YouTube music video in 24 hours by a K-pop group.
- “Dynamite” is nominated for a Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, marking the first time BTS – or any K-pop act – has been nominated for the Grammys for their music.
BE (“Life Goes On”)
- All of the tracks on BE entered the Spotify Global Top 50 within the top 13 spots, with “Life Goes On” ranking the highest at #3. “Dynamite” was also in the Top 13, staying strong at #2.
Popularity and Influence
- BTS appeared on Gold House’s 2020 A100 List of most impactful Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders.
- BTS placed #47 on Forbes magazine’s Celebrity 100 list (which ranks the world’s highest-paid celebrities).
- BTS holds the Guinness World Record for most viewers for a music concert live stream for BANG BANG CON. (They probably beat their own record with their fall online concert, but I don’t have any official data for that.)
- BTS won Top Social Artist at the Billboard Music Awards for the 4th year in a row.
Other Achievements and Items of Note
- BTS performed at the 2020 Grammys as part of Lil Nas X’s stage (where he performed different versions of “Old Town Road” with various guests.
- BTS donated $1 million to Black Lives Matter, a donation that was matched by ARMY.
- BTS was one of the speakers for YouTube’s Virtual Graduation Ceremony.
- BTS won a UNICEF Inspire Award for their “Love Myself” campaign that has been active since 2017.
- BTS and Big Hit Entertainment donated $1 million to Crew Nation, a campaign started to aid concert crew workers who have suffered financial losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic (with the postponement and cancellations of concerts).
- 4 BTS songs appear on Rolling Stone‘s “75 Greatest Boy Band Songs of All Time.” “Moon” (Jin’s solo) is at #5, “Spring Day” at #19, “Euphoria” (Jungkook’s solo song) at #34, and “Fake Love” at #56.
- BTS gave a speech at the 75th UN General Assembly about solidarity in the face of COVID-19. This is the second time they’ve spoken at the UN; the first time was in 2018.
- BTS was given the General James A. Van Fleet Award, which is given to people or organizations who have helped strengthen the relationship between South Korea and the United States.
- The WSJ. Magazine (affiliated with the Wall Street Journal) gave BTS the 2020 Music Innovator Award.
- TIME magazine named BTS their 2020 Entertainer of the Year.
End of Year Charts and Lists
|Rolling Stone Magazine|| #16 on “The 50 Best Albums of 2020” (for Map of the Soul: 7)|
#7 on “The 50 Best Songs of 2020” (for “Dynamite”)
|Spotify||#6 Top 10 Artists|
#1 Top K-pop Artists
4 songs on Top Streamed K-pop Songs Globally:
(#1 “Dynamite,” #3 “Boy With Luv,” #5 “Black Swan,” #6 “ON”)
4 members on Top Male K-pop Artists Globally:
#1 Suga (as August D), #4 RM, #6 J-Hope, #9 V
2 songs on Top Streamed Korean OSTs Globally:
#1 “Sweet Night” by V (for Itaewon Class), #5 by Jin and V “It’s Definitely You” (for Hwarang)
|Tumblr||#1 Top K-pop Groups|
#1-7 Top K-pop Stars
(Order: Jungkook, Jimin, V, Suga, RM, Jin, J-Hope)
#4 Top 20 of 2020
|Most Tweeted Account|
Most Tweeted K-pop Account
Most Tweeted Musician Account
#1 Top Musician
|YouTube||Top 10 Most Watched Music Videos (in Korea):|
#3 “ON: Kinetic Manifesto Film: Come Prima”
SOURCES: Forbes (1), Gold House (1), Grammys (1), Guinness World Records (1) (2), iTunes, MTV, RIAA, Rolling Stone (1) (2) (3) (4), Soompi*, Spotify, TIME Magazine (1), Tumblr (1) (2) (3), Twitter, UNICEF, WSJ. Magazine, YouTube (1) (2) (3)
*For RIAA Certifications: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8)
*For Map of the Soul: 7: (1) (2) (3) (4)
*For “Dynamite”: (1) (2) (3)
*For BE: (1)
*For Popularity and Influence: (1)
*For Other 2020 Items of Note: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)
*For End of Year Charts and Lists: (1) (2) (3)
Cover Image is from BTS’s photoshoot with TIME magazine and was originally published in TIME‘s article naming BTS the Entertainer of the Year. You can read the article here.