BTS are the biggest boy band in the world, but they’re not the only K-pop stars attracting international attention. How well do you know your South Korean boy groups?
It’s official – BTS are the biggest boy band in the world. Media outlets around the world have affirmed this fact in recent weeks, while BTS stans will tear you down if you suggest anything to the contrary.
BTS’ new album Map of the Soul: 7 is smashed chart records all over the place. The album topped both the Billboard 200 and the Rolling Stone albums chart in the week of its release. 7 shifted 422k album-equivalent units in the US, which Billboard reported to be a career high for BTS and the strongest first week numbers of 2020.
The album has enjoyed similar fortunes around the world. 7 is the fastest selling album of 2020 in the UK and it’s BTS’ second consecutive ARIA number one. Meanwhile the music video for ‘ON’ was named the biggest YouTube Premiere to date, getting more than 1.54 million viewers to log on for a first-look.
In light of the Seoul septet’s prevailing success, it’s worth questioning who BTS‘ major rivals are in the biggest boy band stakes. Backstreet Boys are still around, sure. The Floridian mainstays released an album of new material just last year and their DNA world tour has been as profitable as any of their career.
But while Backstreet Boys remain popular, they’re not capturing the hearts of the younger generation. If you really want to identify BTS’ biggest competition, you don’t need to leave the borders of South Korea.
The Peninsula’s southern half has produced a trove genre-meshing boy bands over the last decade. Exo reached Billboard’s top 25 with their 2018 album Don’t Mess Up My Tempo. Block B have consistently landed singles in the Korean and Japanese top ten since debuting in 2011. Then there are veterans like Big Bang and TVXQ, who paved the way for BTS in the first decade of the 21st Century.