BTS (consisting of members RM, Jin, Suga, j-hope, Jimin, V and Jung Kook) has been on IFPI’s top 10 Global Artist Chart since 2018, when the iconic K-pop band entered the list in the No. 2 spot. In 2020, the group made history by becoming the first South Korean act to win Global Recording Artist of the Year — which also marked the first winner to perform primarily in a language other than English. And, with 2021’s win, BTS has now become the first to earn IFPI’s top spot for two consecutive years.
While IFPI’s Global Recording Artist of the Year Award is calculated by covering an artist’s entire body of work (across performance in both digital and physical platforms during the year), 2021 saw some notable stats from the group.
In the U.S., BTS earned three No. 1 hits on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart throughout the year — “Butter,” “Permission to Dance” and their Coldplay collaboration “My Universe.” In Asia, the CD release of “Butter” topped South Korea’s Gaon year-end charts — marking the sixth consecutive year that BTS has taken this top spot, with six separate releases. In addition, BTS’s Japanese language greatest hits album “BTS: The Best” topped Japan’s Oricon Year End Album Chart for 2021.
“BTS’ phenomenal success over the last year is a testament to their creativity, hard work and ongoing commitment to continuing to find ways to bring their music to the world. By performing in three different languages, they demonstrate their extraordinarily unique global appeal and their dynamic and passionate fanbase has helped to make them the first artists in history to top the Global Artist Chart in two consecutive years,” Frances Moore, IFPI chief executive said in a statement.
“We would like to wish RM, Jin, SUGA, j-hope, Jimin, V and Jung Kook and all who work on their team huge congratulations on winning the Global Recording Artist of the Year Award and on another year of brilliant success.”
BTS is joined in IFPI’s 2021 Global Artist Chart by Taylor Swift and Adele, who took the No. 2 and No. 3 spots, respectively. Other artists in the top 10 included Drake at No. 4, Ed Sheeran at No. 5, The Weeknd at No. 6, Billie Eilish at No. 7, Justin Bieber at No. 8, Seventeen at No. 9 and breakthrough newcomer Olivia Rodrigo at No. 10 — who made her first IFPI Global Artist Chart appearance this year following the success of her debut album “Sour.”