When BTS fans talk about the group’s world domination, they’re not exaggerating. Following the release of their new Japanese album, Map of the Soul: Journey, the Korean pop septet now claims the bestselling album of 2020 in the United States, Korea, Japan and worldwide.
Map of the Soul: 7 – The Journey easily became the bestselling album of the year in Japan within its first week, while shattering several daily records along the way. The album—which contains Japanese versions of songs from 2018’s Love Yourself: Answer, 2019’s Map of the Soul: Persona and 2020’s Map of the Soul: 7, along with four new Japanese tracks—notched historic first-day sales of 447,000 and passed 500,000 copies in its second day. It ultimately topped the Oricon Albums Chart for five consecutive days and sold 564,000 copies in its first week.
While Map of the Soul: 7 – The Journey rules Oricon’s yearly chart, Map of the Soul: 7 continues to dominate much of the rest of the world. The collection sold 552,000 copies (comprising physical and digital sales) in the United States through the first half of the year, nearly 150,000 more than The Weeknd’s After Hours, which came in second with 407,000 copies. The gap gets even bigger when only measuring physical album sales. Map of the Soul: 7 sold 528,000 physical copies in the U.S., nearly doubling the sales of runner-up Kenny Chesney, whose Here and Now sold 219,000 physical copies.
Those are impressive figures, especially in an era when many pop stars rely heavily on streaming figures to launch their albums to No. 1 in the U.S. But the stateside numbers for Map of the Soul: 7 pale in comparison to BTS’s native South Korea, where the album has sold at least 4 million copies, based on a Gaon Music certification from April. Map of the Soul: 7 is the first album in South Korean history to notch 4 million certified sales, making it the bestselling album not just of 2020, but of all time.
Tally up these massive sales around the world, and it should come as no surprise that Map of the Soul: 7 is the bestselling worldwide album of 2020. It crossed that threshold immediately upon release in February, as it sold a reported 4.02 million global preorders. Because some of the album’s certifications are several months old, its actual sales are likely much higher than reported. Consequently, it doesn’t seem like BTS will relinquish its stronghold on the global music industry anytime soon.