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K-pop stars become first all-South Korean act to top US singles charts

The K-pop sensation BTS have become the first all-South Korean act to rule the top US singles chart, the industry tracker Billboard announced Monday, with their English-language Dynamite hitting No 1.

It’s another milestone cementing the seven-member boy band’s global dominance, just hours after BTS beat US heavyweights including Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift to score the best pop award at Sunday’s MTV Video Music awards.

Dynamite, the first BTS single sung completely in English, was released on 21 August and tallied 33.9m US streams in just a week, with 300,000 units sold.

In securing the top spot, the song unseats Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s hit WAP, a not-safe-for-work track that held No 1 for two weeks.

BTS’s latest achievement comes after they reached the Billboard Hot 100’s No 4 slot in March with the song On.

Three BTS albums have hit No 1 on Billboard’s album charts, helped in part by the mobilisation of their loyal and passionate fan community, known collectively as the BTS ARMY (Adorable Representative M.C. for Youth). But the top spot on the Hot 100 – which blends US streaming, radio airplay and digital sales data to rank the top hits – has eluded the band until now.

J-Hope, Jimin, Jin, Jungkook, RM, Suga and V of BTS are the first all-South Korean group to reign over the chart. The South Korean soloist PSY reached No 2 for seven weeks in late 2012 with his viral dance juggernaut Gangnam Style.

The first Asian artist to top the chart was the Japanese-born crooner Kyu Sakamoto, whose Sukiyaki held the ranking for three weeks in June 1963.

K-pop – along with K-drama soap operas – has become one of South Korea’s most successful cultural exports.

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