No matter how one looks at the numbers, one thing is clear on the Billboard charts this week: BTS is in charge.
The band rule both the Billboard 200 and the Hot 100, which are largely considered to be the two most important and most competitive rankings published by the chart company. They are not the first act to dominate in this manner, but they do make history and join one of the biggest names of all time by debuting titles at No. 1 on both of those tallies simultaneously.
On the Billboard 200, BTS’s new full-length BE begins its time at No. 1. That was expected from the moment they revealed they had a new project coming, and the short set is their fifth champion on the ranking. Impressively, the band has now racked up all five of their leaders in about two and a half years, which speaks to their incredible work ethic.
At the same time, “Life Goes On,” the latest single spun off of BE, debuts at No. 1 on the Hot 100. It is much rarer for a song to launch in first place on that chart, and there have only been just under 50 cuts that have been popular enough upon their release to do so. The instant smash is BTS’s third ruler on the all-genre tally, and incredibly, they’ve assembled that trio in just the past three months, which itself is something only some of the greatest and most successful bands in history have managed.
By debuting titles at No. 1 on both the Billboard 200 and Hot 100 in the same week, BTS become just the second act in U.S. history with that feat on their resume, and they’re in exceptional company.
Taylor Swift made history earlier this year when she became the first musician to debut a song at No. 1 on the Hot 100 and an album in the same position on the Billboard 200 at the same time. The country-pop-folk singer-songwriter launched her surprise full-length Folklore atop the albums ranking back in August, and the set’s lead single “Cardigan,” which wasn’t shared before the complete project was made available, also opened at No. 1 on the Hot 100.
Plenty of acts, either solo or full groups, have occupied the uppermost space on both charts simultaneously, but only Swift and BTS have done so with debuts. They will surely be joined in this expanding club by a third act at some point in the future, but there’s no telling when someone else will be lucky enough to be included.