2023 has proven to be an incredibly fruitful year for the members of BTS. While the group itself is on a break due to several of its singers fulfilling their mandatory military enlistment, a requirement for all men in South Korea, the individual members have been keeping busy by dropping solo collections. So far, all of these solo endeavors have been met with commercial success.
Despite the strong sales and reception of BTS’s solo offerings, none of the members have managed to secure a No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200, the weekly ranking of the most-consumed albums and EPs in America. Three of them, in particular, have come frustratingly close, debuting and peaking at No. 2, missing out on the top spot—and a bit of history—by just one position.
The first member of BTS to hit the runner-up spot on the Billboard 200 in 2023 was Jimin. His debut solo EP Face opened in second place behind Morgan Wallen’s One Thing at a Time, which had already ruled the ranking for several consecutive weeks. Although Face missed the No. 1 spot, it did produce a No. 1 hit on the Hot 100 with “Like Crazy,” making Jimin the first South Korean soloist to top that chart.
A month later, fellow BTS musician Suga also scored his first top 10 on the Billboard 200, although it wasn’t his debut appearance on the list. Suga’s D-Day album also stalled at No. 2, missing out on the highest position due to Wallen’s continued dominance.
This week, BTS singer V makes his Billboard 200 solo debut with Layover. The short set entered the chart at No. 2 with over 100,000 equivalent units, placing it just behind Olivia Rodrigo’s unstoppable follow-up to Sour, titled Guts.
It’s not uncommon for several members of a group to release solo music during a hiatus or after a breakup, but it’s quite unusual for so many to achieve such significant chart success so close to one another. Moreover, it’s remarkable that all of them are popular enough to contend for the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200, but for none of them to reach the throne.
With slightly different timing or if these EPs and albums had been released in less competitive timeframes, it’s highly likely that at least one of the BTS stars would have secured a chart-topper. As interest in their work remains incredibly high, it seems like it’s only a matter of time before one, or perhaps several, BTS members finally reach the No. 1 spot and make history.
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