RM, the leader of the South Korean supergroup BTS, became the first solo K-pop artist to land a top 3 entry on the Billboard 200 with his album Indigo. The album took the No.3 spot in the chart for the week of 31 December.
The album is the first solo outing of RM, whose real name is Kim Nam-joon. The feat also made him the first member from his K-pop group to have a solo album enter the top 10 of the Billboard 200 list.
How RM’s album Indigo took the No.3 spot
Key was physical CD sales
Indigo was released on 2 December and entered the Billboard 200 chart at No.15 on 17 December, on the basis of its initial release as a digital download album and streaming services. But the album fell out of the listing the following week.
However, it was the album’s sales following the release of its physical CDs on 16 December that returned Indigo on the latest list, which was released on 26 December.
Billboard’s data says that Indigo earned 83,000 equivalent album units, of which album sales numbered 79,000 and streaming equivalent album (SEA) units made up for the remaining 4,000.
Out of the total album sales, 77,500 were CD sales while the rest 1,500 were digital album purchases. There was no track equivalent album (TEA), each of which is equivalent to 10 track downloads.
RM breaks records
With his album Indigo, RM has now broken the record set by TWICE’s Nayeon in July 2022. Nayeon became the highest charting Korean solo artist that month when her debut mini album, IM NAYEON, peaked at No.7 on the Billboard 200.
BTS member J-Hope, the first of the seven members of the band to release a solo album, has previously found success on the Billboard 200. His album, Jack In The Box, reached No.17 on the chart in July 2022.
Members of BTS have been releasing their solo debut albums since taking a hiatus as a group in June.
The decision to remain inactive as a group for a brief period was influenced by its members nearing their eligibility age for the mandatory military service.
Jin, the oldest member of the group, began his military duty on 13 December. Other members of the group will follow in the next couple of years, with BTS reconvening together in 2025.
(Main image: BIGHIT MUSIC/@BIGHIT_MUSIC/Twitter; Featured image: billboard/@billboard/Twitter)