K-pop titans BTS break into US Top 40

K-pop titans BTS break into US Top 40
PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK - Boy band BTS, pop mega-stars in South Korea known for their dance moves and social media prowess, Monday broke into the Top 40 on the US singles chart for the first time.

Mic Drop debuted at number 28, driven by a particularly strong showing in downloads, on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the week through Thursday.

The band incorporates more R&B and hip-hop into its sound than most K-pop groups. Mic Drop, driven by a dark percussion line, features a contribution by star New York rapper Desiigner and mixing by leading electronic dance producer Steve Aoki.

The song appears on the EP Love Yourself: Her, which earlier this year hit number seven on the US album chart, the highest ever for a Korean act.

Formed in 2013 by the Big Hit Entertainment company, the seven-member boy band has quickly become a top act in South Korea, Japan and other Asian markets.

The group is a constant social media presence in tech-savvy South Korea.

Guinness World Records recently said BTS had more "Twitter engagements" than any other music group, defined as the average number of retweets.

The group has been seeking a greater presence in the United States, the world's largest music market, and performed last month on the televised American Music Awards.

But BTS has yet to reach the global viral proportions of fellow Korean star Psy's Gangnam Style, whose 2012 video with its equestrian-themed dance routine was the first to hit one billion views on YouTube.

Gangnam Style controversially only reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 - before tracking firm Nielsen Music made changes to give greater weight to YouTube views.

Only one Asian-language track has ever made it to number one on the Hot 100 - Japanese singer Kyu Sakamoto's "Ue o Muite Arukou," marketed to English speakers by the unconnected title "Sukiyaki," in 1963.

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