ATEEZ, Stray Kids and NCT Dream have all proved once again that they are able to sell albums like few in the South Korean music industry with new honors they’ve just recently collected…and at the same time, a foreign singer-songwriter also earns a special and rare win in the country.
Every month, Gaon, the South Korean company that compiles the weekly, monthly and annual charts also reveals which songs and albums have earned certifications after they’ve sold or streamed a certain number of units. In the month of July, just three albums collect new certifications from Gaon, with one standing out from the others as not just more successful, but as one of the bestselling titles of all time in the country.
NCT Dream’s debut full-length Hot Sauce has officially been certified two million for selling, understandably, two million copies. Million is the highest certification level offered by Gaon, but EPs and albums can progress higher, and the awards bestowed upon them after million status is reached are just multiples of that level.
Hot Sauce is just the sixth album in South Korean history to hit two million status, and it is the first release by any act other than BTS (who are responsible for the other five sets that have collected the prestigious honor) to earn the award.
ATEEZ and Stray Kids also score huge wins this month in regards to Gaon certifications, as both vocal bands collect a double platinum award, meaning their titles have now sold at least 500,000 copies. ATEEZ’s Zero: Fever Pt. 2 and Stray Kids’ In Life are now double platinum sellers, and the two acts score this distinction for the first time with these newly-named honors.
There are no new certifications when looking at song downloads, which happens from time to time. A pair of singles were named platinum in June, but none have performed well enough to warrant mentioning this time around.
When looking at streaming certifications, just one hit single earns a new honor from Gaon, and it’s a global smash by a non-Korean act. Tones And I, an Australian singer-songwriter, sees her breakout tune “Dance Monkey” finally go platinum in the country. According to Gaon, that means the song has now racked up at least 100 million streams in South Korea, making it a huge win. It’s not often that a foreign musician collects this prize, and it speaks to the incredible popularity of the poppy cut, which took over the planet in 2019.