BTS’s new single “Butter” debuts at No. 1 on this week’s Hot 100 songs chart, becoming the band’s fourth champion (and fourth in less than a year). The tune blasts onto the ranking as high as a cut can climb thanks to a massive sales frame, tens of millions of streams and early adoption at radio. The title has only been present on the chart that ranks the most successful songs at pop radio in the U.S. for two weeks, but it already ranks as one of the best-performing releases by a South Korean musical act of all time.
In its second frame on the Pop Airplay chart, Billboard’s weekly ranking of the songs that reach the largest audience on pop/top 40 radio stations across the country, “Butter” vaults to No. 19 on the 40-rung list. That’s a sizable jump from No. 26, where the catchy tune debuted last frame after just three days of activity. When it opened inside the top 30, all signs pointed to the latest from BTS becoming a fast smash, and that has certainly become true this time around.
Now up to No. 19, “Butter” stands out as the third-loftiest placement ever for a song pushed by a South Korean musical act of any kind. It is also only the third release to fit that description to enter the top 20 on that ranking.
Last year, BTS reset the record for the highest-charting song by a South Korean musical act in the history of the Pop Airplay ranking, as their massive global smash “Dynamite” lifted all the way to No. 5.
Before “Dynamite” arrived, Psy held the record for the highest-charting song in the history of the Pop Airplay chart (which has gone through several name changes throughout the years, as it was previously known as the Mainstream Top 40 and then the Pop Songs tally). His breakout single “Gangnam Style” once lifted all the way to No. 10 back in 2012. At the time, his viral sensation was the first top 10 performed by a South Korean musician.
At the rate “Butter” is gaining ground, it could easily continue to lift in the coming weeks, and there’s no telling how much higher on the Pop Airplay chart it will rise. BTS have proven themselves to be a trusted source of radio winners, and “Butter” has all the makings of a serious summer blockbuster, so it wouldn’t be strange to see it become just the third-ever song by a South Korean musical act to enter the top 10 before the season is over.