Back at it with that BTS news here on the blog and today we are going to be discussing an incredible milestone that the Korean group actually only achieved today, a few hours ago as of writing. Their song “Dynamite”- their very first track entirely in English released during the height of the pandemic in summer of 2020- has managed to cross the one billion streams mark on the streaming platform Spotify. There are only around 160 songs overall that have managed to achieve that insane amount of streams on the platform and BTS can now officially say that they are part of this elite club.
This achievement is a significant moment for the band and their career for many reasons. The first is that it is the first of any of their songs to do so. Seeing as they have a discography of over 230 songs, that is pretty impressive. It was only a matter of time before one of their songs crossed the one billion line as they have a few with several hundred million streams such as “Boy with Luv feat Halsey”, “Life Goes On” and “Butter” (which was only released in May 2021 but already has over two hundred million streams). With all of the shattered records, awards and nominations- including a Grammy- associated with “Dynamite”, it makes sense that this song is the one to take the crown. They have plenty of other songs on Spotify that are worthy of becoming part of the one billion club so make sure you go and stream to support the group! I love “Butter” and “Permission to Dance”- their other two English titles- but I personally think that “Spring Day”- in their native Korean- is their absolute best track that truly deserves a solid billion streams. Make it happen, y’all.
This is also a monumental achievement for the group as they are now the very first Korean act to become part of the one billion streams club. The cultural significance of their impact on the western music industry cannot be understated. They are playing a huge part when it comes to diversifying the music business across the world, bringing attention to Korean music but also Korean culture too. I know I wouldn’t have learnt as much as I have about Korea and its rich and vast culture if it wasn’t for BTS (they acted as a gateway for me when it came to my personal interest in Korea). They are a huge credit to their country but also to music in general and the entertainment industry, shattering glass ceilings left, right and centre. But the achievements don’t stop there when it comes to “Dynamite” crossing the one billion streams threshold. The song now ranks number seventeen in the list of fastest songs to reach one billion streams on Spotify. This is impressive enough as it is but this achievement also means that “Dynamite” is now the fastest song from an Asian act to break the one billion barrier. Not enough for you? Well “Dynamite” has also become one of only four songs (the others being Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You”, Camilla Cabello’s “Havana” and Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy”) to have gained over a billion streams on four separate music platforms: YouTube, Spotify and the Gaon Digital Chart (the Korean music charts).
There is no doubting that BTS performed their hearts out with “Dynamite” and so it is no surprise that it has gained so many accolades (plus it’s a really fun disco pop bop which also helps when you’re stuck inside during a pandemic). In fact, they performed it so many times last year that they were probably sick of the sound of it by 2021! This what made their Grammy loss back in March such a sad one as out of all the nominees- including “Rain on Me” from Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande that won – they performed their song the most and seeing that the award was for “Pop Duo/ Group Performance”, it feels like they really should have won. I know it is hard to believe but I am not saying that as a die-hard fan. I am saying that honestly and objectively, taking into account the facts of the matter. They performed brilliantly each and every single time and their team clearly worked hard to bring something different to the table with each performance in terms of set design, outfits, choreography etc. They even recreated the stage of the Grammys within Korea for their performance at the awards ceremony. No two performances were even remotely similar. This was a performance award and they simply outperformed every other artist. From an objective perspective, it makes sense for them to have won. Their loss was a blow for the group and for fans, not just because they lost but because of how the group were treated by the American music awards. They were flaunted by the Grammys and clearly used to pull in their fan base. They were advertised every single ad break (I watched it live at like 3am over here in the UK on a work night so I can confirm this) only to be put at the very end of the show. Not only that, but their award wasn’t even actually part of the main ceremony. This kind of treatment suggests that they were being used for their popularity and there was probably never an intention of actually awarding them for their efforts. There is no way to tell if this is the case but personally, I would argue that all you need to do is look between the very clear lines to see their mistreatment. Look, I really didn’t mean to turn this into a Grammys rant but I’m still mad about it. My apologies. Moving on now.
Despite this attitude from the Grammys, the constant stream of broken records that “Dynamite” is leaving in its wake is more than enough proof of their astronomical success than a Grammy ever could be. That isn’t to say that it wouldn’t be great to see them win one day. It would be yet another milestone for them if they become the first Korean act to do so, much like they were the first Korean act to be nominated for one. That being said, even if they never win a Grammy then it won’t matter. Their ground breaking achievements and global success truly speaks for itself. Not only is history being made by these seven young men, but their success suggests a change- or at least a wider perspective- within the western music industry. With a bit of luck, this change could lead to a more diverse and inclusive future that could create a much broader range of opportunities for musical artists all over the world.