Entertainment

K-Pop superstars BTS hit back at accusations that they ‘manipulated’ music charts


Boy band BTS is responding to accusations that they and their massive fanbase, the Army, have manipulated music charts to repeatedly score the number one spot on the Hot 100.

The K-Pop sensations hit back at the claims during a lengthy interview with Billboard, suggesting that their international popularity and infamous fans make them ‘easy targets’ for these types of accusations.

In July, two of the band’s hits, Butter and Permission to Dance, ping-ponged between the number one and number seven spots leading to questions from social media users about whether the large jump back and forth was legit.

Speaking out: Boy band BTS is responding to accusations that they and their massive fanbase, the Army, have manipulated music charts to repeatedly score the number one spot on the Hot 100, in an interview with Billboard

Butter spent seven weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and was only dethroned by the band’s next song, Permission to Dance. 

Then, Butter was bumped down to the number seven spot but was back to number one the following week with Permission to Dance trading spots at number seven.

According to Billboard, the BTS Army commonly crowdsources funds to buy up digital copies of the band’s singles, thus causing them to appear to rise in popularity as one person can conceivably have an unlimited number.

While iTunes will note that a song has already been purchased/downloaded, the outlet adds that sources claimed a majority of the BTS sales go through their own website where fans can bulk-purchase the same single.

Questions: In July, two of the band's hits, Butter and Permission to Dance, ping-ponged between the number one and number seven spots leading to questions from social media users about whether the large jump back and forth was legit

Questions: In July, two of the band’s hits, Butter and Permission to Dance, ping-ponged between the number one and number seven spots leading to questions from social media users about whether the large jump back and forth was legit

When asked about the accusations that these practices by their fans are, in fact, falsely propelling the group to the number one spot, the band seemed to feel it was an issue with charting, not them or their fans.

‘It’s a fair question,’ said BTS member RM. ‘But if there is a conversation inside Billboard about what being No. 1 should represent, then it’s up to them to change the rules and make streaming weigh more on the ranking.’ 

Adding: ‘Slamming us or our fans for getting to No. 1 with physical sales and downloads, I don’t know if that’s right…It just feels like we’re easy targets because we’re a boy band, a K-pop act, and we have this high fan loyalty.’ 

Shin Young-Jae, the president of BTS’ music label, Big Hit Music brushed off the accusations: ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if we actually had the ability to mastermind such a thing?’ 

'It's a fair question,' said BTS member RM. 'But if there is a conversation inside Billboard about what being No. 1 should represent, then it's up to them to change the rules and make streaming weigh more on the ranking.'

‘It’s a fair question,’ said BTS member RM. ‘But if there is a conversation inside Billboard about what being No. 1 should represent, then it’s up to them to change the rules and make streaming weigh more on the ranking.’

‘I get that there are market developments

that are head-scratchers for some people,’ he continued. ‘But I don’t believe the U.S. market is one that can be handily topped by downloads alone. We think the songs’ impact was shown in many ways, and we are proud of that achievement.’ 

The Korean band was formed in 2010 and debuted their first track two years later in 2013.

BTS is made up of seven members, Jin, 28, Suga, 28, J-Hope, 27, RM, 26, Jimin, 25, V, 25, and Jungkook, 23, and has achieved massive international acclaim since their debut.

Their first English-language track, Dynamite, was released in August of 2020 to huge commercial success and scored the group their first ever Grammy nomination.

'Slamming us or our fans for getting to No. 1 with physical sales and downloads, I don't know if that's right…It just feels like we're easy targets because we're a boy band, a K-pop act, and we have this high fan loyalty.'

‘Slamming us or our fans for getting to No. 1 with physical sales and downloads, I don’t know if that’s right…It just feels like we’re easy targets because we’re a boy band, a K-pop act, and we have this high fan loyalty.’

Recently, BTS left fans devastated when they announced the cancellation of their Map of the Soul World Tour.

BTS’ global tour had been in postponement limbo since April 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic threw live events into chaos.

Citing ‘changing circumstances’ for the cause of the cancellation, the band’s entertainment company Big Hit Music apologized to heartbroken ticketholders all over the world.

The official statement said in full: ‘Our company has worked hard to resume preparations for the BTS Map of the Soul Tour, knowing that all fans have been waiting eagerly and long for the tour. 

Big honor: Their first English-language track, Dynamite, was released in August of 2020 to huge commercial success and scored the group their first ever Grammy nomination

Big honor: Their first English-language track, Dynamite, was released in August of 2020 to huge commercial success and scored the group their first ever Grammy nomination

‘Due to changing circumstances beyond our control, it has become difficult to resume performances at the same scale and timeline as previously planned. Therefore we must announce the cancellation of the BTS Map of the Soul Tour. 

‘Once again, please allow us to offer our sincere apology to all fans who have waited for the BTS Map Of The Soul Tour to resume. We are working to prepare a viable schedule and performance format that can meet your expectations, and we will provide updated notices as soon as possible.’

The seven-piece South Korean boyband’s tour was originally meant to coincide with the band releasing their album Map of the Soul: 7 in Spring last year but the gigs have been continually postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Bummer: The seven-piece South Korean boyband's tour was originally meant to coincide with the band releasing their album Map of the Soul: 7 in Spring last year but the gigs have been continually postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic

Bummer: The seven-piece South Korean boyband’s tour was originally meant to coincide with the band releasing their album Map of the Soul: 7 in Spring last year but the gigs have been continually postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic



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