SEOUL • South Korean boyband BTS were, by one count, the most talked-about phenomenon on Twitter last year, with nearly double the number of mentions of American President Donald Trump and Canadian heart-throb singer Justin Bieber combined.
Over the weekend, BTS' stock rose even further when they became the first K-pop group to top the Billboard 200 album charts, a sound reminder of the genre's growing pull worldwide.
Known for boyish good looks, floppy haircuts and meticulously choreographed dance moves, the septet have become one of South Korea's best known and most lucrative musical exports.
"It's the first No. 1 for the seven-member group and the first K-pop album to lead the tally," Billboard wrote in its online report.
BTS' new album, Love Yourself: Tear, toppled Beerpong And Bentleys by rising hip-hop star Post Malone, whose facial tattoos are the very antithesis of BTS' wholesome, carefully manicured image.
While BTS sing in Korean, their style successfully fuses catchy K-pop with hip-hop and R&B.
Last year, their previous release, Love Yourself: Her, became the first K-pop album to crack the top 10 in the United States chart, rising to number seven. It also hit the No. 1 spot on iTunes in more than 70 countries.