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News February 25, 2022

BTS was the biggest recorded music act on the planet in 2021

Senior Journalist, B2B
BTS was the biggest recorded music act on the planet in 2021

Take a bow, ARMY.

For the second time, BTS has been named IFPI Global Recording Artist of the Year, a coveted prize that recognises the biggest recorded music act on the planet for the past 12 months.

It’s a landmark moment for the music industry and for BTS, which becomes the first act to win the award in successive years.

The first time around, the septet became the first Korean act, or Asian act to win it the award, and they’re the first and only act from outside the English-speaking territories to do so.

The award is no trinket. It celebrates worldwide performance across digital and physical music formats during the year, from streams to vinyl, and covers their entire body of work, and is awarded each year by the IFPI, the organisation that represents the recording industry worldwide.

“BTS’ phenomenal success over the last year is a testament to their creativity, hard work and ongoing commitment to continuing to find ways to bring their music to the world,” comments Frances Moore, Chief Executive of IFPI.

“By performing in three different languages, they demonstrate their extraordinarily unique global appeal and their dynamic and passionate fanbase has helped to make them the first artists in history to top the Global Artist Chart in two consecutive years.”

The pop juggernaut – consisting of RM, Jin, SUGA, j-hope, Jimin, V and Jung Kook – was slick and rolling in 2021, thanks in part to ‘Butter,’ which dominated the Billboard Hot 100 chart for seven straight weeks.

In July, the group replaced themselves at the summit when their single ‘Permission to Dance’ debuted at No. 1 on the U.S. all-format chart.

And later, in September, Coldplay and BTS collaborated on ‘My Universe,’ which also ruled the U.S. tally, while in Asia, BTS’ Japanese-language hits compilation BTS, THE BEST led the Oricon Year End Album Chart. No other non-domestic act has got there in almost four decades.

BTS beat two-time winner Taylor Swift to the annual IFPI prize, while Adele arrived in third place.

The K-pop phenomenon wasn’t limited to BTS in 2021; compatriots SEVENTEEN mark their first chart appearance in the IFPI Top 10, at No. 9.

IFPI Top 10 Global Recording Artists of 2021:

1

BTS

2

Taylor Swift

3

Adele

4

Drake

5

Ed Sheeran

6

The Weeknd

7

Billie Eilish

8

Justin Bieber

9

SEVENTEEN

10

Olivia Rodrigo

Previous winners of the IFPI Global Recording Artist of the Year Award:

2020

BTS

2019

Taylor Swift

2018

Drake

2017

Ed Sheeran

2016

Drake

2015

Adele

2014

Taylor Swift

2013

One Direction

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.

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