2021 has been a record-setting year of album sales for a lot of K-Pop artists! From some breaking old records to others getting their first million-selling albums, it’s clear that the industry is continuing to grow even with the state of the world in such uncertainty. These 6 artists alone, however, have made up over half of all K-Pop album sales in 2021 so far, which is an incredibly high number!
Baekhyun has released one album so far this year: Bambi, with a title song of the same name, which came out on March 30. It’s his second best-selling solo album to date (with last year’s Delight still at the top with 1.03 million sales), and has currently sold 1.01 million copies. Between this release and other intermittent sales of previous albums, this soloist has contributed to 4.7% of all album sales in 2021, and is the only solo artist to be on this list!
EXO’s long-awaited comeback was, unsurprisingly, a huge hit, and quickly rocketed them into one of the best-selling K-Pop artists of the year. With Don’t Fight The Feeling released on June 7, since then the album has sold 1.30 million units overall! With this and past albums also selling some copies as well, EXO has contributed 5.1% to 2021’s total album sales.
Though TXT is still a fairly young group, they’ve quickly proven that they’re one of the most popular artists in the industry with how many albums they’re selling! With two albums released so far this year — The Chaos Chapter: Freeze and The Chaos Chapter: Fight or Escape on May 31 and August 17 respectively — the fourth generation’s album sales total to around 1.30 million just between those two alone. Their previous albums have also seen an uptick in sales recently too, bringing their total 2021 album sales contribution to 5.5%.
SEVENTEEN has steadily been growing in popularity over the years, and 2020 really saw a huge increase in their album sales that has continued into 2021! The one album they’ve released this year, Your Choice, was released on June 18 with the title song “Ready To Love”, and has now become their best-selling album with a total of 1.47 million copies sold! With this and past albums also making sales in 2021, they have contributed 6.5% to 2021’s total album sales so far.
2. NCT DREAM
2021 has really been NCT DREAM’s year, with their first million-seller album released and a very successful reissue of the album produced as well. Hot Sauce, released on May 10, has sold around 2.05 million copies, while the reissued album Hello Future, released on June 28, has sold a very impressive 1.25 million! Between these two albums and a high number of previously released album sales, NCT DREAM’s total contribution comes to 13.2%.
Finally, and likely unsurprisingly, BTS comes in at the top of the list! Their release of the essential edition of their 2020 album BE as well as the single album Butter (currently at 2.49 million sales) are the biggest contributors to their total, but their old albums (especially those in the Love Yourself and Map of the Soul series) continue to sell tens of thousands of copies as well! With all of these combined, BTS’s total contribution to all K-Pop album sales in 2021 is 15.2%.