BTS’s Jungkook participated in the audition program SuperStar K3 when he was in middle school. Although he didn’t make it to the final round, he received business cards from seven agencies, including BIGHIT MUSIC. Despite his young age, Jungkook was recognized as an outstanding vocalist and dancer and took on the main vocal of BTS, receiving the title of the golden maknae.
Based on these abilities and charms, Jungkook is creating a “Jungkook syndrome” in the global pop market with songs in his first solo album, GOLDEN.
Jungkook is reaping a bountiful harvest from various charts. The title song, “Standing Next to You,” entered the main song chart Hot 100 at number 5 on the US Billboard’s latest chart. It ranked first in Global 200 and Global (excluding the U.S.), which calculates rankings by counting streaming and sales in more than 200 countries/regions around the world.
On the world’s largest music streaming platform Spotify‘s Daily Top Song Global chart, seven other songs from the new album, including “Hate You”, “Yes or No”, and “Please Don’t Change (feat. DJ Snake)”, also charted. was successful in This means that the global mainstream market is responding to the new album itself.
The album ranked second on Billboard 200 chart and entered third on the UK Official Chart album chart. It is even more meaningful in that he achieved these accomplishments while Taylor Swift‘s new album, 1989 (Taylor’s Version) swept major gloabl charts.
Music experts point out that the first reason Jungkook was able to penetrate the American music market was that all the songs on his album were written in English. In fact, Jungkook said in an interview, “As we prepared for the overseas music market, this album contains all English songs.”
The power of “songs in English” can be confirmed by looking at the interim report released by Luminate, a global music market analysis company, in August this year. When analyzing the top 10,000 most played songs on American music platforms in the first half of this year by language, English takes the overwhelming lead with 88.3%. Following this, Spanish and Korean songs ranked second and third. As K-pop gained global popularity, Korean songs ranked third, but their share was minimal at 0.9%. This is why “overcoming the language barrier through English lyrics for all songs” is cited as the reason why a Korean solo singer’s album achieved unprecedented results in the global music market.
The success of GOLDEN cannot be left out because of its “pop music department store-like structure.” This album contains 11 tracks filled with a variety of music, including UK garage, Afropop, acoustic pop, and electronic dance. This breaks down the genre barrier within the album.
USA Today left a favorable review, saying, “Jungkook successfully incorporated various genres such as R&B, EDM, Disco funk, and pop ballad into ‘GOLDEN.’” Consequence of Sound, an American music media outlet, praised his talent for perfectly utilizing the characteristics of each genre, saying, “He knows how to use his voice, the greatest ‘instrument’.”
Jungkook recorded 4 to 5 songs from the album in one week. This was possible because of the perfect interpretation of the song, voice control appropriate to the genre, and flexibility to reflect immediate feedback. The production team said, “Jungkook’s natural talent and perfectionist tendencies raised the level of perfection of ‘GOLDEN’.”
The high-quality, trendy music reached listeners with diverse tastes without any hesitation, and the songs included in the album were played a total of 39,653,740 times on the day of release based on Spotify, setting a new record for the most streaming on the day of chart entry among albums by Korean solo artists.
In addition, it is evaluated that Jungkook’s charm as a male solo singer elicited a great response from fans. Recently, the presence of male solo dance singers in the pop market is not significant. Looking at the songs that topped the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 from last year to present, the performance of female musicians such as Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo, and Doja Cat stands out.
In terms of genres, country led by Morgan Wallen, who took first place a total of 16 times this year, hip-hop, which is traditionally strong, and R&B were the trends. Jungkook appeared in a situation where there was no dance singer who could dominate the stage with an overwhelming performance and quenched the public’s thirst for a ‘pop star’.
Immediately after the release of his new album, Jungkook appeared on NBC‘s popular talk show The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and TODAY‘s CitiConcert Series, showing a stable live performance and a high-quality performance. In the entertainment industry, it was evaluated as “a stage that reflects 10 years of experience” and “a legendary stage for a new pop star.” In particular, the Jimmy Fallon performance showed high topicality, ranking first on YouTube’s Worldwide Trending chart as well.
NME said, “There has been a ‘King of Pop’ every decade, but there has yet to be a major male solo star in the 2020s. Jungkook proved that he was more than capable of carrying out that mission with ‘GOLDEN’. The 2020s have finally found the ‘King of Pop,’ and ‘GOLDEN’ will more than guarantee him the throne,” referring to Justin Timberlake, who dominated the political landscape in the 2000s, and Justin Bieber, who represented the 2010s. NME added, “A new pop king prepares to take his throne.”
In this way, Jungkook succeeded in the North American market by using several strategies, but the biggest factor is his singing skills, including stable live performances.