The world of K-Pop has continuously proven its global musical prowess, but the surprise overtaking of Mariah Carey’s perennial holiday hit, “All I Want For Christmas,” by a totally unexpected K-Pop track on the music charts on Christmas day had netizens amazed like no other time. This unexpected chart ranking back in 2019 left netizens and music enthusiasts both shocked and thrilled.
The unexpected track was Red Velvet’s 2019 mega-hit, “Psycho.” Though the song is insanely popular now, “Psycho” started its chart journey slow, with many not expecting it to do great due to it being a dramatic breakup released during the peak of everyone’s Christmas spirit. But as always, Red Velvet had a surprise in store for everyone.
Released as the lead single from their first compilation album, The ReVe Festival: Finale, “Psycho” made a remarkable impact on the music scene. The song was the third and final installment in the group’s album trilogy, The ReVe Festival. With its smooth and sultry delivery coupled with a haunting, catchy, yet structured production, it quickly became a favorite among critics and fans alike. Despite being released at the very end of the year, it was cited as one of the best K-Pop songs of 2019.
The song’s success was not just a flash in the pan. It charted at number one in Singapore and North America on the Billboard World Digital Songs chart, marking Red Velvet’s second number-one song on this ranking. This achievement tied them with 2NE1 for the girl groups with the most top-10 entries on the chart. It also peaked at number two in Malaysia and stayed for three consecutive weeks on South Korea’s Gaon Digital Chart (now known as Circle Chart), marking Red Velvet’s 12th domestic top 10 entry.
Internationally, “Psycho” debuted at number 10 on the New Zealand Hot Singles chart and marked the group’s UK chart debut at number 99 on the UK Singles Downloads Chart. The song’s chart performance did not stop there. On January 4, 2020, it debuted at number one on the US Billboard World Digital Songs Chart, making Red Velvet one of the nine K-Pop artists to top the chart more than once.
— Red Velvet Krave (@RedVelvetKrave) July 24, 2023
However, the feather in the cap was when “Psycho” topped even Mariah Carey’s iconic Christmas anthem on Christmas day. While Mariah’s tune has always been synonymous with the holiday season, the soaring popularity of K-Pop globally was shown through this chart-topping surprise. The triumph of “Psycho” over such a well-loved and seasonally relevant song highlights the changing tides in the music scene, where K-Pop, and Red Velvet, are becoming a dominant force to be reckoned with
when psycho be the first girl group song that reached #1 on melon daily chart in 2019 + beat mariah carey on christmas day 😭 pic.twitter.com/WjMM687Vgr
— ☼ ☾ ↟ ☁︎ ☆ (@seurrene_) November 1, 2023
people discrediting red velvet's success with psycho saying they got the achievements on an empty house when they're up against mariah carey & ariana grande on a christmas day and changmo, baek jiyoung, iu, baek yerin are still going strong with their songs 😭 pic.twitter.com/n8azlcWk06
— t (@joyisthetics) December 25, 2019
Red Velvet’s “Psycho” not only captivated listeners with its enchanting melody but also carved a historical moment in the musical landscape, showcasing the growing global influence of K-Pop. This event left an indelible mark, demonstrating that the Korean Wave is not only continuing to surge but is also reshaping global musical tastes and charts.