“BTS broke Adele’s iTunes record on Sunday when their single “Black Swan” topped the digital retailer’s chart in 104 countries, more than any song in history. The victory was short-lived, as a new song has now topped the iTunes charts in even more countries than “Black Swan”—and it happens to be by a member of BTS.
The honor goes to V, whose “Sweet Night” has topped the iTunes chart in 105 countries as of Wednesday afternoon, edging out “Black Swan.” The delicate acoustic ballad appeared on the soundtrack for South Korean TV drama Itaewon Class, and V wrote, produced and sang it himself. “Sweet Night” debuted at No. 2 on Billboard’s Digital Song Sales chart—an all-time high for a Korean solo artist—and has garnered an impressive 38.6 million Spotify streams since March.
The solo records don’t stop there. BTS’s RM also reached a new milestone on Wednesday with his 2018 playlist/mixtape, Mono. The collection of lush, moody hip-hop songs has reached No. 1 on iTunes in 100 countries, becoming the first album by an Asian act to do so. Mono made a big splash on the Billboard charts, debuting at No. 2 on the World Albums chart and No. 26 on the Billboard 200. It marked the highest-charting album on the Billboard 200 for a Korean soloist at the time, a record that BTS’s Suga now holds with his latest Agust D mixtape, D-2, which reached No. 11 in June.
While iTunes records don’t have the same cultural cachet as Billboard or YouTube records, they’re still a good signifier of an artist’s popularity around the world. The global iTunes records set by V and RM this week demonstrate a few things. They prove that the members of BTS have star power on their own and can establish illustrious solo careers while continuing to conquer the world as a group. The latest achievements of “Sweet Night” and Mono, in particular, also show the band members’ musical versatility. Their solo output runs the gamut from contemplative indie pop to explosive trap bangers, and these various influences appear on BTS’s albums, which continue to blur the lines between rap, rock, pop and R&B.
Of course, V and RM’s new iTunes records are also a testament to their persistent fans. While many pop stars’ two-year-old albums would languish at the bottom of the charts or drop off entirely, the members of BTS continue to top charts around the world because of their fervent fan base. When the BTS ARMY rallies to reach a new streaming or sales milestone, it usually doesn’t take long for the record to fall. At this point, the members of BTS are breaking records they previously set as a unit, and if their fans have anything to say about it, that back-and-forth could continue for a while.