BTS’ “BE” album returned to n.1 on Billboard’s World Albums Chart in its 11th week on the chart. “BE” is BTS’ fifth Korean-language (ninth overall) studio album. It was released on November 20, 2020, nine months after Map of the Soul: 7 (2020). According to BTS, the album was created in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, inspired by the thoughts and feelings the band experienced during the conception of the project. BTS members contributed to various aspects of the album including songwriting, development, production, visual aspects, and direction. Be touches upon themes of comfort, loneliness, anxiety, depression, frustration, restlessness, sadness, hope, connection, and joy.
“BE” was supported by the lead single “Life Goes On” which debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming BTS’ third consecutive number-one song in the United States, and peaked within the top ten of the charts in the United Kingdom.
The album was BTS’ fifth to debut at number one on the Billboard 200, making BTS the fastest group to earn five chart-topping albums in the United States since the Beatles. BTS also became the only act besides Taylor Swift to debut atop the Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard 200 charts simultaneously.
The album also topped charts in Canada, Denmark, Japan, Lithuania, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, the Republic of Ireland, South Korea, and the Walloon region of Belgium; it peaked within the top ten of the charts in 14 countries, including Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
They also became the first group and ninth overall act to prevail on top of the Artist 100, Hot 100, and Billboard 200 charts simultaneously.
The album was BTS’ 11th to debut atop the World Albums chart—their 14th top-10 on the ranking overall—and has spent ten consecutive weeks at number one as of the issue dated February 6, 2021.
Seven tracks from “BE” charted simultaneously on the Hot 100 chart, with “Life Goes On” and “Dynamite” in the top-10, “Blue & Grey” in the top-20, and “Stay” in the top-40. This stood as the most number of simultaneous entries on the Hot 100 chart by a Korean act.
“The pandemic unexpectedly put a lot of our original plans to a halt. However, it provided us an opportunity to step back and focus on ourselves as well as our music. We reflected the emotions that we felt during this unprecedented period into this album. We were also able to take a step further by taking roles in overall production, such as concept development, composition and visual design.” Jimin, Rolling Stone India
“BE” debuted at number one on South Korea’s Gaon Album Chart with first week sales of 2.274 million copies on Hanteo Chart, representing the second-highest first sales figures in the chart’s history, behind Map of the Soul: 7. With it, “BE” became BTS’ eighth consecutive million seller in the country.
The album received double million certification from the Korea Music Content Association (KMCA) on January 6, 2021.
At the end of 2020, according to MRC Data, “BE” was the fifth best-selling physical album of the year in the US, with 252,000 hard copies sold. It was one of two BTS albums to make it on the top ten ranking, the other being “Map of the Soul: 7” in first place—BTS was the only artist with multiple albums on the list.
In South Korea, the album took second place on Gaon’s annual album chart, again only behind its predecessor Map of the Soul: 7, with a collective 2,692,022 copies sold in the country. BTS had the most entries of any artist on the 100-spot ranking, with 13 of their albums entering the final chart.
An “Essential Edition” of the album was announced by Big Hit on January 24, 2021, as a thank you to fans for the “historic milestones” the band achieved on the Billboard Hot 100 and at The Grammys.