The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) revealed that K-pop superstars BTS’ “Map of the Soul: 7” has earned the distinction of being the only pop album that was awarded platinum certification in the US in 2020.
In its 2020 Year-end’s Best list, RIAA said for the year, the albums certified platinum are BTS’ “Map of the Soul: 7” (pop), Future’s “High Off Life” (R&B/hip hop), Halsey’s “Manic” (alternative), Justin Bieber’s “Changes” (R&B/hip hop), Lil Uzi Vert’s “Eternal Atake” (R&B/hip hop), Polo G’s “The Goat” (R&B/hip hop), Sam Hunt’s “Southside” (country) and Taylor Swift’s “Folklore” (alternative).
The RIAA awards albums based on the following tiers: Gold, 500,000 units; Platinum, 1,000,000 units; Multi-Platinum, 2,000,000 units (increments of 1,000,000 thereafter); and Diamond, 10,000,000 units (increments of 1,000,000 thereafter).
“Map of the Soul: 7” was certified gold and platinum by RIAA on Nov. 16. Under RIAA rules, units are defined as “each permanent digital album or physical album sale count as 1 Unit for certification purposes”; “10 permanent track downloads from the album count as 1 Unit for certification purposes”; and “1,500 on-demand audio and/or video streams from the album count as 1 Unit for certification purposes.”
“Map of the Soul: 7” was released on Feb. 21 this year and it debuted at No. 1 on Billboard 200 on the March 7-dated chart with “422,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending Feb. 27, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. Of that sum, 347,000 are in album sales,” Billboard reported.
In August, Guinness World Records declared that “Map of the Soul: 7” set the title for the best-selling album in South Korea with 4.26 million copies sold as of June 2020 based on Gaon Music Chart data, making “BTS the country’s best selling act of all time.”
With this, BTS broke their own Guinness record for the same title. “Map of the Soul: Persona,” released in April 2019, earned the world record for the best-selling album in South Korea with 3.39 million copies sold as of May 2019.
As of November 2020, “Map of the Soul: 7” had sold 4.39 million copies based on Gaon’s album chart.