BTS named 2020 Global Recording Artist of the Year, first Korean artist to win the award

K-pop superstars and Grammy nominee BTS won the 2020 Global Recording Artist of the Year Award given by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), making another history in their career. 

According to IFPI, “the voice of the recording industry worldwide,” the Global Recording Artist of the Year is based on “an artist’s or group’s worldwide performance across digital and physical music formats during the year, from streams to vinyl, and covers their entire body of work.”

This is BTS’ first IFPI award after placing seventh in 2019 and second in 2018 in the Global Artist Chart. 

According to IFPI, BTS became the first Korean artist to bag the award and “first winner to perform primarily in a language other than English.”

“BTS are a global phenomenon. They have had another outstanding year, releasing three albums, and continually finding creative and engaging ways to share their story with the world. They truly show the power that music has to bring joy and happiness to people the world over. We would like to congratulate RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jung Kook and we are excited to see what they have in store next,” said Frances Moore, IFPI chief executive

IFPI noted that BTS’ “Map of the Soul: 7” album, released in February 2020, became “one of the most pre-ordered albums of all time, and swiftly went to #1 in more than 20 countries.”

Their Japanese album “Map of the Soul: 7: The Journey,” dropped in July 2020, sold 500,000 copies in two days of release to become the best-selling album by a male foreign artist in that market, the IFPI said. 

It added: “August brought the release of the all-conquering single Dynamite, the first time BTS recorded a track fully in English, which became their first ever US #1 single and broke records for opening day streams on YouTube and Spotify. BTS closed their incredible year with the release of BE (Deluxe Edition) in November, a response to the Covid-19 pandemic summed up by the lead single Life Goes On, which secured #1s across three continents.”

Placing second behind BTS is last year’s winner Taylor Swift followed by Drake, The Weeknd, Billie Eilish, Eminem, Post Malone, Ariana Grande, Juice Wrld and Justin Bieber. 

The previous winners of the Global Recording Artist of the Year are: 

2019 – Taylor Swift

2018 – Drake

2017 – Ed Sheeran

2016 – Drake

2015 – Adele

2014 – Taylor Swift

2013 – One Direction