BTS Becomes the World’s Top Artist in Global Records


New York: The global recorded music market grew by 18.5 per cent in 2021, driven by growth in paid subscription streaming, according to IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry), the organisation that represents the recorded music industry worldwide.

South Korean pop group BTS is known for their record-breaking album sales. Since their debut in 2013, the septet comprising of Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook has only moved towards success, in their hometown as well as internationally. The year 2021 was no different as they released several top-charting tracks like Butter, Permission To Dance and more.

The top 10 global artists, based on “consumption across all formats and all countries, weighted based on the value of each method of consumption”, are:


Taylor Swift



Ed Sheeran

The Weeknd

Billie Eilish

Justin Bieber


Olivia Rodrigo

The top 10 global digital singles were:

The Weeknd ‘Save Your Tears’ (2.15 billion streams)

The Kid Lario, Justin Bieber ‘Stay’ (2.07 bn)

Dua Lipa ‘Levitating’ (1.88 bn)

BTS ‘Butter’ (1.76 bn)

Olivia Rodrigo ‘Drivers License’ (1.73 bn)

Justin Bieber (ft. Daniel Caesar and Giveon) ‘Peaches’ (1.72 bn)

The Weeknd ‘Blinding Lights’ (1.61 bn)

Olivia Rodrigo ‘Good 4 U’ (1.61. bn)

Lil Nas X ‘Montero’ (1.6 bn)

Ed Sheeran ‘Bad Habits’ (1.57 bn)

The top 10 all-format albums were:

Adele ’30’

Olivia Rodrigo ‘Sour’

Justin Bieber ‘Justice’

Ed Sheeran “=”

The Weeknd ‘After Hours’

Dua Lipa ‘Future Nostalgia’

The Kid Laroi ‘Fa-Love’ (mixtape)

ABBA ‘Voyage’

Morgan Wallen ‘Dangerous: The Double Album’

Doja Cat ‘Planet Her’

And, for good measure, the top-selling vinyl titles across the world were:

Adele ’30’ (862,000 global units)

Harry Styles ‘Fine Line’ (397,000)

Fleetwood Mac ‘Rumours’ (346,000)

Olivia Rodrigo ‘Sour’ (339,000)

Billie Eilish ‘Happier Than Ever’ (335,000)

Taylor Swift ‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’ (325,000)

The Beatles ‘Abbey Road’ (283,000)

Nirvana ‘Nevermind’ (274,000)

Pink Floyd ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ (272,000)

Taylor Swift ‘Evermore’ (270,000)

According to ‘Variety’, the report notes that paid subscription streaming revenues increased by 21.9 per cent to $12.3 billion, with 523 million users of paid subscription accounts at the end of 2021.

Notably, besides BTS, Seventeen is the only K-pop band in the top 10 global artists list. Additionally, the report also unveiled the top 10 global digital singles where BTS’ top-charting single Butter took fourth place with 1.76 billion streams while The Weeknd’s Save Your Tears bagged the top position with 2.15 billion streams.

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