BTS has released a new single aimed at the Japanese market just as news came out that the Korean band made sales history in the region.
“Stay Gold” is BTS’ focus single off the group’s forthcoming Japanese-language album Map of the Soul: 7 ~The Journey~. The comforting track opens with youngest member Jungkook softly cooing, “In a world where you feel cold, you gotta stay gold, baby” before the verse’s bouncy hip-hop beat and chorus’ power-pop production. Like some of the gems of BTS’ past discography, the song is a comforting pop blanket with its scaling, surging hook encouraging listeners to “stay gold” delivers some empowering words when many need it.
The release of “Stay Gold” comes just as BTS made major sales and chart history in Japan, the second-largest music industry in the world behind the United States.
On June 19, Japanese music chart Oricon revealed it’s mid-year sales statistics sharing that BTS had topped its overall album-sales rankings for the first half of 2020. That feat comes thanks to the group’s latest K-pop album Map of the Soul: 7 that has sold 429,000 copies in Japan since its February release, according to Oricon.
While the feat is impressive for BTS, Oricon also shared that this marks the first time in 36 years that a foreign artist has topped their albums chart for the first half in the year. The last artist to accomplish this was none other than Michael Jackson, who managed to do so with his iconic, mega-selling Thriller album in 1984. It’s further notable as Japan has a very healthy album and record industry particularly for its local artists with physical albums and DVDs still major sources of revenues for artists and labels.
The Oricon news and “Stay Gold” all come ahead of BTS’ Map of the Soul: 7 ~The Journey~ album that will be released in Japan and digitally worldwide on July 14. There will be a CD version available in the U.S. on August 7. The album will include new original songs (including the previously released “Lights”) as well as Japanese remakes of past Korean singles (like their Billboard chart hits “On,” Boy With Luv,” “Fake Love,” “Idol,” “Make It Right” and more).