BTS was the best-selling artist worldwide in 2020

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) announces each year which artists have sold the most albums and singles in the past year. Today the IFPI announced the top 10 of 2020 and it showed that the Korean boy band BTS sold the most during the past year. BTS thus becomes the first Asian and the first non-English-speaking act to ever receive this recognition.

We already knew that BTS had had a great year in 2020, but now the seven are putting the icing on the cake. The group, consisting of RM, Jin, SUGA, j-hope, Jimin, V and Jung Kook, sold more albums and singles during the past year than any other artist in the world.

Global Artist Chart

The IFPI makes the IFPI Global Artist Chart known. That is a top 10 with the artists who sold the most albums and singles during the past year. That list consists almost entirely of American and Canadian artists, except for the number one. This year, for the first time ever, a non-English speaking artist will be at the very top. South Korean boy band BTS sold more than Taylor Swift, Drake and The Weeknd in 2020 and is bestselling artist of the past year.

To compile the ranking, the IFPI looks at the digital and physical sales of albums and singles, but also at the streams and sales of vinyl records. It is not the first time that BTS has been in the top 10. In 2018, the group already took second place and in 2019 they were in seventh place.

These were the (English) winners of the past years:

  • 2013: One Direction
  • 2014: Taylor Swift
  • 2015: Adele
  • 2016: Drake
  • 2017: Ed Sheeran
  • 2018: Drake
  • 2019: Taylor Swift


The Korean boy band BTS broke several records in 2020. They did that with their monster hit Dynamite, but also with the albums ‘Map of the Soul: 7’, the Japanese ‘Map of the Soul: 7 – The Journey’ and ‘BE’, which were released in February, July and November respectively. Those albums and the singles on those albums sold like hot cakes, which is why the South Korean seven-piece is now the bestselling artist of 2020.

BTS has also been nominated for a Grammy Award. The Grammys had to be postponed this year, but will be awarded on the night of March 14 to 15.

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