BTS’ Map of the Soul: Persona is officially the best-selling South Korean album of all time.
Guinness World Records confirmed an inquiry request on behalf of Billboard today, finding that the septet’s Billboard 200 chart-topping EP, released in April, surpassed the previous 1995 sales record set by Kim Gun-mo’s Mis-Encounter, also known as Wrongful Encounter or Wrongful Meeting (잘못된 만남).
“Map of the Soul: Persona by BTS (South Korea) had sold 3,399,302 copies in their homeland as of May 2019,” Guinness tells Billboard. “The boy band’s seven-track EP, featuring the single “Boy with Luv”, was released on 12 April 2019 and sold 3,229,032 copies in its first month. Persona topped charts around the world, including the US Billboard 200 and the UK’s Official Albums Chart. The set debuted at No.1 on the Gaon Album Chart dated 13 April 2019, where it remained for three consecutive weeks."
Persona features seven songs, including the single "Boy with Luv" featuring Halsey, which debuted at No. 8 on the Hot 100 upon the album's release.
Kim’s third album, released in January 1995, previously held the title of best-selling album by a South Korean artist with 3.3 million sales, and was acknowledged by Guinness as the record holder.
The Gaon charts began operating in February 2010, and Map of the Soul: Persona is the best-selling album in its history. Gaon confirms to Billboard that the album had achieved a cumulative sales volume in May of 3,399,302. The album sold over 2.6 million copies ahead of its release.
Map of the Soul: Persona debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart dated April 27, with 196,00 albums sold in the U.S, making up a major sum of the 230,000 equivalent album units that propelled it to the top of the chart. Units are comprised of traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).