In leaps and bounds, Stray Kids conquers all grounds [GOLDEN 2023]

Boy band Stray Kids [JYP ENTERTAINMENT]

Nicknamed the “Korean Grammys,” the 38th Golden Disc Awards will take place on Jan. 6 in Jakarta, Indonesia, to honor the passion and talent that shone bright in the world of K-pop during the year of 2023.

Organized by the JoongAng Group, the Golden Disc Awards is considered one of the most prestigious awards in Korea with its unique format where dozens of nominees and multiple winners are chosen for three main categories — music, album and rookie of the year.

In this series, Golden 2023, the Korea JoongAng Daily’s entertainment arm Celeb Confirmed looks at K-pop’s biggest and brightest stars who are potential nominees, and their achievements this year.

In leaps and bounds, boy band Stray Kids’ growth has been truly one of the most remarkable sights to see in K-pop in recent years — especially in terms of its influence around the globe.

Boy band Stray Kids [JYP ENTERTAINMENT]

Stray Kids is one of the most best-selling bands in K-pop that sold 4 million copies of its album within just a week of release, but what makes its feat even more noteworthy is that the band only debuted in 2018 and only celebrated its fifth anniversary of debut last March.

Giving it the mega boost to stardom was the international makeup of its fandom, named Stay, which had been credited as the No. 1 contributor to the band’s rapid rise to the top of the charts and into people’s hearts.

This year, the band released two albums: its third full-length album “5-STAR” and its eighth EP “Rock-Star” both of which embody the band’s iconic energy and upbeat vibe but with a unique touch that brings life to each new music. “5-STAR” sold a jaw-dropping 4.6 million copies of its album within the first week of release, the highest figure back then.

The band is set to perform at the upcoming Billboard Music Awards (BBMAs) on Sunday as the second-ever K-pop boy band to do so.

Boy band Stray Kids [JYP ENTERTAINMENT]

The “Rock-Star” Stray Kids’ “5-STAR” year

Stray Kids’ two albums were released this year on June 2 and Friday under the same “Star” theme, embodying the “Enjoy the moment because we’re the best” vibe in both of its music.

“5-STAR” sold 2.39 million copies of the album just on the day of release, a number which jumped to 4.61 million by the time a week had passed. That was the highest figure in K-pop, making it all the more worthwhile coming from a boy band with just five years under its belt.

The latest EP also sold 1.9 million copies on the first day, bringing high hopes for the first-week sales of “Rock-Star.”

Stray Kids has some of the biggest presence online, with 13.5 million subscribers to its YouTube channel, 21.3 million followers on TikTok and 8.5 million monthly listeners on Spotify.

Stray Kids “5-STAR” (June 2, 2023)

  • First-day album sales of “5-STAR”: 2,392,666
  • First-week album sales of "5-STAR”: 4,617,499
  • Music video views for “S-Class” on YouTube: 151,352,057 (as of Nov. 16)
  • Major nominations: 2023 Billboard Music Awards (BBMAs, Top Global K-pop Artist, Top K-pop Album), 2023 MAMA Awards (Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year, Worldwide Fans’ Choice, Best Male Group, Best Music Video, Bets Dance Performance Male Group) 
  • Other: No. 1 on the Billboard Artist 100 chart, No. 2 on the Billboard 200 albums chart 

Stray Kids “Rock-Star” (Nov. 10, 2023)

  • First-day album sales of “Rock-Star”: 1,885,065
  • First-day streaming of lead track “Lalalala”: 2,512,489
  • Music video views for “Lalalala” on YouTube: 39,905,574 (as of Nov. 16)

*Other figures not available because a week has not passed yet