Higher and higher: Seventeen reaches new heavens each year [GOLDEN 2023]
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.
Higher and higher: It’s rare to see a band stay strong several years after its debut, so much so that there’s a “seven-year curse” in K-pop — but not for Seventeen, one of the biggest names in the market and one that just keeps on growing and growing to reach new highs.
The 13-member boy band released two albums this year: its 10th EP “FML” on April 24 and the 11th EP “Seventeenth Heaven” on Oct. 23. With the former, the band sold a jaw-dropping 4.55 million copies within the first week. The latter, however, exceeded that number and sold 5.09 million copies during the same period.
Seventeen had already sold over 10 million copies of its albums even before “Seventeenth Heaven” came out, bringing the number to 15 million in this year alone as of November.
Rare it is to see a long-running group see its fandom grow over the years in K-pop, but an exclusive contract with the agency Pledis Entertainment renewed prematurely in 2021 only signals better days to come for the ever-growing band.
Seventeen says “FML” in “Seventeenth Heaven”
Perhaps two of the best-selling albums in history, "FML" and "Seventeenth Heaven," were released only six months apart in April and October.
"FML" sold 3,998,373 copies just on the first day of release, becoming the only album in the world to sell three million copies on the first day of its release. It then became the most-sold album in the first week of its release in the history of K-pop, with 4.55 million copies sold.
That record, however, was broken by "Seventeenth Heaven," which sold 5,090,000 units in the first seven days of its release and became the first K-pop album to sell over 5 million copies in its debut week. The album landed at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.
The lead track of "Seventeenth Heaven," titled "God of Music," topped Korea's largest domestic streaming platform Melon's Top 100 chart for the first time for a boy band this year and also topped the iTunes Top Song charts in 29 regions around the world.
Seventeen “FML” (April 24, 2023)
- First-week album sales of "FML": 4,550,214
- First-day streaming of lead track "Super" on Spotify: 1,605,333
- First-week streaming of album songs on Spotify: 34,590,000
- Music video views for “Super” on YouTube: 152,833,264 (as of Nov. 15)
- Major nominations: 2023 MAMA Awards (Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year, Worldwide Fans’ Choice, Best Music Video, Best Dance Performance Male Group), 2023 Pop Golden Awards (Pop Group of the Year, K-pop Music Video, K-pop Album of the Year)
- Other: No. 1 on the Billboard Top Album Sales, Top Current Album Sales and World Album charts, No. 2 on the Billboard 200 albums chart
Seventeen “Seventeenth Heaven” (Oct. 23, 2023)
- First-week album sales of "Seventeenth Heaven": 5,091,887
- First-day streaming of lead track "God of Music" on Spotify: 1,190,000
- First-week streaming of album songs on Spotify: 24,930,000
- Music video views for “God of Music” on YouTube: 46,231,336 (as of Nov. 15)
- Other: No. 2 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, No. 1 on Melon Top 100 chart, Highest first-week album sales in Korea
The “Second Wind” of Seventeen’s BSS
BSS, Seventeen’s three-member subunit comprised of members Seungkwan, DK and Hoshi, dropped its first single “Second Wind” on Feb. 6, five years after it made its debut in March 2018 with a digital single.
The single sold 478,000 copies on the first day of release, making it the most-sold album released by a subunit group in the first week of release, according to Pledis Entertainment.
The single also topped the Hanteo daily album charts the following day. Its lead track “Fighting” has been popular among listeners for its humorous and upbeat melody and the message of support to everyone.
BSS “Second Wind” (Feb. 6, 2023)
- First-week album sales of "Second Wind": 610,100
- First-day streaming of lead track "Fighting" on Spotify: 632,545
- Music video views for “Fighting” on YouTube: 52,147,607 (as of Nov. 15)
- Major nominations: 2023 MAMA Awards (Song of the Year, Best Collaboration)
- Other: No. 1 on Billboard Japan Hot 100