BTS’s Jung Kook Makes History Among K-Pop Solo Stars On The Hot 100, Passing Bandmate Suga

On this week’s Hot 100 chart, the highest-ranking debut comes from the powerful pairing of Charlie Puth and Jung Kook. The two musicians collaborated on the track “Left And Right,” which enters the all-important ranking of the most-consumed songs in the U.S. at No. 22. That’s an impressive starting point (and possible peak) for the tune, and it helps one of the artists attached to the cut make history.

“Left And Right” now stands as Jung Kook’s highest-charting hit, aside from his work with BTS, that is. In fact, not only is it his best-performing tune, but it ranks as one of the greatest successes among South Korean solo stars in the history of the Hot 100.

Jung Kook now claims the fourth-highest-charting song in U.S. history that credits a South Korean solo musician. Before this week, that slot was filled by another BTS singer, Suga. The multi-talented artist joined the late rapper Juice WRLD on the tune “Girl of My Dreams,” which was featured on his most recent posthumous album Fighting Demons, released in late 2021. That cut debuted and peaked at No. 29 less than a year ago. Now, it stands as the fifth-highest-charting song by a solo musician hailing from South Korea, pushed down in the all-time ranking by the incoming Jung Kook.

Both Jung Kook and Suga come in behind several successful singles by Psy. The pioneering K-pop superstar continues to claim the three highest-ranking hits in U.S. history, when looking specifically at South Korean artists who are credited on their own. He once climbed all the way to No. 2 more than a decade ago with the unstoppable “Gangnam Style.” A year after that track took over the world, he returned with “Gentleman,” which stopped at No. 5 on the Hot 100. Later, he’d land another top 40 win with “Hangover” alongside Snoop Dogg, which shot to No. 26.

Of course, this ranking only takes into account solo South Korean artists. The list changes completely when work by all South Korean musicians is included. BTS alone has charted half a dozen No. 1 smashes on the Hot 100.

“Left And Right” is the third single taken from Puth’s forthcoming third album, apparently titled Charlie, and expected in October. From its debut, it has instantly become the biggest win on the Hot 100 for the pop singer, as its No. 22 starting point easily beats the No. 27 peak of lead cut “Light Switch,” which was released in early 2022. Second promotional song “That’s Hilarious” failed to reach the roster, so the immediate success of “Left And Right” is certainly welcome by Puth and his team.

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