Jung Kook is back on the Hot 100 this week, but not with another BTS smash. Instead, he’s returned as a soloist, joining Charlie Puth on the instantly-successful “Left And Right.” That tune, which has been selected as the third official single from the pop singer’s to-be-released album Charlie, opens at No. 22 on the current edition of the most competitive songs tally in the U.S., and once it arrived, Jung Kook moved up on one all-time ranking and matched several of the most popular acts from his home country.
“Left And Right” is Jung Kook’s second solo hit on the Hot 100, and to date, very few South Korean musicians working on their own (or at least credited as such) have managed to send more than one track to the chart.
Jung Kook first reached the Hot 100 without his BTS bandmates in February 2022 with his single “Stay Alive.” The tune only rose as high as No. 95, and it managed just one frame on the chart, but that was still enough for him to become one of a relatively small group of South Korean solo musicians to land anywhere on the tally. Now, with a second win to his name, he’s matched several others in a notable show of popularity.
With two Hot 100 hits, Jung Kook is now on the same level as both CL and Lisa, better known as one of the four singers in the K-pop girl group Blackpink. CL first reached the Hot 100 alongside Psy on “Daddy,” which spent a single week at No. 97 back in 2015. The following year, her own “Lifted,” well, lifted to No. 94 for one turn. Lisa managed both of her successful singles in 2021, as “Lalisa” bolted to No. 84 for one frame, and a few months later, “Money” spent twice as long on the chart, but stalled at No. 90.
Leading the way among South Korean solo musicians, at least when considering the greatest number of hits on the Hot 100, is Psy. Thus far, he’s accrued five placements on the ranking, including a new one just a few months ago. Psy’s Hot 100 wins are: “Gangnam Style” (No. 2), “Gentleman” (No. 5), “Hangover” with Snoop Dogg (No. 26), “That That” with Suga (more on that in a second), and “Daddy” with CL (No. 97).
Behind Psy comes Suga, another BTS band member. He’s reached the Hot 100 three times, though under two different names. He first landed on the list in 2020 with “Daechwita,” which he released using his alter ego Agust D, which he sometimes chooses when working solo. “Daechwita” rose to No. 76 for a single week. In 2021, he returned as a featured artist on late rapper Juice WRLD’s “Girl of My Dreams,” which gave him his first top 40 smash, as it peaked at No. 29. In May 2022, he and Psy helped one another up their career totals with the aforementioned “That That,” which opened at No. 80.
This ranking will likely change again slightly in a few days, as yet another BTS star, J-Hope, is expected to return to the Hot 100. The singer’s new single “More,” taken from his soon-to-be-released album Jack in the Box, could easily reach the chart, granting him his second appearance. J-Hope previously hit No. 81 in 2019 with the multilingual “Chicken Noodle Soup” alongside Becky G.