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POP GOES BTS, ON A GLOBAL SCALE

Bet you didn’t see this coming—it certainly caught us unawares. The new album from K-pop group BTS is #1 on the iTunes album chart in 73 markets around the world, CNN reports. Not only that, but the video for lead single “DNA” hit 20m views on YouTube in just 20 hours, outpacing clips from Taylor Swift, Katy Perry and Rihanna for most views in a day.

Love Yourself: Her, BTS’ fifth album, is “all about crossing barriers, language borders and connecting the human experience,” Kim Nam-joon, the group’s leader, told CNN over the phone from Seoul. “Our songs are about the hardships of young people, their loves and their daily lives.”

Earlier this year, the septet, whose initials stand for Beyond the Scene, sold out its U.S. arena tour in a matter of hours—another first for a K-pop act.

One of their singles, “Best of Me,” is a collaboration with The Chainsmokers. “They were curious about us,” said Kim. “We were of course fans.”

BTS is massive on social media. Their fans are known as the ARMY, short for Adorable Representative MCs for Youth.

“We tweet about silly things and every small thing,” Kim pointed out. “We use social media every day. It’s like brushing teeth.”

The biggest—and most sobering—issue facing the bandmembers is their upcoming required two-year military service.

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