New BTS album drops and is already breaking records

The K-Pop sensations pre-sold four million copies of 'Map of the Soul: 7'

South Korean boy band BTS attends the 2019 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 1, 2019, in Las Vegas, Nevada. / AFP
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K-Pop superstars BTS released their much-anticipated comeback album, Map of the Soul: 7, today.

The album name is a reference to the number of members in the band, but also the number of years since they made their debut. In that time, they have gained a significant global following, becoming the first K-pop group to top the charts in the United States and United Kingdom, and performing a string of sold-out tours across the globe.

Their new album was breaking records before it dropped, with more than four million copies pre-sold, making it South Korea's most pre-ordered album of all time. As hype built in the run-up to the release, BTS's Billboard-topping song Boy With Luv also topped 700 million views on YouTube. This was the lead track on BTS' last album, Map of the Soul: Persona.

BTS teased the first song from Map of the Soul: 7 on video app TikTok – and encouraged fans to create their own versions with the hashtag #onchallenge. Response to the 30-second preview of On caused the app to momentarily crash.

The song On is "like a diary of our past seven years", BTS member RM told Apple Music. "We stumble from time to time but we got back up... It's like a declaration that we have admitted our destiny."

Songs on the new album include Ugh!, Friends, Filter, Inner Child, Moon, Louder than Bombs and Zero O'Clock. Fans on Twitter have responded to the new tracks with predictable amounts of glee. "Talented, brilliant, incredible, amazing, show stopping, spectacular, never the same, totally unique, completely not ever been done before," was one user's assessment of the release.