All K-Pop albums that were No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart in 2022

Pictured: BTS, Stray Kids, BLACKPINK, and Stray Kids (clockwise from the left) as they pose for the K-pop album promotions that made it to number one on the Billboard 200 chart in 2022.
Stray Kids, BTS, and BLACKPINK were K-pop groups who were number one on the Billboard 200 in 2022. (Images via Twitter/ @StrayKidsPL, @btschartsdailys, @Changbin_Seo11, and @ygofficialblink)

K-pop albums have not always seen the kind of success that they now enjoy, as evidenced by their existence on the Billboard 200 chart. To note, the chart did not feature any Korean artists until 2009, when BoA's eponymous US studio album ranked 127.

Since then, however, K-pop albums have regularly been placed on the charts, showing that their audience has grown and evolved in the US market too.

The aforementioned chart ranks the bestselling albums and EPs, based on digital and physical sales in the US. Additionally, if an album is not licensed for retail sale in the country, it is considered ineligible for the Billboard 200 chart, which excludes the albums purchased as imports.


Stray Kids' MAXIDENT, BTS' Proof, and more K-pop albums that topped the Billboard 200 chart in 2022

1) ODDINARY by Stray Kids

ODDINARY made it to many of the end-of-year best K-pop albums lists across publications (including second on the Billboard list), and for good reason.

The EP was mainly written and produced by Stray Kids' 3RACHA (consisting of Bang Chan, Changbin, and Han), with the other members participating in various capacities.

With the title song Maniac making everyone who listened to it groove, the album showed Stray Kids' drive to deliver music that builds on what they have already released, creating a discography that is as experimental as it is trendy.

ODDINARY is about out-of-ordinary odd individuals who exist in society, and it topped not only the US Billboard 200 (April 2, 2022) and US World Albums, but also individual charts in South Korea, Finland, and Poland.


2) Proof by BTS

2022 was a monumental year for BTS. The group announced their first anthology album, with three new songs and many unreleased demos. Proof is the culmination of their ten years in the music industry and how BTS' songs reflect the values they live by.

For fans, it seemed to be a journey through their music, from hits like Blood Sweat & Tears and Dynamite to solo numbers like Intro: Persona and Moon.

With members moving forward with their plans to focus on solo activities (till they reconvene in 2025), the album had fans flocking to obtain a copy of the different versions of Proof, one of which weighed a whopping 7.35kg (16.20 lbs).

The album touched number one on June 25, 2022, and has spent 35 weeks on the Billboard 200 chart since.


3) BORN PINK by BLACKPINK

The only K-pop girl group on this list, BLACKPINK has had a penchant for breaking records and creating new ones since its debut. With BORN PINK, the group became the first female group to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 chart since 2008 and the first ever female K-pop group to top the chart (on October 1, 2022).

Apart from the superhit singles Pink Venom and Shut Down, BORN PINK features Hard to Love, a solo song by Rosé, and Yeah Yeah Yeah, a group song co-written by Jisoo and Rosé.

BLACKPINK are currently embarking on the Asian leg of their Born Pink World Tour, and have already performed in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Riyadh, and Abu Dhabi.


4) MAXIDENT by Stray Kids

Stray Kids' EP MAXIDENT became the group's second album to become number one on 2022's Billboard 200 chart on October 22. The title song Case 143 explores the bewilderment that accompanies the feeling of falling in love, with 143 being code for "I love you". With '90s-style graphics being a part of the music video for the track, it occupies a unique space in the K-pop group's discography.

MAXIDENT is iconically within the sub-genre of music that Stray Kids has created for itself, differentiating it from becoming a mushy album about love.

As always, it was produced by their in-house team, 3RACHA, with leader Bang Chan participating in the arrangement, digital editing, and recording apart from production and songwriting.


Rather than remaining an unattainable dream for K-pop artists, the Billboard 200 chart has become another feather to add to the hats of upcoming singers and groups. Fourth-generation K-pop group, TOMORROW X TOGETHER recently topped the Billboard chart with their latest album, The Name Chapter: Temptation. It is heartening to see how far Korean acts have come since BoA in 2009, and one can only hope to see more of K-pop on many such ranking lists around the world.

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Edited by Vinay Agrawal