Japan boy band Arashi beats Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga and BTS to win 'World’s Best-Selling Album Of 2019'
K-Pop group BTS have had a whirlwind few years, going from being a top-selling act in South Korea to being one of the biggest groups in the world. Their monumental rise has seen them branded as the highest-paid boy band and K-Pop act in history.
But even BTS would find it hard to surpass fellow boy band Arashi.
Japanese group Arashi might not have the same worldwide fame as BTS currently do, but they are a veteran boy group that debuted in 1999 under the Johnny and Associates talent agency. The five-member group would go on to become one of the best-selling J-Pop acts, especially following the release of their 18th single 'Love So Sweet', which brought them an unprecedented level of commercial success. The song was also featured in the hit drama 'Hana Yori Dango 2' which starred one of the group's members, Matsumoto Jun, and it became one of the top five best-selling singles of 2007 in Japan. It was also Arashi's first single to exceed 400,000 copies sold overall in the seven years since their debut.
The group continued to see success over the next few years and won multiple awards. Arashi were the first act to occupy the top two rankings on the Oricon singles yearly chart for two years in a row with the singles 'Truth' (or 'Kaze no Mukō e') and 'One Love' in 2008 and 'Believe' (or 'Kumorinochi, Kaisei') and 'Crazy Moon' (or 'Ashita no Kioku') in 2009. And they continued to top these records in subsequent years, monopolizing charts and securing more awards and nominations along the way.
And now, despite not being as well known internationally as many other East Asian artists, Arashi has secured another honor with the 'World’s Best-Selling Album Of 2019', managing to beat out acts like Taylor Swift and BTS.
As per figures released by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), which is responsible for counting full album sales, including both digital and physical sales from around the world, Arashi won the title with a total of 3.3 million units sold across the globe for their album '5×20 All the BEST!! 1999-2019'. Many have noted that the group, which has remained active since their debut, announced on January 27, 2019, that they would pause all their activities after December 31, 2020, and that this might have contributed to them achieving such high sales figures.
The list also included Taylor Swift's 'Lover' at number 2 with 3.2 million units sold worldwide, while fan-favorite BTS - despite breaking multiple records with their previous album 'Map of the Soul: Persona' found themselves at number three with 2.5 million units sold worldwide. Others on the list were Lady Gaga for her work on the 'A Star is Born' soundtrack, Billie Eilish's Grammy-winning album 'When We All Fall Asleep', and Queen's iconic 'Bohemian Rhapsody'.
Many noted that in addition to the group's upcoming hiatus, Japan boasts the second-largest music market in the world, and some fans pointed out that "other countries don’t buy CDs anymore," adding this could have been what contributed to Arashi's remarkable commercial success in 2019.