There’s no exact date for when the 3rd generation of K-Pop started, but most people would agree that it was between 2010 and 2012. This generation consists of some of the top groups that are still the ‘King of Kpop’ for now.
The following 15 KPOP BEST-SELLING ALBUMS of the 3rd generation of Kpop is definitely becoming much more popular worldwide as the years pass, and these sales are proof of that!
Check out 15 Kpop best-selling albums here:
15. 1×1=1 (To Be One) by Wanna One (first mini-album)
Release date: August 7, 2017
Album sales: 796.8k sales
Title song: “Energetic”
1X1=1 (To Be One) is the debut extended play by South Korean boy group Wanna One, a project group created through the 2017 Mnet survival show, Produce 101 Season 2, composed of eleven trainees from different entertainment companies that will promote for 18 months under YMC Entertainment. The album was released digitally and physically on August 7, 2017, by YMC Entertainment, Stone Music Entertainment and CJ E&M Music. A Japanese version of the album was released on September 27, 2017, through Pony Canyon. The album was re-released under the title 1-1=0 (Nothing Without You) on November 13, 2017.
14. Obsession by EXO (6th full studio album)
Release date: November 27, 2019
Album sales: 810.6k sales
Title song: “Obsession”
Obsession is the band’s sixth Korean studio album and seventh overall. The album features 10 songs including the lead single, “Obsession”. It follows the band’s most recent studio album repackage Love Shot, released in December 2018. The album is the band’s first release without members Xiumin and D.O., who are currently completing mandatory military service. Member Lay only participated in the recording of the Chinese version of obsession.
13. Neo Zone by NCT 127 (2nd full studio album)
Release date: March 6, 2020
Album sales: 815.5k sales
Title song: “Kick It”
After wrapping up promotion activities in the United States by the end of November 2019, SM Entertainment uploaded a music video for “Dreams Come True” onto the group’s official channel, along with the release announcement for NCT #127: Neo Zone on January 27, 2020. The label further confirmed that member Jungwoo would re-join and participate in the group’s promotion activities following his initial hiatus from August 2019. This marked Neo Zone their first release since Neo City: Seoul – The Origin in October 2019, their first original release since We Are Superhuman in May 2019 and their second full-length album, following Regular-Irregular and its repackage in late 2018.
12. An Ode by SEVENTEEN (3rd full studio album)
Release date: September 16, 2019
Album sales: 954.2k sales
Title song: “Fear”
An Ode is the third studio album by South Korean boy band Seventeen. It was released on September 16, 2019, through Pledis Entertainment. It debuted atop the South Korean Gaon Album Chart, and topped the Japanese Oricon Albums Chart in its third week. It also reached number seven on the US Billboard World Albums chart. An Ode sold 822,265 copies in South Korea in September 2019 (including 26,131 copies of the Kihno edition.
11. . Delight by Baekhyun (2nd mini-album)
Release date: May 25, 2020
Album sales: 1.02 million
Title song: “Candy”
Baekhyun debuted as a solo artist in July 2019, with City Lights, which was commercially successful and sold over half-a-million copies in 2019. On April 22, 2020, it was reported that he was preparing for a second solo album and participated in various aspects of the production process.SM Entertainment later confirmed the statement and announced the release of Baekhyun’s second EP in late May. On May 6, the album’s title and release date were announced.
Delight is the second extended play by South Korean singer Baekhyun. It was released on May 25, 2020, by SM Entertainment,and features seven tracks, including the lead single, “Candy”.The album is available in four versions: Cinnamon, Honey, Mint, and Chemistry, which was released on June 29.
The album sold over 1,000,000 copies, making it the first South Korean soloist album to do so in 19 years, and one of the best-selling albums in South Korea.
10. You Never Walk Alone by BTS (2nd reissued album)
Release date: February 13, 2017
Album sales: 1.04 million
Title song: “Spring Day”
On February 13, 2017, the official music video for “Spring Day” was released. The song delivers a message about never losing hope while waiting to be reunited with an estranged friend. “Spring Day” is an alternative hip-hop song with the essence of British rock and electronic music. The main melody was written by RM. The video was produced and directed by frequent BTS collaborator Lumpens (YongSeok Choi) and GDW.
9. Wings by BTS (2nd full studio album)
Release date: October 10, 2016
Album sales: 1.14 million
Title song: “Blood Sweat & Tears”
Wings is the second Korean studio album (fourth overall) by South Korean boy band BTS. The album was released on October 10, 2016, by Big Hit Entertainment. It is available in four versions and contains fifteen tracks, with “Blood Sweat & Tears” serving as its lead single. Heavily influenced by Hermann Hesse’s coming of age novel, Demian, the concept album thematically deals with temptation and growth. It was later reissued as a repackage album, titled You Never Walk Alone, on February 13, 2017, a continuation of the canon for Wings. Three new songs were added to the tracklisting, with “Spring Day” and “Not Today” promoted as the lead singles.
Both albums received positive reviews from critics. They sold a combined 1.8 million physical copies worldwide, the group’s highest record sales at the time. This earned BTS the title of “million sellers” due to the outstanding financial reception. According to Gaon Chart, Wings was the best-selling album of 2016 in Korea.
8. The War by EXO (4th full studio album)
Release date: July 19, 2017
Album sales: 1.17 million
Title song: “Ko Ko Bop”
The War is the fourth studio album by South Korean boy band Exo. It was released digitally on July 18, 2017, and physically on July 19, 2017, by SM Entertainment under Genie Music’s distribution. The album includes a total of nine tracks including the lead single “Ko Ko Bop“. The War received the highest number of pre-orders at the time for a K-pop album, at more than 800,000 physical copies. 24 days after being released, it became Exo’s fourth consecutive studio album to have sold over a million copies. The album was re-released under the title The War: The Power of Music on September 5, 2017.
This was the first EXO release not to feature member Lay, who began an indefinite hiatus shortly before the music video for “Ko Ko Bop” was filmed, and the last album to be separately released in both Korean and Chinese language.
7. Heng:garae by SEVENTEEN (7th mini-album)
Release date: June 22, 2020
Album sales: 1.21 million
Title song: “Left & Right”
In the five years since their May 26, 2015 debut, SEVENTEEN has orchestrated a major feat, turning 13 individually talented members into a large but tight-knit family that breaks records left and right. Their latest mini-album, Heng:garae, sold over 1 million copies in pre-orders alone before its June 22 release, putting them in an elite club of Korean groups like BTS and EXO, and Western musicians like Taylor Swift.
6. Don’t Mess Up My Tempo by EXO (5th full studio album)
Release date: November 2, 2018
Album sales: 1.46 million
Title song: “Tempo”
Don’t Mess Up My Tempo is the fifth studio album by South Korean-Chinese boy band Exo. It was released on November 2, 2018, by SM Entertainment. Member Lay is featured in the Chinese version of lead track, “Tempo,” marking his first appearance with the group since Winter EP, For Life (2016). It is available in four versions: Allegro, Moderato, Andante and Vivace, named after types of tempo. The album debuted at number one on the Gaon Album Chart. The album was repackaged as Love Shot on December 13, 2018.
5. Love Yourself: Her by BTS (5th mini-album)
Release date: September 18, 2017
Album sales: 2.24 million
Title song: “DNA”
Love Yourself: Her is the first album to be released since BTS revealed their new “brand identity” on July 4, 2017, complete with a new, simplified logo. On September 18, the album was released alongside the music video for its lead single, “DNA“. In the 24 hours after release, the “DNA” music video had been viewed 21 million times, becoming the first K-pop group music video to reach over 20 million views in 24 hours.
4. . Love Yourself: Tear by BTS (3rd full studio album)
Release date: May 18, 2018
Album sales: 2.25 million
Title song: “Fake Love”
Love Yourself: Tear (stylized as LOVE YOURSELF 轉 ‘Tear’) is the third Korean studio album (sixth overall) by South Korean boy band BTS. The album was released on May 18, 2018 by Big Hit Entertainment. It is available in four versions and contains eleven tracks, with “Fake Love” as its lead single. The concept album explores themes relating to the pains and sorrows of separation. On May 27, 2018, the album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, earning 135,000 album-equivalent units becoming BTS’ highest-charting album in a Western market at the time, as well as the first Korean album to top the US albums chart and the highest-charting album by an Asian act.
3. . Love Yourself: Answer by BTS (3rd compilation album)
Release date: August 24, 2018
Album sales: 2.61 million
Title song: “Idol”
On November 9, 2018, Love Yourself: Answer became the first Korean album to be gold-certified in the United States. It also sold 60,000 copies in the United Kingdom, making BTS the first Asian artist to be certified Silver in the country.
On November 7, 2019, it was reported that Love Yourself: Answer reentered Billboard 200 on November 4 (No. 165). The album has remained on the charts for 52, non-consecutive weeks, making the album the first, and currently, only K-pop album to remain on the Billboard main album chart for a whole year.
2. Map of the Soul: Persona by BTS (6th mini-album)
Release date: April 12, 2019
Album sales: 3.82 million
Title song: “Boy With Luv”
Map of the Soul: Persona is the sixth extended play by South Korean boy band BTS. It was released on April 12, 2019, via Big Hit Entertainment with “Boy with Luv” as its lead single. It is the follow-up to their 2018 albums Love Yourself: Tear and Love Yourself: Answer, and precedes the band’s Love Yourself: Speak Yourself world tour. The EP was released for pre-order on March 13. It debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, making BTS the first band since the Beatles to have three number-one albums in less than a year. The album also topped the UK, Scottish, New Zealand and Australian charts, making BTS the first Korean act to achieve a number-one album in each of these countries. Moreover, the album sold 3.2 million copies in one month, making it the best-selling album in South Korea, replacing the previous record-holder of 24 years.
1. Map of the Soul: 7 by BTS (4th full studio album)
Release date: February 21, 2020
Album sales: 4.27 million
Title song: “ON”
Map of the Soul: 7 is the fourth Korean-language (seventh overall) studio album by South Korean boy band BTS. The album was released on February 21, 2020, by Big Hit Entertainment. It is the follow-up to their 2019 extended play Map of the Soul: Persona, with five of its songs appearing on the album. Map of the Soul: 7 has been described as a pop, R&B and hip-hop record with influences from rock, trap and EDM. Lyrically, it touches upon themes of reflection, introspection and self-acceptance.
The album was supported by two singles, both entering the US Billboard Hot 100: “Black Swan” debuted and peaked at number 57, while “On” reached number four, becoming the band’s first top-five hit on the chart. To promote the album, the group announced their fourth world tour, the Map of the Soul Tour.
Again, EXO, BTS and SEVENTEEN have proved their strong affection to the K-pop market by their talent, a huge number of fans, and the album’s sales, becoming the three top boy groups that have ‘Kpop best-selling albums’.