BTS leader RM on allegations of ARMY manipulating music charts: 'Don’t know if slamming us, our fans is right'
BTS leader RM has addressed allegations levelled against the K-pop group's fandom, also known as the ARMY. They were accused of manipulating music charts to help the group hold their top spots. BTS fans, with the release of Butter and Permission to Dance, were said to be be mass buying the songs and influencing the chart to keep BTS on top.
The group held the top spot of the Billboard Hot 100 for ten consecutive weeks. While Butter ranked No. 1 for nine weeks, Permission to Dance debuted on the first spot following its release and eventually dropped down.
Speaking with Billboard Magazine, BTS members were asked about the manipulation allegations. BTS leader RM said, "It’s a fair question. But if there is a conversation inside Billboard about what being No. 1 should represent, then it’s up to them to change the rules and make streaming weigh more on the ranking. Slamming us or our fans for getting to No. 1 with physical sales and downloads, I don’t know if that’s right ... It just feels like we’re easy targets because we’re a boy band, a K-pop act, and we have this high fan loyalty.”
The magazine also asked Shin Young-jae, president of BTS’ label, Big Hit Music (a HYBE subsidiary), if 'HYBE itself organises fans in any chart manipulation.' He said with a chuckle, "Wouldn’t it be nice if we actually had the ability to mastermind such a thing? I get that there are market developments [related to BTS] that are head-scratchers for some people. But I don’t believe the U.S. market is one that can be handily topped by downloads alone. We think the songs’ impact was shown in many ways, and we are proud of that achievement.”
BTS has debuted on the top spot of the Billboard Hot 100 every time after a song released since last August. The group first debuted on the top of the chart with Dynamite, which also bagged them their first Grammy nomination, followed by their remix of Savage Love (Laxed – Siren Beat) with Jawsh 685 and Jason Derulo, Life Goes On, Butter and Permission to Dance.