K-pop: Is Stray Kids the next BTS? | Earns 5 Billion Streams on Spotify

Stray Kids 5 billion streams Spotify

The 4th generation boy group Stray Kids leads the K-pop scene with their energetic music and powerful vocals. Their steady rise on the charts with each comeback has earned them many milestones, and recently they crossed 5 Billion streams on Spotify, making them the second most-streamed K-pop artist following BTS.

This recent milestone may surprise many and make them curious if Stray Kids are the next globally charting K-pop talent similar to the superstar BTS. However, for the eight-member group’s fans, it was an expected achievement from the self-producing, singer and rapper K-pop group.

Are Stray Kids the next BTS?

Following the achievements of BTS that took the third-gen K-pop to another tier globally and changed the scene for 4th gen idols, it is inevitable for K-pop groups to end up in comparison with the global superstars. However, it is especially unavoidable for Stray Kids due to some of their achievements and credentials that place them next to BTS.

Stray Kids is a self-producing group, working under JYP Entertainment (one of the ‘big four’ of K-pop). The 3RACHA, consisting of leader Bang Chan, Changbin, and Han, takes part in their album’s production, making their music unique. This music is executed along with the deep honey-laced vocals of Felix, Hyunjin, Lee Know, Seungmin, and I.N.

Apart from the 5 Billion streams on Spotify, the K-pop boy group also surpassed 5 Million pre-orders for their recent album 5-STAR, among which 2 Million were sold in the first 24 hours. This achievement is a remarkable feat that only SEVENTEEN and BTS had attained.

  • Stray Kids’ comparison with BTS is understandable but also limiting for both groups. Stray Kids’ journey towards their achievement is unique to themselves just as it is for the world-renowned K-pop artists. These achievements also came at a stage of their career where there is still plenty more that the group has to offer that makes them the first Stray Kids rather than the second BTS.

The Journey of Stray Kids

The eight-member group (initially nine including Woojin who left the group in 2019) debuted in 2017 after winning an audition program organized by JYP Entertainment to formate the next-gen male Idol group. The group chose their name, Stray Kids, initially referring to lost children chasing their dreams, which later evolved into a group forming a way out of the ordinary.

  • The survival show premiered after the release of their first music video, ‘Hellevator‘ which attained them success and invited them to perform on international stages.
  • Felix and Lee Know returned to the final line-up after initial elimination in the audition program.
  • Following the digital single Hellevator, the group released their first EP, Mixtape, on January 8, 2018, consisting of seven tracks, each co-written and co-produced by the members.
  • The album, with two music videos BEWARE and Spread My Wings, debuted at number two on Gaon Album Chart and Billboard World Album Chart.

In the same year, they released EP I Am Not, with music videos of the title track District 9, Grow Up, and a performance video of Mirror. The album sold over 54,000 physical copies in the month of its release and charted at number four on Gaon Album Chart.

  • They also performed at KCON Japan 2018, Grand Peace Place with their second EP I Am Who, and at Olympic Hall with their third Ep, I Am You. In 2019, they went on their Asia-Pacific tour and made their third comeback on the first anniversary with the fourth EP Clé 1: MIROH which earned them their first music show win with the same title lead track.
  • After this, they continued to release their new music and went on a world tour.

Back Door, Kingdom: The Legendary War and NOEASY

The group consistently attained achievements with each release. Their album GO LIVE, alongside the title track God’s Menu, became their best-selling album. It also received a platinum certificate from the KMCA. Not long after that, the group released their chart-bursting single Back Door, which was recognized by TIME Magazine in their Top 10 Songs of 2020.

  • Later, they joined Mnet’s Kingdom: The Legendary War alongside ATEEZ, BTOB, iKON, THE BOYZ, as well as SF9. During the finale, they released Wolfgang and won the show.
  • Following this, they worked with Swedish producer Alesso and Chinese DJ Corsak for PUBG’s soundtrack and released a third single Mixtape: Oh.
  • In August, they released their second studio album, NOEASY, selling over 1 Million copies. This made them the first JYP Entertainment group to do so.
  • Their album’s lead single, Thunderous, showcased their powerful vocals and topped at 33 on Gaon Digital Chart and 80 on Billboard Global 200.

Latest achievements: 5-STAR and 5 Billion streams on Spotify

Following the lightning success of NOEASY, the group continued to break records globally with the sixth EP Oddinary, and its title MANIAC. The album also made them top the UK Album Chart and Billboard 200, making them the third K-pop group to achieve this after BTS and SuperM.

  • Recently, they released their third studio album 5-STAR, with lead single S-Class, and sold 5 Million pre-orders. They will also embark on their first all Dome concert tour in South Korea and Japan from August to October.
  • These achievements, while coming close to BTS, are undoubtedly unique to Stray Kids in their career.
  • Due to this, although nobody can speculate on the achievements that BTS and Stray Kids will attain ahead, both groups are sure to break many records and further grow their artistry and amazing fans all across the world.

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