by Jeff Benjamin
Last year, EXO broke records when their Exodus album earned the largest first-week sales ever for a K-pop act on the Billboard 200. With their newly released Ex’act album, the K-pop phenoms already have a new accolade to celebrate as their single “Monster” earns the group their first No. 1 on Billboard’s World Digital Songs chart.
“Monster” is one of two singles off the record with that opens with a dark, hip-hop-leaning sound before exploding into a emotive pop chorus that only the best boy bands can pull off and is a strong reminder to why EXO is one of the top in the game. The World Digital Songs chart combines the sales of both the Korean and Chinese version that were released on Ex’act in the hours it was on sale for the previous tracking week (more on that below), though the Korean version makes a large majority of the track sales. “Monster” sold 6,000 downloads in America last week.
EXO is only the sixth K-pop act to hit No. 1 on World Digital Songs. The group now joins the company of PSY (who has four No. 1’s on the chart), BIGBANG (with three) and 2NE1, BTS, CL, plus G-Dragon and Taeyang (all with one).
Furthermore, all nine songs from Ex’act chart on this week’s World Digital Songs chart with the LP’s other single “Lucky One” — boasting a disco shimmer complete with funky guitar licks and an unexpected-but-much-welcomed flute inclusion — landing at No. 3. See the full rundown on EXO’s chart domination below:
No. 1, “Monster”
No. 3, “Lucky One”
No. 5, “Artificial Love”
No. 6, “Heaven”
No. 8, “They Never Know”
No. 9, “Cloud 9”
No. 11, “White Noise”
No. 12, “One and Only”
No. 13, “Stronger”
Billboard’s tracking weeks begin on Fridays and end on Thursdays to coincide with the new global release date established in June 2015. EXO releasing Ex’act on Thursday, June 9, didn’t leave for much time for the group to rack up sales. Ex’act does not chart on the Billboard 200, marking the band’s first, non-holiday release since 2013 to not bow in the main albums chart after Exodus hit No. 95 in 2015 and the Korean version of their Overdose EP (credited to EXO-K) landed at No. 129.
Ex’act does land at No. 2 on World Albums, almost clinching the band their third No. 1 on the chart which would have tied them for the record amount of No. 1’s on World Albums with B.A.P, who currently hold the record with three. 2013’s XOXO and 2015’s Exodus both hit No. 1.