By Lee Minji
SEOUL, May 25 (Yonhap) -- The seven-piece act that continues to build up a seemingly endless list of record-breaking feats has done it again -- this time with its latest single "Butter" that is poised to become the summer song of 2021.
On Friday at 1 p.m., BTS -- RM, Jin, Suga, J-hope, V, Jimin and Jungkook -- rolled out "Butter," its second all-English single after "Dynamite."
Moving away from the retro vibes of the Billboard-topping hit and the calm and introspective mood of "Life Goes On" written at the height of the pandemic, the septet took on a groovy swagger as it sang about being "smooth like butter" and having a "superstar glow."
In a stark contrast to the song's confident air, BTS humbly noted that the song came naturally as a follow-up to its previous hits.
"We never actually expected that we're going to release another single but the virus is getting longer and longer," RM said in an interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music. "We thought we needed another summer number, and 'Butter' was perfectly fit for that."
Jungkook, the band's youngest member, agreed.
"'Butter's very simple," he said in a news conference in Seoul on Friday. "The weather is getting warmer and it will be good enough if many people can enjoy this summer with BTS."
Suga noted how the group wanted to give off good energy during the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.
"We chose this song to cheer everyone up and comfort everyone who must be exhausted from the current situation," he said in the Apple Music episode.
The reaction toward "Butter," however, has been far from modest and has already outpaced the septet's historic hit "Dynamite" as metrics go.
The song topped iTunes top songs charts in more than 100 regions as well as regional music charts in South Korea and Japan a day after its release.
On Spotify, the world's biggest music streaming service, "Butter" earned 20.9 million streams on its first day of release. It marked the most streams in a single day in Spotify's history, according to the band's management agency.
Even on YouTube, where BTS set records with its 2020 hit "Dynamite," the septet outdid itself. "Butter" racked up 108.2 million views in its first 24 hours of release, outnumbering "Dynamite" at 101.1 million views. The music video for the new single also recorded more than 3.9 million peak concurrents, becoming the biggest YouTube music video premiere and replacing the band's own record of 3 million for "Dynamite."
Not to forget Twitter, where the band's dedicated fan base, known as Army, lighted up a global tweet map of yellow BTS logos by posting 31 million tweets in the song's first 24 hours. Around 5 million of them happened in the first hour of the song's release. When including stats from a month ahead of the release, the number swells to a whopping 300 million.
"In its support for '#BTS_Butter,' Army around the world incurred a record-breaking 300 million tweets in a month, proving how far a global K-pop fandom's power could reach," said Kim Yeon-jeong, head of global K-pop and K-content partnerships at the social media platform.
With more promotional activities for the new song scheduled throughout this week and summer just beginning, the craze for "Butter" is likely to grow bigger.
After putting on its first performance of the song at the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday (U.S. time), the septet is slated to appear on the American TV show "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" on May 26 and perform at the summer concert series by "Good Morning America" on May 28.
BTS is also preparing a two-day virtual fan event on June 13-14 in line with its eighth debut anniversary.
Chances that the vibrant song will get a boost on U.S. radio airwaves thanks to its all-English lyrics and summery ambience also run high.
"They'll probably get it (radio support) this time around, but they'll dominate either way. 'Butter' percolates with the joy we've deferred since last March; it demands to be played at a pool party, it begs to be danced to in a crowded setting, it restores a person's faith in the magic of pop music," Esquire wrote.
And having "Butter" playing at the most mundane places seems to one of the group's top ambitions for the song.
"What we can do is just releasing (a) cool summer song, making people dance in their rooms or houses, giving them energy and helping them survive," RM said in the interview with Lowe. "I think that's helping ourselves too."