This week, Taylor Swift reigns supreme on the Billboard 200 chart with her colossal new album, 1989 (Taylor’s Version). The album claims the top spot on the ranking of the most-consumed releases in the U.S., boasting a debut of over 1.6 million equivalent units—a career-best and the largest opening of 2023.
While many anticipated a second consecutive week of dominance for Swift, an unexpected contender from the world of K-pop is making a formidable play for the chart’s highest echelon.
Initially, music industry-focused publication HitsDailyDouble predicted an easy second week at No. 1 for Swift’s 1989 (Taylor’s Version) on the Billboard 200. However, updated projections from the outlet now reveal that the pop sensation is facing more robust competition than first expected.
Jung Kook’s inaugural solo album, Golden, is currently slated to debut at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, but there’s a twist in the tale. The album’s predicted first-week opening sum is on the rise, whereas 1989 (Taylor’s Version) has not changed in days. This unexpected development may bring the two albums closer in the race than initially anticipated.
HitsDailyDouble now predicts that Golden will launch in the runner-up position on the Billboard 200 with 200,000 equivalent units. That’s up significantly from the outlet’s initial projection of 160,000 equivalent units. The bulk of those units will likely be comprised of pure sales, likely making Jung Kook’s album the top-selling title in the nation next week, even if it doesn’t clinch the summit on the chart.
As of now, it appears that Golden could miss the No. 1 spot by a mere 25,000 equivalent units. While this might seem substantial, considering the two albums are set to shift at least 200,000 units each, it’s not that massive.
Jung Kook has less than a full day to make up ground, as the tracking week ends on Thursday, November 9 at 11:59 PM EST. It’s likely he’ll secure the runner-up position on the Billboard 200, which will still be a big win for him and his album. However, these are just predictions, and actual numbers reported by Billboard in the coming days could reveal different outcomes for a variety of reasons.