How Did FIFTY FIFTY Manage To Enter Billboard Hot 100, Even Faster Than NewJeans
A ‘K-pop Miracle’ has happened in the North American market. Rookie group FIFTY FIFTY has entered the U.S. Billboard Main Single Chart ‘Hot 100’ after just four months since their debut, surpassing the group NewJeans that caused a sensation in the K-pop market.
According to Billboard’s latest chart (April 1st), FIFTY FIFTY’s first single title track ‘Cupid’ entered the Hot 100 at 100th place. This is their first time entering this chart.
FIFTY FIFTY is the sixth K-pop group to enter the ‘Hot 100’, following Wonder Girls, BLACKPINK, BTS, TWICE, and NewJeans. The existing singers who entered the Hot 100 are all from large planning agencies such as HYBE, JYP Entertainment, and YG Entertainment. FIFTY FIFTY, belonging to the small planning agency, ATTRACT, has confidently made their name known, making their achievement even more remarkable.
Debuting in November of last year, FIFTY FIFTY set a new record for the shortest K-pop debut to enter the Hot 100 after just four months. This is faster than NewJeans, who entered the same chart after six months with their song ‘Dynamite.’
‘Cupid’ is a song based on a minimal disco beat and a funky bassline. Starting with a retro-style melody reminiscent of chanson, the subtle vocals and pads harmonize. Overseas songwriters wrote the song, and member Kina participated in the rap making.
On November 18th of last year, the group FIFTY FIFTY debuted with four Korean members named SaeNa, Aran, Kina, and Sio. The team name, which means “half and half” in probability, also implies the coexistence of ideals and reality. In addition, if the group is “50”, fans hope to come together as a complete sum of “100”.
Although their debut album ‘THE FIFTY’ did not achieve significant success domestically, it gained attention overseas. Without any special promotions, their title track ‘Higher’ and the song ‘Lovin’ Me’ garnered word-of-mouth attention. The single ‘Cupid’, released on February 24th, received a strong response. The ‘Cupid’ music video has nearly 20,000 comments as of the 28th, and it’s noteworthy that the majority of comments are in English, indicating that their music is particularly popular in English-speaking countries.
Their popularity has also begun to appear on the Billboard charts. On November 11th, they ranked 8th on the ‘Billboard World Digital Song Sales’ chart, and on the chart dated on the 25th, they recorded 16th on the ‘Billboard Global 200’, 12th on the ‘Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100’, and 20th on the ‘Billboard Emerging Artist’.
The analysis dominating the factors behind FIFTY FIFTY’s overseas popularity is “good music”. Park Jun-woo, a music critic, pointed out that “FIFTY FIFTY’s music has a deeper colour of pop than K-pop. Their composition is simpler than that of K-pop, and their melody is strong,” making it closer to North American tastes.
He continued, “Music that continuously references 80s and 00s past pop music is doing well in the North American market, and FIFTY FIFTY’s music also creates a nostalgic atmosphere. Like NewJeans, who fit well with the mood and timing of that music market, FIFTY FIFTY seems to be receiving a similar reaction.” Ultimately, he emphasized that “the most important thing is the music.”