BTS tops Japan's album sales ranking for 2021

A company that tallies music sales in Japan says the country's top-selling album this year is by South Korean boy band BTS.

Oricon said on Wednesday that "BTS, THE BEST" sold 993,000 copies. BTS became the first foreign artist or band in 37 years to take the number-one spot in the album category. The last artist to do that was Michael Jackson with "Thriller."

Oricon's annual rankings are based on CD and DVD sales, as well as data from download and streaming services, for the year through December 12.

Snow Man won the top spot in the bestselling singles category, a first for the Japanese boy band. Oricon says "Grandeur" sold just over 1 million copies, the only song to surpass the mark.

"HELLO HELLO," another Snow Man single, came in second. Oricon says this is the first time in 12 years that the same group or musician has finished first and second in the singles division. The last band or artist to accomplish the feat was Arashi.

"Dryflower," by Japanese singer-songwriter Yuuri, was both the most streamed and the most downloaded single. It was streamed more than 380 million times, a record high in Japan.

Japanese music duo YOASOBI, which first gained fame online, took the top slot in the digital album category with "THE BOOK."