Stray Kids reach yet again another milestone by topping the Billboard 200 Chart with their new mini-album ODDINARY, and we couldn’t be prouder of their growth and evolution after four years in the industry. The self-produced group has set so many trends, pioneered its own genre, and it’s only fair to say that they’re leaders of the 4th generation of K-Pop.
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It’s been four years and Stray Kids haven’t stopped growing with every single move they make. They always put out the most original, unique music and keep being true to themselves. From 3RACHA forming in 2017 to Bang Chan handpicking every single member to be in his team, and finally, to Stray Kids turning into one of the biggest K-Pop groups right, let’s take a ride down memory lane to see the key moments and releases that led them to top the Billboard 200 chart!
Their Debut With ‘District 9’ (2018)
Right from their debut, Stray Kids was already making a name for themselves. Even though it would take longer for them to turn into the massive group they are today, they were already releasing the amazing self-produced music we love and cherish. It was only the beginning of their flawless discography! And after the release of their pre-debut mixtape, their debut was a huge success. At the time, ‘District 9’ broke the record for the most views in 24 hours on a debut music video. And it was just the beginning. And that same year, they would win most of the ‘Rookie of the Year’ awards as well!
Their First Win With ‘MIROH’ (2019)
To say ‘MIROH’ was the moment is an understatement. With ‘MIROH,’ Stray Kids started their Clé series, which would include tracks like ‘Levanter,’ ‘Double Knot,’ and of course: ‘Side Effects.’ This was, in so many ways, the series that really established Stray Kids’ music – even though their music was always unique and incredible, there was a shift with ‘MIROH.’ And the song earned them their first-ever win at a music show, which was a huge moment in their career. ‘MIROH’ is simply unforgettable.
The Release Of ‘God’s Menu’ (2020)
Yes, we said ‘MIROH’ was a moment, but it doesn’t even compare to the huge immense impact ‘God’s Menu‘ had on everyone and on Stray Kids’ career. The song was a hit and after almost two years, it is fair to admit that this will remain one of the most iconic and memorable K-Pop songs ever. We talked about how the Clé series was when Stray Kids truly established their sound, but ‘God’s Menu‘ was the beginning of the Mala Taste genre.
Their First Repackage Album and ‘Back Door’ (2020)
‘Back Door‘ was the big follow-up to ‘God’s Menu’ and it did not disappoint in any way, shape, or form. Not only was the song original, unique, and really establishing Stray Kids as a staple in the industry, but the song earned them two more wins on a music show. IN LIFE doubled the sales of GO LIVE released only a few months before, selling over 233,000 copies in its first week. It is, to date, one of the only repackage albums to double the sales of the original album. And the impact the song has is still to this day palpable.
This was also the era where Stray Kids really started to get everyone’s attention. It’s fair to note Stray Kids already had a tour in the US at the beginning of 2020, which was only cut short due to the pandemic. But with ‘Back Door,’ it seemed like they got the attention of fans and the public – even though the fanbase grew significantly with this release. The most significant example of this is Time, who listed a K-Pop song in their top 10 songs of 2020 for the first time ever, and also listed IN LIFE as one of the most influential albums of 2020. It was clear Stray Kids weren’t going anywhere and their success would only keep growing.
Winning KINGDOM: Legendary War (2021)
In 2021, Stray Kids took on the challenge to enter Kingdom : Legendary War – and they won. They put so much of them in every single performance and showed different sides to their artistry every single time. It wasn’t only the fan voting that led them to win, but Stray Kids was also the group with the highest points in their performances – without fan influence. One of the most memorable moments was, of course, their iconic take on BLACKPINK‘s ‘DDU-DU-DDU-DU,’ mixing it with ‘God’s Menu’ through a Deadpool-inspired concept. And it earned the attention of everyone – including Deadpool himself, Ryan Reynolds.
The Second Full-Length Album: NOEASY
After ten months without having a comeback, Stray Kids didn’t hold back at all with NOEASY. It was brilliant in every single sense of the word – the music, the concept, the music videos. It also included their previously released digital song ‘Mixtape: OH,’ which had earned them their first number 1 on Billboard‘s World Digital Song Sales chart. The album also made history by selling over 1 million copies and turning Stray Kids into million-sellers. It also established many records, such as most pre-orders by a 4th gen group… which were all broken by Stray Kids themselves with ODDINARY). NOEASY also peaked at number 5 on Billboard‘s US World Albums chart and earned them a Bonsang at the Golden Disc Awards for ‘Best Album.’
And that’s not all: the title track, ‘Thunderous,’ earned them six wins on music shows. It earned them their first nominations since their win as a rookie group in 2018 at the Mnet’s Asian Music Awards, for ‘Song of the Year’ and ‘Best Performance by a Male Group.’ But most importantly, it earned them their first-ever Daesang at the Asian Artist Awards for ‘Performance of the Year.’
So of course, their next comeback would be huge.
And Now: ODDINARY
When Stray Kids signed with Republic Records earlier this year, everyone knew it would change things and push them to be even bigger than ever. They had the music, the talent, the fanbase, the impact – all they really needed more was a US label to just confirm what we all already knew: Stray Kids are one of the biggest K-Pop groups now.
ODDINARY was everything we knew and loved about Stray Kids, but they pushed it to a whole other level. Whether it’s the concept, the music, the production, the lyrics, the music video – everything is top tier. Of course, it’s going to be a success!
Even just days after Stray Kids released ODDINARY, it’s already making history. It seems like it was yesterday that they were opening the door to this incredible new universe and new phase in their career. And now, ODDINARY debuts at number 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, making it Stray Kids’ first ever entry.
Not only that, but ODDINARY has the most first-week sales by any other artist in 2022 and by any other 4th gen K-Pop group ever with over 100,000 physical albums sold. They’re the second K-Pop Act to debut straight at number one, and the third K-Pop act ever to chart number 1 on the Billboard 200. And ODDINARY is also obviously set to be their second million-seller album. The title track, ‘Maniac,’ has already secured one music show win and is also their second song to reach number 1 on Billboard‘s World Digital Singles sales.
And let’s not forget that: one, all of that with a self-produced mini-album, and two, we’re only three months into 2022.
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