Several weeks ago, news broke that two of the seven members of BTS had teamed up to create a new tune, one that was separate from the group that made them both global stars. Jung Kook and Suga collaborated on the song “Stay Alive,” which was performed by the former and co-written and produced by the latter. At first, it appeared that both musicians were officially credited on the future smash, but now it’s clear that at least in America, the composition will be classified as a solo win.
On many platforms, the track is labeled not just as “Stay Alive,” but with (Prod. by Suga of BTS) included as well. It’s fantastic that the man working behind the scenes is recognized, but that specific title seemed to suggest that the song was actually credited to both Jung Kook and Suga as artists. MRC Data, the company that tracks sales and streams in the U.S. and reports that data to Billboard so the publication can accurately publish its weekly charts, has confirmed that this is not actually the case.
According to representatives for MRC Data, when “Stay Alive” begins appearing on Billboard charts in a few days (the rankings usually begin to roll out on Monday and then all of them are published on Tuesday, but this coming Monday is a holiday, so the lists will likely be delayed), the tune will only be credited to Jung Kook. As a producer and songwriter, Suga will certainly earn some form of credit, but he won’t be labeled as an artist on the tune.
This difference may sound small, but when it comes to chart history, it does matter. Suga has appeared on the Hot 100 several times with solo projects, once with that moniker. Those wins helped him make Billboard history first as one of the only South Korean stars to place on the competitive tally on his own, and then as one of an even smaller group to do so twice. As an artist, “Stay Alive” won’t count toward his growing list of achievements, though he should still be proud of the future win, should it reach the ranking.
Whether producers earn credit as artists can sometimes be confusing, and it depends on the musician. For example, when Max Martin produced Coldplay and BTS’s “My Universe,” he earned credit as a behind-the-scenes producer and songwriter, but not as an artist. In contrast to that way of doing things, people like DJ Khaled and Calvin Harris are often named as both the producer and artist, even though they usually don’t speak or sing a single word on their hits (or maybe just one or two, when it comes to Khaled). It’s simply a matter of how releases are labeled from the beginning.
“Stay Alive” may very well end up as one of the bestselling songs in the U.S. next week, and it could easily not only debut on the Hot 100, but score an impressive and lofty placement. The smash will likely bring Jung Kook to new heights on some Billboard lists, while he’ll almost surely land his first appearance on a number of rankings as well, making history in the process.
BTS’s Jungkook continues to win hearts and add more achievements to his already long list of records, with his single ‘Stay Alive’ produced by Suga.
Jungkook became the First Korean Idol to spend five days at #1 on Worldwide iTunes with his single ‘Stay Alive.’ He’s also the First Korean Soloist overall to achieve this milestone since PSY in 2012.