Red Velvet Earns Second No. 1 on World Albums With ‘Rookie’


Red Velvet is no “rookie” when it comes to the charts: The girl group just earned their second No. 1 on Billboard‘s World Album chart which ties the quintet for most chart-toppers among female K-pop artists.

Rookie is the new EP from the outfit that debuts atop World Albums, marking their second chart-topping effort after their full-length album The Red debuted at No. 1 in September 2015. It also marks their best debut sales week since The Red. To date though, their best sales week overall is from even earlier in 2015 when the ladies released their Ice Cream: The 1st Mini Album EP, selling a bit more than their past efforts despite it peaking at No. 2 on World Albums.

Joy, Yeri, Wendy, Seulgi and Irene of South Korean girl group Red Velvet attend KCON 2015 at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Aug. 2, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

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The new EP favors more of an R&B flavor for Red Velvet — whose namesake represents their pop-leaning Red and R&B-focused Velvet sides — with “Rookie” being a quirky, funk-driven dance track with an unforgettable earworm of a hook. But fans get a deeper exploration into Red Velvet’s take on R&B on the six-track set, best represented with the snappy “Talk to Me” with its fascinating blend of warped vocals over the production that wouldn’t be out of place on an early Ariana Grande album. Though perhaps most notably, Rookie also stands out for seeing the girls go deeper and more mature in their emotions, begging a lover to connect with them on tracks like “Little Little” and the icy, synth-y standout “Body Talk.”

Red Velvet having a pair of No. 1s on World Albums puts them in an elite class of K-pop acts with multiple chart-toppers on the ranking that currently includes Girls’ Generation, BTS, EXO, G-Dragon, SHINee, f(x), and Girls’ Generation-TTS (who all have two), along with GOT7 (with three), and B.A.P (who have four). This also means that less than three years into their careers, Red Velvet has already tied their seniors Girls’ Generation, f(x), and TTS for most No. 1s among female acts. Notably, all four acts are under the same label, Korea’s biggest pop agency SM Entertainment.

Red Velvet in the video for "Rookie."

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Red Velvet’s latest also charts respectably on Heatseekers Albums at No. 21, their second-highest appearance on the tally following Russian Roulette‘s No. 18 peak in September 2016. Meanwhile, the EP’s lead single “Rookie” starts at No. 6 on the World Digital Songs Sales chart and is the third-biggest selling K-pop song in America this week. The song “Russian Roulette” is their highest-charting song on World Digital Song Sales when it peaked at No. 2.

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