The Korea Herald


Illit lands first Billboard 200 entry amid originality controversy

By Kim Jae-heun

Published : May 8, 2024 - 16:06

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Illit (Belift Lab) Illit (Belift Lab)

K-pop rookie group Illit seems to have skirted the controversy surrounding its originality, successfully landing on the Billboard 200 chart with its first EP “Super Real Me” on Tuesday.

The group had been facing criticism that its concept was similar to that of the popular girl band NewJeans, which is housed under the same Hybe umbrella.

According to Belift Lab, Illit ranked 93rd on the Billboard 200, less than a month after it debuted in 91st place on the Hot 100 chart with its title track “Magnetic” on April 20.

Illit had been called an “imitation of NewJeans” upon its debut as Ador CEO Min Hee-jin claimed Ador's parent company Hybe stole the successful content of NewJeans in creating Illit. K-pop fans agreed with Min as the rookie girl group shared some similarities with NewJeans -- the image of group members and the photo concept for their debut album were said to be similar.

However, this did not seem to deter Illit from making its presence felt on the global stage. In fact, it became the fastest K-pop artist to rank in the Hot 100 and further land on the Billboard 200. It is a notable achievement considering that Illit has not carried out any promotional activity in the US.

Illit’s title track Magnetic, ranked 6th and 12th on Billboard’s Global and Global 200 charts, respectively, is also maintaining its top position for six consecutive weeks as of Thursday.

Thanks to the successful performance of both the title song and the album, Illit scored 41st on the Billboard Artist 100 chart, too. On the Emerging Artist chart, the rookie girl group jumped 24 notches from the previous week to second place -- entering the chart for the fourth consecutive week.