Butter (song)

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Albert Flores

"Butter" is a song recorded by South Korean boy band BTS. It was released as a digital single on May 21, 2021, through Big Hit Music and Sony Music Entertainment, as the band's second English-language single. A disco-pop, dance-pop, and EDM track, the song was written by Jenna Andrews, RM, Alex Bilowitz, Sebastian Garcia, Robert Grimaldi, Stephen Kirk, and Ron Perry, with production handled by the last three. Upon release, "Butter" received positive reviews from music critics, with praise towards its catchiness. It was a commercial success, topping charts in Hungary, India, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, the United States and Vietnam, as well as Billboards Global 200 chart. The song also reached the top 10 in over 30 other countries worldwide. A remix featuring American rapper Megan Thee Stallion was also released.

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Recording

Speaking on how "Butter" came about, Variety quoted RM in an interview with Apple Music as saying that "[the band] never expected to release another single, but the virus is getting longer and longer so we thought we need another summer song. We thought we needed another summer number, and 'Butter' was perfectly fit for that. +more And now we're here". J-Hope described the recording process as "smooth" and the song as "focus[ed] more on showing each of the members' charms compared with 'Dynamite'".

Composition and lyrics

Initial reports about "Butter" called it "a dance pop track brimming with the smooth yet charismatic charm of BTS". Rolling Stone described it as "a pure, swaggering dance-pop celebration in the retro vein of Bruno Mars, with layers of Jam and Lewis-style synths", and RM told the outlet that the song "[is] very energetic" and "very summery". +more Forbes called it an "infectious disco-pop track" similar to "Dynamite", with a "pulsating, bass-heavy beat and delectable chorus". Following its release, "Butter" was categorized as a 1980s and 1990s-influenced dance-pop and EDM song with elements of pop rap. The song is in common time in the key of A-flat major with a tempo of 110 beats per minute. BTS' vocal range span from A♭3 to E♭5.

At a press conference held on the day of the song's release, RM revealed that while the band wanted to participate in the writing of their next single, they believed "Butter" already sounded "pretty good" and "pretty complete" when they received it, so they chose it out of "many, many songs" that had been sent to them for consideration. He further explained however, that he "changed or added to about half of the song's original rap sections" because "some of the parts like the rap were not fully compatible with our style", and despite there still being "some gaps" in his fluency with English "it came together really quickly since there weren't that many rap sections in the song". +more Suga also tried writing for the song, as he had actively been studying English during the year prior, but the language barrier was still a problem, so his suggestions were "immediately dropped. No questions, no consideration - just immediately binned". Lyrically, like "Dynamite", "Butter" has "no heavy message"; Jimin noted that there was no profound meaning behind the track and that the goal was for it to be "easy to listen to".

A video teaser released on May 18 offered the first preview of the song's lyrics; the line "Get it! Let it roll!" was briefly heard at the end of the clip. Korean news media later reported that the lyrics to "Butter" "cutely confess a sweet, romantic love", and had "BTS' smooth-like-butter unrivalled charms melted into the song".

Release and promotion

On April 5, 2021, days after the release of their Japanese single "Film Out", it was revealed that BTS would release a new song in May. However, Big Hit Music announced that "we will reveal our artists' plans after they are finalized". +more On April 26, the single's title and release date were announced in an hour-long YouTube livestream of an animated stick of butter melting. The video featured a countdown with kitchen sounds in the background, and the text "Butter" and "May 21, 2021" appeared at the end of the stream. The livestream amassed over 12. 8 million views. Concept photos and video teasers for the song, set to be BTS' second English-language single, were shared through the band's official social media in the weeks following. They held a global press conference one hour after the single's release.

BTS appeared as the first guests on Big Hit's new exclusive Melon Station radio series, BigHit Music Record, on May 21 to introduce "Butter" and participate in a Q&A with fans. The single impacted American contemporary hit radio stations on May 25. +more On May 27, Big Hit announced the release of a house bass electro-dance remix of the song, "Butter (Hotter Remix)", as a thank-you to fans for their support. The announcement was accompanied by new teaser photos for the remix-seven solo shots and one group-featuring a different concept to the original teasers. The remix and its music video premiered globally on all streaming platforms at midnight on May 28. New remixes succeeded the release of the "Hotter" version in the weeks following.

The CD single of "Butter" includes "Permission to Dance", a song written by Ed Sheeran, Johnny McDaid, Steve Mac, and Jenna Andrews and produced by Mac, Stephen Kirk, and Andrews. Released on July 9, it also includes instrumental versions of both songs.

Megan Thee Stallion claimed that her label 1501 Certified Entertainment attempted to block the remix release which featured her. Stallion stated that the label's CEO Carl Crawford did not approve of the track because "it would not be good for her career. +more" Stallion sought help from a Texas court. The remix was ultimately released as planned on August 27.

Critical reception

Writing for NME, Rhian Daly praised "Butter" as "a clean and crisp piece of dance pop that's undeniably cool without sacrificing immediacy or memorable hooks" and felt it was a strong, early contender for song of the summer. Tom Breihan of Stereogum described the song as "a full-on retro-disco strutter, a song built for parties. +more It's a big, slick party song that targets pleasure receptors with mathematical precision" and compared it to Daft Punk's Random Access Memories and works by Bruno Mars. Zach Seemayer of Entertainment Tonight felt that the song's hook, with its "truly catchy beat" and "fun" opening lyrics, "has the hallmarks of a real hit with legitimate song-of-the-summer potential". Rolling Stones Althea Legaspi called "Butter" a "feel-good, flirty dance track". Consequences Mary Siroky named "Butter" the song of the summer and "a synth-drenched, swaggering track sitting comfortably on an addictive bassline". Esquires Dave Holmes called the song "irresistible", saying that it "percolates with the joy we've deferred since last March". It was named Billboards number one Song of the Summer. The song was the seventh most searched song of the year for 2021 on Google. For the Megan Thee Stallion remix, Natasha Mulenga, writing for Teen Vogue, described the remix as "ear-melting" and that "Megan gave so much charisma to the song".

PublicationListRank
Billboard25 Best K-Pop Songs of 2021
ConsequenceTop 50 Songs of 2021
The GuardianThe 20 best songs of 2021
InsiderThe best K-pop songs of 2021
Los Angeles TimesThe 100 best songs of 202159
NMEThe 50 best songs of 2021
Rolling StoneThe 50 Best Songs of 2021
UproxxThe Best Songs of 2021

Music video

Background and synopsis

The music video for "Butter" was preceded by a 23-second long video teaser published to Hybe Labels's official YouTube channel on May 18. The short monochromatic clip showed BTS dressed in "disco-inspired" suits "with shoulder pads, glitter, and satin galore", standing motionless in a line, while "a groovy percussion ensemble played in the background". +more The sound then "switched to a delightful Eighties-inspired, synth-bass fusion". The band matched the beat of the "throbbing, bass-heavy dance groove" with synchronized head tilts. The clip ended with a shot of a stack of syrup-covered pancakes with a square of butter on top. Billboard described the teaser's "funky beat" as "reminiscent of Queen's 'Another One Bites the Dust'". Rolling Stone India also noted the teaser's "strong sonic correlation" to the Queen song. The video teaser accumulated over 26 million views in its first 24 hours and surpassed 35 million views shortly afterwards.

Fifteen minutes prior to the music video's premiere, BTS appeared in a special countdown stream on the Hybe YouTube channel to discuss the song while making buttered sandwiches-it was simultaneously released with the single at midnight EST. The visual opens with a shot of vocalist Jungkook dancing into frame as he sings the introductory lines of the song. +more Interspersed are "striking black and white shots" of the band dressed in "slick suits" dancing together to a "strong percussion ensemble"-first heard in the May 18 teaser-and standing in a lineup while holding mugshot placards with their names on it. The video then "transitions into [a] rich and vibrant color palette" as the band perform "power-packed", "nimble dance moves" in several "dazzling locations with soft, full-color lighting. against an array of flamboyant backdrops" such as a gymnasium (while wearing "summery gymwear"), a mock press conference, an elevator, and "onstage under pulsating lights" in "black-and-yellow tuxedos". The video ends with a shot of J-Hope eating a large piece of butter.

The video's choreography "reflect[s] the upbeat, flirtatious vibe of the song", with J-hope saying that the band tried to put "a lot of those emotions" into it. Signature moves include "kissing your hands, [giving] a mischievous look, or brushing our hair back". +more The video also features a "TikTok-ready, technicolor elevator sequence" in which the individual members freestyle their dance moves, including "putting on imaginary cologne". At one point, the band use their bodies to form the word "ARMY" as a special homage to their fans.

Reception

"Butter"s premiere garnered over 3. 9 million peak concurrent viewers on YouTube, surpassing previous record holder "Dynamite"s over 3 million concurrents attained in August 2020, and set a new all-time record for the biggest music video premiere on the platform. +more It became the fastest YouTube video to reach 10-100 million views, achieving the former in its first 13 minutes-"Dynamite" did so in 20 minutes-and the latter in 21 hours-three hours faster than "Dynamite". It also became the most viewed YouTube video in the first 24 hours, amassing 108. 2 million views-another all-time high on the platform, and set four new Guinness World Records. This gave BTS the top two spots for the biggest YouTube premieres and 24-hour music debuts in the platform's history. "Butter" crossed 200 million views on May 25, surpassing all milestone records up to that point in just four days and one hour, compared to "Dynamite"s four days and 12 hours. On June 28, it became the longest running #1 debut for a group in Hot 100 history, breaking the 23-year record held by Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" (1998).

Entertainment Tonights Zach Seemayer wrote that the music video "takes fans on a spectacular journey in both set design, color schemes and outfits".

"Hotter", "Sweeter", and "Cooler" Remix versions

A second version of the music video, dubbed the "Hotter Remix", was released on May 26. Dressed in one set of outfits from the original music video, the clip shows the band "at their cheeky best", "cutting loose" and "taking turns at being front and center" while making "goofy, fun faces at the camera and with each other". +more It ends with a dance outtake of Suga. Following this, a second and third remix version, dubbed the "Sweeter Remix" and "Cooler Remix" respectively, were released in the beginning of June.

Commercial performance

Asia

"Butter" entered South Korea's Gaon Digital Chart at number four and the component Streaming chart at number 35, but debuted at number one on the component Download chart. The single album version of the song, sold nearly 2. +more5 million physical copies in South Korea in July, becoming one of the best-selling albums in South Korea.

In Japan, "Butter" earned its largest opening-day digital sales in the country, with 27,772 downloads, surpassing its predecessor "Film Out", which sold 23,344 copies on its first day. With only three days of availability in its tracking period dated May 17-23, the single consecutively maintained first place on the daily chart, and debuted atop the Oricon Weekly Digital Singles chart issue dated May 31, 2021 with 52,821 downloads, giving the band its second digital number-one of the year after "Film Out". +more It also topped the Weekly Streaming Chart for the same period with 16. 607 million streams, marking the biggest weekly streaming debut in Oricon chart history and making BTS the artist with the most number-ones on the ranking (three, including "Dynamite" and "Film Out"). "Butter" became the band's third song to exceed 10 million streams in a single week, making BTS the artist with the most songs (three, including "Dynamite" and "Film Out") to achieve this in Oricon chart history. On the Billboard Japan Hot 100 chart issue for the same period, the song debuted at number two, but topped the component Streaming and Download charts. On May 28, Billboard Japan reported that "Butter" had accumulated 14. 835 million streams just three days into the chart's next tracking period (May 24-30) and surpassed the record set by LiSA's "Homura" of 7. 526 million streams in 2020 (October 19-21). "Homura" accrued 18. 901 million streams at the end of its full tracking period (October 19-25), in what was then the largest streaming week in Billboard Japan chart history-"Butter" achieved over 75% of that in less than half the time. In July, exactly 72 days after its release, the song was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) for surpassing 100 million streams, making it the fastest single to achieve the certification in RIAJ history. In August, the single's physical version exceeded sales of 250,000 copies and was certified Platinum by the RIAJ. On September 1, Oricon announced that "Butter" had become the fastest song in the chart's history to achieve 200 million streams, doing so in 15 weeks and breaking the record previously set by "Homura" of 19 weeks.

United States

According to Mediabase, "Butter" was added to all 180 Top 40 radio stations in the United States and received 2,217 spins its first week. It was the first song by an international artist to become the most-added track at radio in its opening week, and BTS are the first group to achieve this feat. +more "Dynamite" was previously the band's most-added single at radio with 171 stations putting it into rotation in its debut week. With only three days of availability, the single entered Billboards Pop Airplay chart at number 26, making it the highest debut of the week and the second-highest of the year, behind only Ed Sheeran's "Afterglow", which entered at number 23 in January. It was the band's seventh entry on the airplay chart and a new career best.

"Butter" debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart issue dated June 5, 2021, giving BTS its fourth number-one in under nine months. The band became the fastest act to achieve four number-ones since Justin Timberlake in 2006-2007, the first group since the Jackson 5 in 1970, and the only group to debut three songs in the lead. +more The song accumulated 32. 2 million streams, sold 242,800 downloads, and 18. 1 million radio airplay audience in its first week. This marked BTS' seventh number-one on the Digital Song Sales chart and the largest sales week since "Dynamite" sold 300,000 copies on the September 5, 2020 issue. Billboard noted that the sales for "Butter" were aided by its original and instrumental versions discounted to 69 cents in its first week. The song also debuted at number four on the Streaming Songs chart, and entered the Rolling Stone 100 at number two, marking the second-highest debut of 2021 behind only Olivia Rodrigo's "Drivers License", and the highest song sales debut of the year. "Butter" remained atop the Hot 100 and Digital Songs charts for ten non-consecutive weeks. On the chart issue dated July 24, 2021, it ranked at number seven while "Permission to Dance" debuted at number one. The following week, it returned to the top of the chart, making BTS the first act to displace itself at number one across two consecutive weeks. As of July 2021, the song has sold over one million copies in the United States.

Europe

In the United Kingdom, "Butter" became the highest-charting new entry on the Official Charts Company's Singles Chart for the period May 28-June 3, 2021, debuting at number three and giving BTS its second top-five entry. The single was also the best-selling new entry on the Downloads Chart, surpassing the number two song by more than 10,000 sales. +more After an eleven-week chart run between June and August, the song re-entered the Singles chart on September 9 at number 32, following the release of the Megan Thee Stallion remix. The song was certified silver by the British Phonographic Industry (BIP) for moving 200,000 single-equivalent units on August 27, 2021. It also topped the Downloads chart in Ireland and debuted at number seven on the Irish Singles Chart, giving BTS its second top-10 entry in the territory. In Germany, "Butter" debuted at number seven on the Top 100 Singles chart, becoming the band's highest-charting song and second top-10 in the country-it peaked at number six in July.

Worldwide

With 11. 042 million global first-day streams on Spotify, "Butter" set a new Guinness World Record for the biggest song debut in the platform's history, surpassing Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber's "I Don't Care", which previously held the record since May 2019 with 10. +more977 million opening-day streams. "Butter" also set another record for the largest single-day streams of any song ever on the platform, with over 20. 9 million unfiltered global streams. Per the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry's (IFPI) global music report for 2021, published in February 2022, "Butter" was the fourth best-selling single of the year across all digital formats, with 1. 76 billion streams worldwide.

Controversy

In an article published by Billboard in August 2021, the magazine pointed out that the band's fans have "through above-board means" taken advantage of loopholes in chart tabulations to boost the ranks of singles such as "Butter" in the US and help the song top the Hot 100 for multiple weeks. While the chart performance of singles on the Hot 100 typically depend on streaming and airplay, that of "Butter" was notably driven mostly by sales (the bulk of which came from BTS' webstore, which allows fans to buy multiple copies of a song, unlike iTunes) and by fan-led crowdfunding efforts (including using money collected from fans worldwide on services like PayPal to make purchases that count toward US sales only). +more However, an article in The Korea Times pushed back against claims of chart manipulation. It opined that fanbases of other artists such as Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande have employed similar promotional measures, that such measures were neither illegal or unethical, and that fans engaging in those measures were merely "intelligent consumers leading global trends".

Live performances

BTS gave the premiere performance of "Butter" live from South Korea for the 2021 Billboard Music Awards on May 23. Dressed in "slick" black tuxedos, the band sang the song while moving through various elaborate sets-a backstage dressing-room area, a soundstage, and replicas of the BBMAs red carpet and stage-accompanied by "pinpoint choreography" that featured "finely manicured" dance moves and an "explosive routine" during the song's instrumental break. +more The performance ended with the band "smiling and shining in front of a wall of lights". BTS performed the song later that night on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, this time appearing in "a grand ballroom, fitted out with glorious chandeliers and art deco features, and raining with gold glitter". The band was the first musical act in the lineup for Good Morning Americas 2021 Summer Concert Series, appearing on the May 29 episode, where they performed the track as part of a two-song set that also included "Dynamite". They performed both songs again on July 1, at Sirius XM Hits 1. In 2022, BTS performed the song at the 64th Grammy Awards on April 3.

The televised world premiere performance of the remix with Megan Thee Stallion was initially scheduled for the 2021 American Music Awards. The rapper later withdrew her appearance at the show, citing personal reasons, and BTS performed the original version of the song instead. +more The following week, she made a surprise appearance during the second night of the band's four-day concert series at SoFi Stadium and performed the remix together with them for the first time.

Track listing

7-inch and cassette # Butter" - 2:45

*Digital # "Butter" - 2:45 # "Butter" (instrumental) - 2:42

*Digital (Hotter remix) # "Butter" - 2:44 # "Butter" (Hotter remix) - 2:46 # "Butter" (instrumental) - 2:42

*Digital EP (Hotter, Sweeter, Cooler) # "Butter" - 2:44 # "Butter" (Hotter remix) - 2:46 # "Butter" (Sweeter remix) - 2:41 # "Butter" (Cooler remix) - 2:41 # "Butter" (instrumental) - 2:42

*CD single and digital EP # "Butter" - 2:44 # "Permission to Dance" - 3:07 # "Butter" (instrumental) - 2:42 # "Permission to Dance" (instrumental) - 3:07

*Digital (Megan Thee Stallion remix) # "Butter" (Megan Thee Stallion remix) (featuring Megan Thee Stallion) - 2:44

*Digital (holiday remix) # "Butter" (holiday remix) - 2:41

Credits and personnel

Credits adapted from Melon and Tidal.

* BTS primary vocals * Rob Grimaldi production, songwriting, vocal arrangement/production * Stephen Kirk production, songwriting, vocal arrangement/production * Ron Perry production, songwriting * Jenna Andrews songwriting, background vocals, vocal arrangement/production * RM songwriting, gang vocals * Alex Bilowitz songwriting * Sebastian Garcia songwriting * Suga gang vocals * J-Hope gang vocals * Pdogg vocal arrangement, record engineering * Juan "Saucy" Peña record engineering * Keith Parry record engineering * Serban Ghenea mix engineering * John Hanes assistant mix engineering * Chris Gehringer mastering

Charts

Weekly charts

Bolivia (Monitor Latino)6
Brazil (Pop Internacional)3
Bulgaria (PROPHON)8
Colombia (Promúsica)1
Costa Rica (Monitor Latino)5
Croatia International Albums (HDU)7
Ecuador (Monitor Latino)16
El Salvador (Monitor Latino)3
Greece (IFPI)6
Guatemala Anglo (Monitor Latino)2
Honduras (Monitor Latino)15
India (IMI)1
Israel (Media Forest)8
Japan Combined Singles (Oricon)2
Japanese Hot Albums (Billboard Japan)1
Latvia (EHR)2
Lithuania (AGATA)20
Malaysia (RIM)1
Mexico Top Streaming (AMPROFON)2
Mexico Airplay (Billboard)1
Panama (Monitor Latino)5
Peru (Monitor Latino)6
Singapore (RIAS)1
Slovakia (Singles Digitál Top 100)4
South Africa (RISA)54
South Korea (Gaon)1
South Korea (K-pop Hot 100)1
South Korean Albums (Gaon)1
US Rolling Stone Top 1002
Venezuela (Record Report)37
Vietnam (Vietnam Hot 100)1

Global 200 (Billboard)3
Panama (PRODUCE)50
South Korea (Gaon)200

Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)28

South Korea (K-pop Hot 100)35

Monthly charts

Chart (June-July 2021)Peak Position
Japanese Albums (Oricon)2
South Korea (Gaon)1
South Korea (K-pop Hot 100)1
South Korean Albums (Gaon)1

Year-end charts

Canada (Canadian Hot 100)32
Global 200 (Billboard)12
Hungary (Single Top 40)2
Japan (Japan Hot 100)6
Japan Combined Singles (Oricon)1
Japanese Albums (Oricon)13
Japanese Hot Albums (Billboard Japan)17
Mexico (AMPROFON)4
Portugal (AFP)128
South Korea (Gaon)7
South Korean Albums (Gaon)1
US Billboard Hot 10011
US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)40
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)36

Accolades

2021Guinness World RecordsMost viewers for the premiere of a video on YouTube
Most viewers for the premiere of a music video on YouTube
Most viewed YouTube music video in 24 hours
Most viewed YouTube music video in 24 hours by a K-pop group
Most streamed track on Spotify in the first 24 hours

2021American Music AwardsFavorite Pop SongWon
Asia Artist AwardsSong of the YearWon
E! People's Choice AwardsThe Music Video of 2021Won
The Song of 2021Won
Kids' Choice Awards MexicoGlobal HitWon
Melon Music AwardsSong of the YearWon
Meus Prêmios NickFavorite International HitWon
Video of the YearWon
Mnet Asian Music AwardsBest Dance Performance - Male GroupWon
Song of the YearWon
Best Music VideoWon
MTV Video Music AwardsBest K-PopWon
Song of SummerWon
Best ChoreographyNominated
Best EditingNominated
Best PopNominated
MTV Video Music Awards JapanBest Group Video - InternationalWon
Varietys HitmakersRecord of the YearWon
2022Billboard Music AwardsTop Selling SongWon
Top Global 200 (Excl. U. +moreS. ) SongNominated
Gaon Chart Music AwardsAlbum of the Year - 3rd QuarterWon
Retail Album of the YearWon
Song of the Year - MayWon
Golden Disc AwardsDigital Song BonsangWon
Grammy AwardsBest Pop Duo/Group PerformanceNominated
iHeartRadio Music AwardsBest Music VideoWon
Japan Gold Disc AwardsBest 5 Songs by DownloadWon
Best 5 Songs by StreamingWon
Song of the Year by Download (Asia)Won
Song of the Year by Streaming (Asia)Won
Korean Music AwardsBest K-pop SongNominated
Song of the YearNominated
NME AwardsBest Song in the WorldNominated
.

Show! Music CoreMay 29, 2021
June 5, 2021
June 12, 2021
June 19, 2021
June 26, 2021
InkigayoMay 30, 2021
InkigayoJune 6, 2021
InkigayoJune 13, 2021
Show ChampionJune 2, 2021
Show ChampionJune 16, 2021
Show ChampionJune 23, 2021
Music BankJune 4, 2021
Music BankJuly 16, 2021

Weekly Popularity AwardMay 31
June 7
June 14
June 21
June 28

Certifications and sales

Release history

VariousMay 21, 2021OriginalBig Hit
May 21, 2021OriginalItalyRadio airplaySony
OriginalUnited StatesMay 24, 2021Adult contemporary radioColumbia
OriginalUnited StatesColumbiaMay 25, 2021Contemporary hit radio
OriginalUnited StatesColumbiaMay 25, 2021Rhythmic radio
VariousMay 28, 2021Hotter remixBig Hit
VariousBig HitJune 4, 2021
United StatesJune 18, 2021OriginalThe Orchard
OriginalVariousJuly 9, 2021CD singleBig Hit
OriginalCD singleJapanJuly 13, 2021Universal Music Japan
VariousAugust 27, 2021Megan Thee Stallion remixBig Hit
VariousBig HitDecember 3, 2021Holiday remix

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