Many K-Pop fans today can probably list off some of the best-selling artists of the modern era, but how many know the history of best-selling artists in the industry?

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BTS’s Jimin

Not only have the best-selling artists changed throughout the years, but the number of total physical album sales has increased tremendously, despite the world moving, in general, towards a more digital era.

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EXO/SuperM’s Baekhyun

These are the 5 best-selling K-Pop artists, in terms of physical album sales through Gaon, of each year from 2012 until 2020, along with the percentage of each of the top 5 to show how they compare to each other.

2012

5. G-Dragon: 281.9k

4. Girls’ Generation: 329.4k

3. INFINITE: 397.7k

2. SHINee: 510.4k

1. EXO: 1.44 million

meta-chart - 2021-02-10T225447.843

2013

5. INFINITE: 286.3k

4. TVXQ!: 341.1k

3. EXO: 357.7k

2. Super Junior: 410.0k

1. EXO-K: 441.1k

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2014

5. SHINee: 262.4k

4. Super Junior: 271.3k

3. BIGBANG: 424.1k

2. BTS: 562.3k

1. EXO: 1.75 million

meta-chart - 2021-02-10T230324.888

2015

5. VIXX: 327.8k

4. GOT7: 418.6k

3. SEVENTEEN: 561.2k

2. BTS: 1.46 million

1. EXO: 1.65 million

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2016

5. GOT7: 738.2k

4. SEVENTEEN: 777.5k

3. TWICE: 1.17 million

2. EXO: 2.16 million

1. BTS: 2.72 million

meta-chart - 2021-02-10T231056.961

2017

5. GOT7: 858.7k

4. TWICE: 1.46 million

3. EXO: 2.07 million

2. Wanna One: 2.19 million

1. BTS: 5.14 million

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2018

5. GOT7: 618.5k

4. EXO: 818.4k

3. TWICE: 1.19 million

2. SEVENTEEN: 1.44 million

1. BTS: 6.22 million

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2019

5. TWICE: 1.00 million

4. NCT 127: 1.24 million

3. NCT: 2.20 million

2. SEVENTEEN: 2.50 million

1. BTS: 9.00 million

meta-chart - 2021-02-10T232235.953

2020

5. NCT 127: 1.55 million

4. BLACKPINK: 1.72 million

3. NCT: 2.41 million

2. SEVENTEEN: 2.72 million

1. BTS: 9.33 million

meta-chart - 2021-02-10T232528.030