New Around the World: Charlie Puth & Jung Kook Hit Far and Wide With ‘Left and Right’

Their pop team-up debuts on Billboard’s global charts and several Hits of the World rankings.

Jungkook and Charlie Puth
Matthew Daniel Siskin*

After two months of album-size debuts on the global charts from hitmakers like Bad Bunny, Harry Styles and Drake, the highest new entry on the July 9-dated Billboard Global 200 and Billboard Global Excl. U.S. survey is a single that pairs two pop artists from opposite ends of the world. Charlie Puth debuts on the Global Excl. U.S. chart at No. 2 and on the Global 200 at No. 5 with “Left and Right,” featuring Jung Kook.

The New Jersey-born Puth joins South Korean BTS member Jung Kook for the top 10 arrival, earning 72.6 million streams and 45,000 downloads sold worldwide in the week ending June 30, according to Luminate. The latter tally makes “Left and Right” the week’s best-selling song in the world, beating its closest competitor, Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” (21,000 sold), by a margin of two-to-one.

Jung Kook is no stranger to the weekly top sales honor. BTS has achieved it with seven songs since the global charts launched in September 2020, most recently when “Yet To Come” debuted with 65,000 sold in the week ending June 16. And as a soloist, his own “Stay Alive” was the best-seller of its debut frame, moving 45,000 downloads in the week ending Feb. 17. The same goes for other BTS solo breakouts from Jimin, Suga, and V. Puth’s most recent solo debuts, “Light Switch” and “That’s Hilarious,” started with 5,000 and 3,000 sold, respectively.

As for the song’s streams, 86%, or 62.6 million, came from outside the U.S. Comparatively, all songs on both global charts this week averaged 75% of their streams from outside the U.S. The international share for “Left and Right” is in line with Jung Kook and BTS’ recent debut weeks, skewing 90% non-U.S. for “Stay Alive” and “Yet to Come.” On the other end of the spectrum, Puth’s two 2022 singles started with 71% and 67%, respectively, of their streams from outside the country.

Further, “Left and Right” behaves much like a BTS song on Billboard’s various Hits of the World charts, matching the debuts for “Yet to Come” at No. 1 in the Philippines and No. 2 in Malaysia and Singapore, in addition to top 10 arrivals in Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, South Korea, and Taiwan. Hitting the top 10 in eight Asian territories (and nowhere else) with sturdy global sales, Jung Kook’s feature on “Left and Right” helps make the track a global sensation.

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