Korean opera singer Kim Hojoong sells more than half a million physical copies of new album on day one of release

South Korea’s biggest K-Pop acts like BTS and Blackpink are known for being able to sell substantial quantities of physical albums in the digital age, but as we’ve learned today, one of the market’s biggest album successes of the year has come from an aspiring opera singer.

Kim Hojoong, who competed in the finals of the hugely popular Korean TV show Mr Trot earlier this year received more than 500,000 pre-orders for physical copies of his new LP, The Classic Album, distributed by Warner Music Korea.

Mr Trot saw contestants perform trot music, a traditional Korean genre that has had a new wave of popularity in the last decade. Kim Hojoong won a large fanbase off the back of the TV show and was even dubbed a ‘KTrot Idol’ by the media.

He went on to release his debut album, Our Family, a collection of trot songs in August and it has already generated more than half a million sales to date.

This new classical album includes renditions of Puccini’s Nessun Dorma and Capua’s O Sole Mio.

It was recorded in Seoul in September with the Korean Coop Orchestra, shortly before he began his compulsory military service.

With more than half a million sales before it was even released, The Classic Album could be heading for the global Top 10 charts.

Last year, The Beatles’ Abbey Road made the chart – published by trade body IFPI – with 800,000 unit sales.

“It will certainly be the biggest classical album of the year worldwide and it highlights the quality and diversity of Korean music beyond just KPop.”

Simon Robson, Warner Music Asia

Simon Robson, President, Warner Music Asia, said: “This is an incredible achievement. It’s great that Warner have been able to help Kim Hojoong scale new heights and have the potential to be in the Top 10 global album chart of 2020 with his latest release.

“It will certainly be the biggest classical album of the year worldwide and it highlights the quality and diversity of Korean music beyond just K-Pop.”Music Business Worldwide