Katherine’s K-Pop Recap: January 25-31, 2021

A summary of the news, current and upcoming comebacks, charts and music show wins, and more!

NOTE: Except in special cases, the news recapped in these posts will refer to K-pop only. K-dramas, variety shows, and other forms of entertainment will only be mentioned if there is an idol or idol group involved.

News to Note

  • Melon has started a new music chart called Recent 24Hits, which was designed to better help users find new music. It shows the Top 100 most recently released songs that users are listening to. (The wording is a little unclear to me, but it looks like songs that were released within a week to a month.) You can read more about it here.
  • EXO’s D.O has completed his military service! He is the second member to finish after Xiumin. Suho and Chen are currently fulfilling their military service, and the other four members have yet to enlist.
  • Akdong Musician has chosen to renew their contract with YG Entertainment.
  • WINNER members Song Mino and Kang Seungyoon became full members of the KOMCA (Korean Music Copyright Association). The KOMCA chooses 25 junior members every year to promote to full member status. You can read more about the process and who else became a full member here.
  • Naver invested 410 billion won into Big Hit Entertainment’s subsidiary company beNX, which is responsible for the fandom platform Weverse. It appears that Weverse and V-Live will be merged into a new global platform that will be completed about a year from now. Read more about it here.
  • Big Hit Entertainment and beNX also invested 70 billion won into YG Plus, with that agency’s artists joining Weverse. From what I understand, this is currently JUST YG Plus and not YG Entertainment itself. You can read more about it here.
  • GOT7’s Jinyoung officially signed with BH Entertainment, which is a well-known agency for actors. Meanwhile, Mark is returning to Los Angeles for the time being (though he said he will return to Korea soon).
  • The Seoul Music Awards were held on January 31. BTS won the Daesang as well as a Bonsang. The other Bonsang winners were NU’EST, Oh My Girl, Monsta X, SEVENTEEN, TWICE, NCT 127, Stray Kids, IZ*ONE, ATEEZ, TXT, and Kang Daniel. You can check out a full list of winners here.

This Week’s Debuts and Comebacks

(Please note that I won’t necessarily link every release that came out this week – just the ones that I’m aware of or popped up on my radar. The same is true of the “Coming Up Next Week” category.)

Bobby (iKON), “U MAD” (1/25)

Dreamcatcher, “Odd Eye” (1/26)

Yunho (TVXQ), “Eeny Meeny” (follow-up track)

Golden Child, “Burn It” (1/25)

HyunA, “I’m Not Cool” (1/28)

IU, “Celebrity” (pre-release single)

Coming Up Next Week

Monday (2/1)Tuesday (2/2)Wednesday (2/3)Thursday (2/4)Friday (2/5)

*This is a pre-release single and not PURPLE K!SS’s official debut.
**aespa is releasing a single that is a remake of a Yoo Youngjin song. At this point, it’s unclear to me whether this is a full-fledged comeback or just a digital single (though I’m inclined to believe it’s the latter.)

This Week’s Music Show Wins

The Show (SBS MTV)(G)I-DLE, “HWAA” (6th win)
Show Champion (MBC)No broadcast/winner
M! Countdown (MNET)(G)I-DLE, “HWAA” (7th win)
Music Bank (KBS)Yunho (TVXQ), “Thank U” (1st win)
Music Core (MBC)(G)I-DLE, “HWAA” (8th win)
Inkigayo (SBS)(G)I-DLE, “HWAA” (9th win)

Album Sales, Streaming, and Charting

Gaon Chart

NOTE 1: Gaon‘s weekly charts reflect the previous week.

NOTE 2: Because not many K-pop songs make it onto the digital charts, I’ll usually only list the Top 5 for album sales and the social chart. I added the digital download chart this week because most of them were K-pop or K-pop adjacent. Then I’ll make notes of any K-pop songs that placed high on the digital charts. To see a full breakdown of the chart, you can go here.

Album SalesYunho (TVXQ)
Season 3 Hideout: Be Our Voice
Salute: A New Hope
I Burn
Digital DownloadAB6IX
“Stay Young”
Epik High feat. Heize
“Based on a True Story”
Epik High feat. CL and Zico
“No Diggity”
SocialBLACKPINKBTSSong Ga In (G)I-DLEIm Young Woong
  • BTS’s “Dynamite” was #3 on the overall digital chart and the streaming chart.
  • BLACKPINK’s “Lovesick Girls” was #5 on the streaming chart.
  • (G)I-DLE’s “HWAA” was #5 on the overall digital chart.

The International Side of K-pop

  • BTS’s “Dynamite” was ranked at #45 in its 22nd week on the Billboard Hot 100.
  • BTS was listed as one of Esquire‘s “10 Best Pop Bands of All Time.”
  • Several K-pop music videos reached viewer milestones on YouTube:
    • NCT 127’s “Kick It” hit 100 million views, their second music video to do so (and NCT’s 5th overall).
    • BLACKPINK’s “How You Like That” has hit 750 million views and is the fastest girl group K-pop music video to do so. “As If It’s Your Last” also hit 950 million views.
    • BTS’s choreography version of “Dynamite” hit 100 million views, and is their 31st group video to do so.

Drama and Variety Show Casting News

  • BTOB, iKON, and SF9 have been confirmed to join Kingdom along with The Boyz, Stray Kids, and ATEEZ. BTOB will be participating as BTOB 4U (Eunkwang, Minhyuk, Changsub, and Peniel) as the remaining members are fulfilling their military service.

Notable Variety Shows Featuring K-pop Idols

Weekly IdolKnowing BrothersAmazing Saturday
This WeekGolden ChildNon-idol guestsNon-idol guests
Next WeekDreamcatcherNon-idol guestsJaejae (comedian) and Yena (IZ*ONE)

SOURCES NOTE: I get my news from a mix of sources, and all of them report the same information and sometimes cite each other as well. So rather than linking the exact article for each and every news item (unless the article provides a lot more detail), I will cite my general news sources below. Each of them will most likely have an article and/or tweet providing more details on the item in question.

MY REGULAR NEWS SOURCES: Soompi, Omona They Didn’t (Livejournal), The Seoul Story (Twitter @theseoulstory), and Girl Group Zone! (Twitter @girlgroupzone)


VIDEO SOURCES: EDAM Entertainment (IU), Happy Face Entertainment (Dreamcatcher), P-Nation (HyunA), SM Entertainment (Yunho), Woollim Entertainment (Golden Child), and YG Entertainment (Bobby)

OTHER SOURCES:  YouTube, Wikipedia (1), Billboard, Esquire (1), Gaon Chart, KBS, MBC, MNET, SBS

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