Katherine’s K-Pop Recap: February 1-7, 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

  • Two agencies have announced debut dates for their upcoming rookie groups:
    • DSP Media will be debuting the boy group MIRAE (which means “future” in Korean) in March. Produce X 101 contestant and X1 member Son Dongpyo will be part of this group.
    • Producer Shinsadong Tiger is collaborating with Universal Music Group to debut new girl group TRI.BE later this month.
  • Source Music released an apology after GFriend’s Sowon uploaded pictures posing with a mannequin dressed in a Nazi uniform on Instagram. You can read a translation of their apology and more about the situation here.
  • Music streaming service Spotify has officially launched in Korea.
  • Han from Stray Kids posted an apology after offensive lyrics that he wrote when he was middle school resurfaced on the internet. You can read his apology in Korean and English on Stray Kids’ Instagram here.
  • FNC Entertainment is establishing two new labels. FNC B will specialize in trot music, and FNC W will be for managing FNC’s girl groups. They will take charge of Cherry Bullet and also prepare to debut a new girl group.
  • After filing for contract termination back in December, Elkie has officially left both CLC and Cube Entertainment.
  • There were a couple of changes in music show hosts this week:
    • The Boyz’s Juyeon, EVERGLOW’s Sihyeon, and Kim Min Kyu stepped down as the MCs of SBS MTV’s The Show after hosting for approximately a year. So far, there are been no announcement about who will replace them.
    • AB6IX’s Daehwi and model Han Hyun Min stepped down as the MCs of M! Countdown this week after hosting for over a year. They will be replaced by (G)I-DLE’s Miyeon and model/actor Nam Yoon Su, who will start on February 18. (The show is taking a break next week because of Lunar New Year.)
  • SM Entertainment recently underwent a tax investigation and was ordered to pay 20.2 billion won as a result. You can read more about the situation here.
  • ATEEZ recently announced their comeback for March 1. Their agency KQ Entertainment clarified that while Mingi is still on hiatus and won’t be promoting the comeback, he did participate in recording the album before the start of his hiatus. You can read a translation of KQ Entertainment’s statement 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.)

CIX, “Cinema” (2/2)

PURPLE KISS, “Can We Talk Again” (2/3)
(pre-debut single)

L (INFINITE), “기억과 기억 사이(Memory)” (2/3)

aespa, “Forever” (2/5)
(special single)

Coming Up Next Week

Monday (2/8)Tuesday (2/9)Wednesday (2/10)Thursday (2/11)Friday (2/12)
Kim Wooseok

This Week’s Music Show Wins

The Show (SBS MTV)Golden Child, “Burn It” (1st win)
Show Champion (MBC)Golden Child, “Burn It” (2nd win)
M! Countdown (MNET)(G)I-DLE, “HWAA” (10th win)
Music Bank (KBS)IU, “Celebrity” (1st win)
Music Core (MBC)IU, “Celebrity” (2nd win)
Inkigayo (SBS)IU, “Celebrity” (3rd 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 only list the Top 5 for album sales and the social chart. 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 SalesDreamcatcher
Dystopia: Road to Utopia
Golden Child
The Album
Bobby (iKON)
Lucky Man
Season 3 Hideout: Be Our Voice
SocialBLACKPINKBTSSong GainHyunA Im Young Woong
  • IU earned a Triple Crown this week with – “Celebrity” placed #1 on the overall digital chart as well as the streaming and download charts.
  • Golden Child’s “Burn It” placed #2 on the download chart.
  • Super Junior Kyuhyun’s special single “Moving On” placed #4 on the download chart.
  • IZ*ONE’s special “D-D-Dance” placed #5 on the download chart.
  • BTS’s “Dynamite” placed #4 on the overall digital chart and #3 on the streaming chart.

The International Side of K-pop

  • BTS and BLACKPINK have both earned several nominations for the 2021 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards. Both are nominated for Favorite Music Group. BTS is also nominated for Favorite Song and Favorite Global Music Star, while BLACKPINK is also nominated for Favorite Music Collaboration.
  • BTS’s “Dynamite” ranked #46 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 in its 23rd week.
  • Twitter released its information about K-pop Twitter in 2020. I’ll list the first place for each category here, and you can look here to see the full rankings.
    • BTS was the #1 most mentioned K-pop artist in the world.
    • BTS’s “Dynamite” was the #1 most mentioned K-pop song in the world.
    • TREASURE was the #1 fastest rising K-pop artist account globally.
    • Indonesia was the #1 market tweeting about K-pop (in terms of tweet volume).
    • Japan was the ##1 market tweeting about K-pop (in terms of unique users).
  • Several K-pop music videos hit some viewer milestones on YouTube:
    • BLACKPINK’s “Boombayah” became the first K-pop debut music video to reach 1.1 billion views.
    • BTS’s “Mic Drop (Remix)” became their 4th music video to reach 850 million views.

Drama and Variety Show Casting News

  • GOT7’s Jinyoung has joined the cast of tvN’s upcoming drama Devil Judge with Ji Sung, Kim Minjung, and Park Gyuyoung. You can read more about it here.
  • Popular variety show Law of the Jungle just announced its latest season. Instead of traveling to a remote location to test celebrities’ survival skills, the show has opted to send its cast to a remote island. Idols among the cast include SHINee’s Minho and Kang Daniel. You can read more about it here.
  • Oh My Girl’s Seunghee is confirmed as an MC for tvN’s upcoming variety show that will encourage people to take on different challenges to get out of their comfort zone. The rest of the MC lineup includes Lee Minjung, Shin Donghyup, Kim Jongmin, and DinDin. You can read more about it here.
  • Seunghee will also be an MC for Channel A’s variety show Friends, along with Lee Sangmin and Super Junior members Heechul and Shindong. The show will follow cast members from popular reality show Hello Signal (seasons 2 and 3). You can read more about it here.
  • Heechul will also host an upcoming JTBC show about celebrities who are going to live alone for the first time. Akdong Musician has also been confirmed as part of the cast. You can read more about it here.

Notable Variety Shows Featuring K-pop Idols

Weekly IdolKnowing BrothersAmazing Saturday
This WeekDreamcatcherNon-idol guestsYena (IZ*ONE), Jaejae
Next WeekCRAVITYNo broadcast (probably because of Lunar New Year)Kim Sejeong and Jo Byeonggyu (This is technically to promote the drama The Uncanny Counter, but I mention it because Kim Sejeong is an idol.)

Other Notes

  • Because of COVID-19, MBC will not be holding the ISAC over Lunar New Year. Instead, they will do a “Hall of Fame” style special broadcast. You can see the idols who are participating here.
  • GOT7’s JB launched his own YouTube channel JAE BEOM LIM. You can see it here.

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: YouTube, C9 Entertainment (C9), Management Esang (L), RBW Entertainment (PURPLE KISS), SM Entertainment (aespa)

OTHER SOURCES:  YouTube, Wikipedia, BillboardGaon Chart, KBS, MBC, MNET, SBS

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