Katherine’s K-Pop Recap: February 15-21, 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

  • TOO’s Woonggi gained some attention after screenshots of a group chat he participated in with his university classmates went viral. In the messages, he asked classmates who were organizing a large group gathering to respect the social distancing rules – which received a mostly positive response from netizens. However, one person accused Woonggi of being a bully in middle school, prompting his agency Stone Music Entertainment to release a statement denying the allegations. You can read more about Woonggi’s viral group chat messages here, and you can read more about the bullying claims and Stone Music’s resulting statement here.
  • The former CEO, vice-president, and director of Loen Entertainment were all found guilty of embezzling royalty money while running popular music platform Melon. You can read more about the situation and their respective sentences here.
  • Big Hit Entertainment and Universal Music Group announced that they would be collaborating to create a boy group together in 2022. The current plan is to hold global auditions and document the process through a show that will be broadcast in the U.S. You can read more about it here.
  • The Korea Music Copyright Association (KOMCA) announced that BTS’s producer Pdogg had the highest amount of earnings in popular music as both a lyricist and a composed. This is the third year in a row he has won Royalties Awards in both categories.
    • The KOMCA also revealed that BTS’s “Boy With Luv” was the most streamed song in 2020.
  • Band N.Flying has renewed their contracts with FNC Entertainment.
  • There were several changes in music show hosts this week:
    • Inkigayo revealed that Monsta X’s Minhyuk, April’s Naeun, and NCT’s Jaehyun would be leaving the show at the end of February after hosting together for about a year and a half. They will be replaced by IZ*ONE’s Yujin, TREASURE’s Jihoon, and NCT’s Sungchan; the new trio will begin their hosting duties in March.
    • Previously, The Show announced that The Boyz’s Juyeon, EVERGLOW’s Sihyeon, and Kim Minkyu would be stepping down as MCs. This week, they confirmed their new hosts: ATEEZ’s Yeosang, Weeekly’s Jihan, and WEi’s Kim Yohan. Their first episode as hosts will be on March 2.
    • (G)I-DLE’s Miyeon and actor Nam Yoonsu started their first episode as MC for M! Countdown this week, following the departure of AB6IX’s Lee Daehwi and Han Hyungmin.
  • Iconic girl group Girls’ Generation is reportedly in discussions to make a comeback. Their last full group release was in 2017 before Tiffany, Sooyoung, and Seohyun departed SM Entertainment (although the remaining five members formed a unit and released a song in 2018). SM has said that nothing is confirmed yet, so we’ll have to wait and see.
  • This was reported back in January, but AOMG has officially confirmed that GOT7’s Yugyeom has signed with their label and is their newest artist.
  • GOT7 also opened a new YouTube channel and released a new single “ENCORE” (which I embedded below). Warner Music Korea also posted GOT7’s MV teaser on their own channel, so there is some speculation that Warner Music Korea will handle GOT7’s Korean releases from now on.
  • Jellyfish Entertainment confirmed that Minchan is still on hiatus and will not be participating in VERIVERY’s March comeback.
  • (G)I-DLE’s Soojin was recently accused of being a bully in her middle school days, and Cube Entertainment has released a statement denying those allegations. You can read Cube’s statement and more about the situation 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.)

Chungha, “Bicycle” (2/15)


GOT7, “Encore” (special single, 2/20)

Kang Daniel, “Paranoia” (2/16)

IM (Monsta X), “God Damn” (2/19)

Soyou and IZ*ONE feat. pH-1, “Zero:Attitude”

This is an advertisement for Pepsi Zero.

Coming Up Next Week

Monday (2/22)Tuesday (2/23)Wednesday (2/24)Thursday (2/25)Friday (2/26)

This Week’s Music Show Wins

NOTE: Music Bank belatedly announced last week’s winner, so I’ve included both of them in this chart.

The Show (SBS MTV)No broadcast/winner
Show Champion (MBC)No broadcast/winner
M! Countdown (MNET)Kim Wooseok, “Sugar” (1st win + 1st win ever)
Music Bank (KBS)LAST WEEK: IU, “Celebrity” (5th win)
THIS WEEK: Kim Wooseok, “Sugar” (2nd win)
Music Core (MBC)IU, “Celebrity” (6th win)
Inkigayo (SBS)IU, “Celebrity” (7th 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 SalesKim Wooseok
2nd Desire [TASTY]
NCT Dream
The First
Yunho (TVXQ)
Love Yourself: Answer
Season 3 Hideout: Be Our Voice
SocialBLACKPINKBTSIm Young WoongSong Ga In Kim Wooseok

NCT Dream’s appearance on the album chart is especially significant, given that it’s a single album that was released four years ago.

  • IU’s “Celebrity” placed first on the overall digital and streaming charts and fifth on the download chart.
  • BTS’s “Dynamite” placed third on the overall digital and streaming charts.
  • Kim Wooseok’s “Sugar” placed second on the download chart.

The International Side of K-pop

  • CL was one of the celebrities who appeared in Taco Bell’s latest commercial, making her the first Korean female soloist to star in a US commercial.
  • NCT/WayV’s YangYang, TXT’s Yeonjun, and BIBI walked the (digital) runway for New York Fashion Week on February 16th. All three participated in Concept Korea F/W 2021, which is a series of online runways and showrooms for Korean designers who can’t travel because of COVID-19 that was officially considered part of the NYFW program. (It was created by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism and the Korea Creative Content Agency.) You can read more information here.
  • BTS’s “Dynamite” is #43 on Billboard‘s “Hot 100” in its 25th week.
  • KCON has announced the third online version of their popular global concert/convention, KCON:TACT 3. The confirmed performing artists so far include Oh My Girl, iKON, Ha Sungwoon, The Boyz, ITZY, EVERGLOW, Woodz, and ENHYPEN. More artists will be announced in the near future.
  • Several K-pop music videos hit new viewer milestones this week:
    • BLACKPINK’s “Ice Cream” with Selena Gomez reached 500 million views.
    • ITZY’s “ICY” reached 200 million views.
    • Stray Kids’ “My Pace” reached 100 million views.
    • BTS’s “Blood Sweat & Tears” reached 700 million views.

Drama and Variety Show Casting News

  • EXO’s D.O will star in the Korean remake of Taiwanese film Secret. You can read more about it here.
  • Weki Meki’s Doyeon is confirmed to join tvN’s drama Frightening Cohabitation, starring Girl’s Day’s Hyeri and Jang Kiyong. You can read more about it here.
  • April’s Chaekyung is the lead for new webdrama 1:11, The Time I Go To You. The cast also includes D-Crunch members Hyunho and Dylan, as well as Momoland’s Nayun. You can read more information about it here.
  • Red Velvet’s Irene made her film debut in Double Patty, which premiered on February 17th. She stars in the film along with Shin Seung Ho. You can watch the trailer here.
  • NCT’s Doyoung has made his acting debut as the lead of Cafe Midnight Season 3: The Curious Stalker on February 19th. It premieres on MBC Dramanet and will also be released on the seezn app. You can watch the trailer here.

Notable Variety Shows Featuring K-pop Idols

Weekly IdolKnowing BrothersAmazing Saturday
This WeekCherry BulletSHINeeNon-idol guests
Next WeekShindong and Donghae (Super Junior), Yerin and SinB (GFriend), Hyojung and Mimi (Oh My Girl), Minhyuk and Hyungwon (Monsta X)
This will be a special to celebrate Weekly Idol’s 500th episode.
Non-idol guestsSHINee – Onew and Minho (Key is a regular cast member)

Other Variety Shows or Segments

  • Boy group survival show Kingdom has a confirmed premiere date of April 1. The show will be streaming its Introduction Stage on MNET’s YouTube channel on Tuesday, February 23rd at 8 p.m. You can participate in voting by using the Whosfan app.

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)

FEATURED IMAGE SOURCE: MNH Entertainment (Chungha)

VIDEO SOURCES: YouTube, 케이드래곤 (Cafe Midnight trailer), 1theK (“ZERO:ATTITUDE”) EonTalk (Double Patty trailer), GOT7’s new YouTube channel, KONNECT Entertainment (Kang Daniel), MNH Entertainment (Chungha), Taco Bell, TRI.BE Vevo

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

2 thoughts on “Katherine’s K-Pop Recap: February 15-21, 2021

  1. Regarding last weeks bullying outcry with Woongi, I remember just being sat here thinking….. “But that kid just always looks so lost and clueless” hahaha – I saw that a schoolmate refuted the claims and provided proof but who is to know with these things

    Also that NCT Dream appearance on the charts was a bit of pleasant surprise hahaha

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah it’s true that you just never know (proverbial you), but the wave of bullying accusations that has appeared in the last day or so is absolutely wild. I genuinely can’t keep up

      Liked by 1 person

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