Katherine’s K-pop Recap: February 22-28, 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.

Idols Involved in Bullying Rumors

This was a big week in pop culture news for South Korea, as many anonymous people came forward and named various celebrities as having bullied them during their school days. Most of those celebrities were idols from well-known or up and coming groups. There’s a lot to keep track of, so I’ve compiled basic information about all of the cases related to K-pop idols here. The provided links will give more details about what that person has been accused of and how exactly the agencies responded.

Please note that all of these articles are from Soompi (my most frequently used source), and I have NOT linked articles about every single development pertaining to an idol’s particular situation. I think it’s incredibly important to talk about these situations and mention them here, but I also want to handle them carefully because they’re sensitive stories and not everything has been confirmed or refuted. I don’t want to add to the speculation and/or accidentally report something that’s untrue. So, my compromise is to give a basic overview using articles with verified information from a source I trust. But if you look on other websites or online in general, you will probably find other articles about things like the accusers responding to the agency’s statement, other classmates/teachers/acquaintances coming forward with their own testimonies, etc.

Here are the idols who have had bullying rumors come about them this week, listed in the approximate order that the rumors appeared/their agency responded.

  • Soojin, (G)I-DLE: I actually mentioned her bullying rumors in last week’s recap because they came out on February 14 (Sunday), but I’ll link that information here again just in case. This week, Soojin released a personal statement about the situation herself. You can read a translation of it here.
  • Kim Sohye, former I.O.I member: You can read about the situation and see a translation of her agency’s statement here.
  • Minggyu, SEVENTEEN: You can read about the first allegations and see a translation of Pledis Entertainment’s statement here. You can read about further developments and see a translation of Pledis’s second statement here.
  • Hyunjin, Stray Kids: You can read more about the situation and see a translation of JYP Entertainment’s initial statement here. You can read translations of JYP’s second statement and Hyunjin’s apology letter on Instagram here. You can read a translation of JYP’s statement about Hyunjin going on hiatus here.
  • Sunwoo, The Boyz: You can read more about the situation and see a translation of Cre.ker Entertainment’s statement here.
  • Aisha, EVERGLOW: You can read more about the situation and see a translation of Yuehua Entertainment’s statement here.
  • Chuu, LOONA: You can read more about the situation and see a translation of Blockberry Creative’s statements here.
  • Kihyun, Monsta X: You can read more about the situation and see a translation of Starship Entertainment’s initial statement here. You can read a translation of Starship’s second more detailed statement here. You can read a translation of Starship’s third statement about Kihyun meeting with his accuser here.
  • HyunA: You can read more about the situation, see a translation of HyunA’s personal statement on Instagram, and see a translation of P Nation’s statement here.
  • Lia, ITZY: You can read more about the situation and see a translation of JYP Entertainment’s statement here.

Other News to Note

  • Dispatch reported on the latest potential idol couple: Big Bang’s G-Dragon and BLACKPINK’s Jennie have supposedly been dating for a year. YG Entertainment essentially refused to confirm anything since it has to do with their artists’ personal lives, so I’m not sure if it’s true or not. I guess we have to decide for ourselves. You can read more about Dispatch’s report here.
  • After being inactive in the entertainment industry for several months, EXO’s Chanyeol posted a letter to his fans on EXO’s fan community. (The reason for his hiatus was because someone who claimed to be his ex-girlfriend accused him of being a serial cheater, which his agency SM neither confirmed nor denied.). Several days later, it was revealed that he will be enlisting for his mandatory military service at the end of March. You can read a translation of his letter here.
  • Two members of girl group T-ARA were targeted by dangerous people this week: Jiyeon’s agency requested that police investigate several death threats made against her on social media, while a stalker trespassed into Soyeon’s apartment building and was looking for her. You can read a translation of the statement from Jiyeon’s agency here and more about what happened with Soyeon’s stalker here.
  • B.A.P’s Himchan received a prison sentence of ten months for indecent act by compulsion (a form of sexual assault), which happened in 2018. You can read more about it here.
  • Big Hit Entertainment released a report of their annual profits and revealed that 2020 is their highest annual performance to date, even with everything happening because of COVID-19. You can read more about it here.
    • Big Hit has invested in another company; this time it’s Supertone, which specializes in AI audio. You can read more about it here.
  • Seungri (formerly of Big Bang) had his 11th hearing on February 26th. He has been indicted on nine charges, and this hearing focused on two: prostitution mediation and special violence instigation. You can read more details about the trial 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.)

SHINee, “Don’t Call Me” (2/22)

ONF, “Beautiful Beautiful” (2/24)

Wonho, “Lose” 2/26

Sunmi, “Tail” (2/23)

WEi, “All or Nothing” (2/24)

Coming Up Next Week

Monday (3/1)Tuesday (3/2)Wednesday (3/3)Thursday (3/4)Friday (3/5)
ATEEZVERIVERYRain (feat. Chungha)

This Week’s Music Show Wins

The Show (SBS MTV)Kang Daniel, “Paranoia” (1st win)
Show Champion (MBC)Kang Daniel, “Paranoia” (2nd win)
M! Countdown (MNET)Kang Daniel, “Paranoia” (3rd win)
Music Bank (KBS)BTS, “Dynamite” (31st win)
Music Core (MBC)Kang Daniel, “Paranoia” (4th win)
Inkigayo (SBS)IU, “Celebrity” (8th 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 SalesBTS
BE (Essential Edition)
2018 Empathy
Resonance Pt 2
NCT Dream
We Boom
NCT Dream
We Young
SocialBLACKPINKBTSIm Young WoongKim Ho Joong Young Tak

Much like last week, the appearance of so many NCT (and NCT Dream) albums on the chart is interesting because most of them were initially released in 2017 and 2018.

  • IU’s “Celebrity” placed #1 on the overall digital chart and the streaming chart, and it also placed #3 on the download chart.
  • Kang Daniel’s “Paranoia” placed #1 on the download chart and #2 on the overall digital chart.
  • BTS’s “Dynamite” placed #3 on the overall digital chart and the streaming chart..
  • Chungha’s “Bicycle” placed #4 on the download chart.
  • Kim Wooseok’s “Sugar” placed #5 on the download chart.

The International Side of K-pop

  • Twitter revealed the Top 10 most tweeted about musicians in the United States in 2020. Four K-pop boy groups were on that list: BTS at #1, ATEEZ at #5, NCT at #6, and EXO at #7.
  • TXT’s Japanese album Still Dreaming debuted at #173 on Billboard‘s Billboard 200 chart.
  • BTS’s “Dynamite” ranked #45 on Billboard‘s “Hot 100” in its 26th week on the chart.
  • SuperM is taking part in Global Citizen’s “Recovery Plan for the World” campaign, which hopes to combat and help end COVID-19. You can read more about it here.
  • After making a YouTube video to raise awareness about climate change in December 2020, BLACKPINK was named as an official advocate for the UN’s Climate Change Conference (COP26). Since the conference will be hosted by the UK, their appointment ceremony was at the British ambassador’s residence in Seoul. You can read more about it here.
  • German DJ Matthias Matuschik made several insulting and racist comments about BTS on his live radio broadcast, which included criticizing their cover of Coldplay’s “Fix You” on their recent MTV Unplugged session and comparing them to COVID-19. His radio station Bayern 3 released an initial apology that was not well-received since it essentially stated that Matuschik was not racist or xenophobic because of his participation in refugee aid and his political involvement. Many did not accept this apology, including several of BTS’s Western celebrity friends and collaborators who posted their support for the group on social media. Both Bayern 3 and Matuschik eventually released second more detailed apology statements. You can read more about the situation was well as see the second apologies in full here.
  • These K-pop music videos reached the following milestones on YouTube:
    • BLACKPINK’s “DDU-DU DDU-DU” is the first K-pop group music video to reach 1.5 billion views, meaning it’s the most watched K-pop group music video on YouTube as of now.
    • EXO’s “Ko Ko Bop” hit 300 million views.

Drama and Variety Show News

  • SF9’s Dawon has been cast in tvN’s drama Doom at Your Service, playing the younger brother of lead actor Park Boyoung. This is Dawon’s first official acting role.
  • Weki Meki’s Doyeon has been cast in tvN’s drama Mount Jiri (working title), playing the younger version of lead actress Jun Jihyun.
  • Dear.M, the upcoming KBS2 drama starring NCT’s Jaehyun, has been delayed because lead actress Park Hyesoo is one of the non-idol celebrities who was named as a former bully this week. As of now, there is no information about when the new premiere date will be.

Notable Variety Shows Featuring K-pop Idols

Weekly IdolKnowing BrothersAmazing Saturday
This WeekShindong and Donghae (Super Junior), Yerin and SinB (GFriend), Hyojung and Mimi (Oh My Girl), Minhyuk and Hyungwon (Monsta X) 500th Episode SpecialNon-idol guestsSHINee’s Onew and Minho (Key is a cast member)
Next WeekRain and CiipherDo Kyung Wan (announcer), Tiffany (Girls’ Generation)Sunmi and Chungha

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: Abyss Company (Sunmi)

VIDEO SOURCES: YouTube, Abyss Company (Sunmi), High Line Entertainment (Wonho), OUI Entertainment (WEi), SM Entertainment (SHINee), WM Entertainment (ONF)

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

5 thoughts on “Katherine’s K-pop Recap: February 22-28, 2021

  1. Omg I missed some of this news (I guess because everything just exploded all at once) – thank you for the summary (even though I’m sat over here with my mouth hanging open at some of it)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I didn’t quite realize it even though it seemed like there was another story coming out every few hours ^^”’ When I put them all together, I was like… I’m so overwhelmed hahaha


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