Katherine’s K-pop Recap: March 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

  • April was the latest K-pop group to get caught up in controversy when a netizen identifying himself as former member Hyunjoo’s younger brother made a post about how she left the group because the other members bullied her. The members accused of bullying were in April when Hyunjoo was part of the group, so this includes KARD’s Somin who was the leader at the time. This does not include Chaekyung and Rachel, who joined April after Hyunjoo’s departure. There are a lot of developments in this situation, and the main parties involved – Hyunjoo’s family and DSP Media – are also directly denying each other’s statements. So, I’ve chosen to link the Soompi articles about it since they mostly focus on translations of posts and official statements (and translate from verified sources).
    • Article 1 (click here) / Translations of Hyunjoo’s brother’s first post, a post by someone who was supposedly Hyunjoo’s high school classmate detailing examples of April bullying her, and DSP’s first statement denying the allegations.
    • Article 2 (click here) / Translation of DSP’s second statement that is more detailed and specifically addresses the incidents raised by the posts in Article 1.
    • Article 3 (click here) / Summary and translations of the following events: Another netizen made a post saying they were bullied by April’s Naeun in elementary school. (Naeun is probably the most well-known member of April to the Korean public at present.) Former A-JAX Yoonyoung posted on Instagram defending the April members, sparking rumors that he and Naeun were dating. DSP Media released another statement denying both Naeun’s bullying and dating rumors.
    • Article 4 (click here) / Summary of Hyunjoo’s brother’s second post about the situation plus a translation of DSP Media’s statement declaring they will take legal action against Hyunjoo and her family.
  • C9 Entertainment, home to groups CIX and cignature, announced they were debuting a new boy group soon. They’ve been revealing the members over the past few days, one of whom is Produce X 101 contestant Keum Donghyun.
  • Girl group Brave Girls is rising on Korean music charts with their single “Rollin'” – a song that was originally released in 2017 – after a YouTuber uploaded a compilation of their performances and it went viral. You can read more about it here. Brave Girls is also planning on perform the song again on music shows this week.
  • Spotify, which recently launched in South Korea, upset subscribers around the world when it removed all of the K-pop artists whose music was distributed by Kakao M from their global catalogues. This is significant because Kakao M is a huge distributor for Korean music, and it affects tons of popular K-pop artists – not just the few produced by Kakao M as an agency. You can read Spotify’s statement about the situation here and Kakao M’s statement here.
  • SF9 has renewed their contracts with FNC Entertainment. Since they debuted in 2016 and agencies traditionally have seven year contracts with their artists, it appears they renewed with a couple years still left on their original agreement.
  • Seven O’Clock has disbanded after nearly four years active as a group.
  • (G)I-DLE’s Soojin is going on a temporary hiatus due to the accusations of bullying raised against her (detailed in my two previous recaps). Read a translation of Cube Entertainment’s statement about it here.
  • GOT7’s BamBam has signed with Abyss Company, a label home to Sunmi and Urban Zakapa. This makes him the fourth GOT7 member to sign with a new Korean agency after Youngjae (Sublime Artist Agency), Jinyoung (BH Entertainment), and Yugyeom (AOMG). Jackson is continuing his activities with his own label Team Wang and has a business partnership with Sublime Artist Agency for activities in South Korea. Mark is currently in LA and just released his own song. JB is currently still a free agent.
  • Woollim Entertainment announced that Sunggyu, leader of INFINITE, will not be renewing his contract with them and leaving the agency. However, Sunggyu has mentioned in the recent past that he is leaving the agency and not INFINITE (much like fellow member L). You can read a translation of Woollim’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.)

ATEEZ, “Fireworks (I’m the One)” (3/1)

Rain feat. Chungha, “Why Don’t We” (3/3)

VERIVERY, “Get Away” (3/2)

iKON, “Why Why Why” (3/3)

Coming Up Next Week

Monday (3/8)Tuesday (3/9)Wednesday (3/10)Thursday (3/11)Friday (3/12)

This Week’s Music Show Wins

The Show (SBS MTV)ONF, “Beautiful Beautiful” (1st win/1st ever win)
Show Champion (MBC)SHINee, “Don’t Call Me” (1st win)
M! Countdown (MNET)SHINee, “Don’t Call Me” (2nd win)
Music Bank (KBS)BTS, “Dynamite” (32nd win)
Music Core (MBC)SHINee, “Don’t Call Me” (3rd win)
Inkigayo (SBS)SHINee, “Don’t Call Me” (4th 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. This week, I did include the download chart because most of the Top 5 were K-pop or K-pop adjacent. To see a full breakdown of the chart, you can go here.

Album SalesSHINee
Don’t Call Me
Love Synonym #2: Right for Us
ONF: My Name
Identity: Challenge
NCT Dream
We Go Up
“Beautiful Beautiful”
Kang Daniel
“Don’t Call Me”
“Don’t Look Back”
SocialBLACKPINKBTSIm Young WoongLee Chan Won Jang Min Ho
  • IU’s “Celebrity” placed #1 on the overall digital chart for the fifth week in a row and #1 on the streaming chart for the third week in a row.
  • SHINee’s “Don’t Call Me” placed #3 on the overall digital chart.
  • BTS’s “Dynamite” placed #4 on the overall digital chart and #3 on the streaming chart.

The International Side of K-pop

  • BTS’s “Dynamite” was #50 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 in its 27th week on the chart. BTS also released a new version of BE, which helped it re-enter the Billboard 200’s Top 10 at #7.
  • The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) awarded BTS their Global Artist of the Year Award, making them the first South Korean AND Asian artists to receive it. You can read more about it here.
  • BTS and Big Hit have also pledged to continue their “Love Myself” campaign with UNICEF and donated $1 million towards their cause. Read more about it here.
  • CL was featured in Google’s video celebrating Women’s History Month 2021 and was the only Korean artist included.
  • Originally a global ambassador for Dior Beauty, BLACKPINK’s Jisoo has officially become a global ambassador for Dior Fashion as well.
  • Two music videos reached viewer milestones on YouTube this week:
    • “Daechwita” by BTS’s Suga (as Agust D) reached 200 million views.
    • PSY’s “Gangnam Style” hit 4 billion views as it continues to be the most watched K-pop (and Korean language) music video on YouTube.

Notable Variety Shows Featuring K-pop Idols

Weekly IdolKnowing BrothersAmazing Saturday
This WeekRain and CiipherDo Kyungwan (announcer), Tiffany (Girls’ Generation)Sunmi and Chungha
Next WeekONFNon-idol guestsNon-idol guests

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, Jellyfish Entertainment (VERIVERY), KQ Entertainment (ATEEZ), Rain Company (Rain), YG Entertainment (iKON)

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

2 thoughts on “Katherine’s K-pop Recap: March 1 – 7, 2021

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