Katherine’s K-Pop Recap: March 8 – 14, 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

  • WM Entertainment is taking legal action against singer and producer Tank after he uploaded a diss track with Oh My Girl’s Seunghee on the cover image. (Though her face is covered, she’s still pretty recognizable.) The song does not mention Seunghee by name, but appears to be about her as well. You can read a translation of WM Entertainment’s statement and more about the situation here.
  • BLACKPINK’s Rosé broke the record for most album stock pre-orders for a Korean female soloist. She also had some global achievements after the release of “On the Ground,” which are detailed in the “international” section below.
  • It was revealed that TVXQ’s Yunho was under police investigation for breaking Seoul’s COVID-19 social distancing regulations and staying at a restaurant later than the required closing time. You can read translations of SM Entertainment’s statement and Yunho’s apology post on Instagram here.
    • Newsdesk on MBC later reported that the restaurant Yunho and his friends were at was also a place for illegal adult entertainment, and that Yunho ran away (or tried to) while his friends fought with the cops. SM Entertainment released a statement addressing those developments, which you can read a translation of here.
  • Rookie group 1TEAM has officially disbanded. You can read a translation of Liveworks Company’s statement here.
  • MNET has officially confirmed that IZ*ONE will be disbanding in April, despite rumors earlier in the year that some members wanted to extend their contracts. Their online concert this weekend served as one of their last major activities. You can read a translation of MNET and Off the Record’s statements here.
    • There are rumors that Sakura is in talks to join Big Hit Entertainment, but Big Hit said that nothing is certain at this point in time.
  • Spotify and Kakao M reached an agreement on global licensing, so the K-pop artists who were previously removed from Spotify are available again. It appears that the artists who are managed directly by Kakao M as an agency will also be available on Spotify in Korea, which they weren’t previously. You can read more about the situation here.
  • Ahn Joon Young, the PD of the Produce 101 series, received a finalized prison sentence of two years for his role in the vote manipulation scandal. Chief producer Kim Yong Bum also received a sentence of one year and eight months. You can read more about the situation here.
  • Brave Girls’ 2017 song “Rollin”” continues to rack up achievements – they received the first Perfect All-Kill of their career this week. (A Perfect All-Kill is when a song simultaneously reaches #1 on various Korean daily and realtime charts, as well iChart’s real time and weekly charts.) This is the second Perfect All-Kill of 2021; the first was IU’s “Celebrity.” Some more of their achievements are detailed below.
  • Pledis Entertainment has released another statement about the bullying allegations involving SEVENTEEN member Mingyu (first mentioned in my recap two weeks ago). You can read a translation of it 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.)

BDC, “Moon Rider” (3/8)

GHOST9, “Seoul” (3/11)

WayV, “Kick Back” (3/10)*

Rosé (BLACKPINK), “On the Ground” (3/12)

*Although WayV might not be considered K-pop, I’ve still included them because they’re the Chinese unit of NCT and they’re performing on music shows (albeit without Lucas and WinWin).

Coming Up Next Week

Monday (3/15)Tuesday (3/16)Wednesday (3/17)Thursday (3/18)Friday (3/19)
PentagonSuper JuniorJessi
(Cho Seungyoun)

This Week’s Music Show Wins

The Show (SBS MTV)ATEEZ, “Fireworks (I’m the One)” (1st win)
Show Champion (MBC)SHINee, “Don’t Call Me” (5th win)
M! Countdown (MNET)SHINee, “Don’t Call Me” (6th win)
Music Bank (KBS)IU, “Celebrity” (9th win)
Music Core (MBC)IU, “Celebrity” (10th win)
Inkigayo (SBS)Brave Girls, “Rollin”” (1st win AND 1st ever win)

Note that Brave Girls’ win is particularly special because “Rollin”” was initially released four years ago, and it’s practically unheard of for such an old song to rise back up the charts enough grab a music show win. I don’t want to say it’s impossible because I don’t know every music show winner ever, but it’s never happened in the five years I’ve been a K-pop fan.

Album Sales, Streaming, and Charting

Gaon Weekly 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. I did include the weekly and monthly download chart in the table this week because most of them were K-pop songs. To see a full breakdown of the chart, you can go here.

Album SalesATEEZ
Zero: Fever Part 2
Don’t Call Me
I Burn
Series ‘O’ Round 1: Hall
Border: Day One
“Beautiful Beautiful”
Kang Daniel
“Don’t Call Me”
Brave Girls
Yoseob (Highlight) and Eunji (Apink)
“Love Day (2021)”
SocialBLACKPINKBTSIm Young WoongLee Chan Won Jang Min Ho
  • IU earned a double crown for this past week by topping the digital chart and the streaming chart with “Celebrity.”
  • Brave Girls’ “Rollin”” continued to rise – aside from appearing at #4 on the download chart, it ranked at #2 on the overall digital chart and #3 on the streaming chart.
  • BTS’s “Dynamite ranked at #4 on the overall digital chart and the streaming chart.

Gaon Monthly Chart (for March)

Album SalesBTS
Don’t Call Me
NCT 2018: Empathy
Kim Wooseok
2nd Desire: [TASTY]
Love Synonym #2: Right for Us
DownloadsKang Daniel
“Don’t Look Back”
“Beautiful Beautiful”
Kim Wooseok
SocialBLACKPINKBTSIm Young WoongYoung Tak Lee Chan Won
  • IU also earned a double crown for February by topping the monthly digital chart and the streaming chart with “Celebrity.”
  • BTS’s “Dynamite” placed #3 on the monthly digital chart and the streaming chart.

Gaon Certifications (for K-Pop Artists)

BTSBETriple million (album sales)
NCTNCT 2018: EmpathyDouble platinum (album sales)
NCT DreamWe Go UpPlatinum (album sales)
TREASUREThe First Step: Chapter One
The First Step: Treasure Effect
Platinum (album sales)
Oh My Girl“Nonstop”Platinum (streams)

The International Side of K-pop

*IMPORTANT NOTE!* I have NOT covered the Grammys because I live in South Korea and I am posting this in KST – aka before the Grammys air. So although they happen the evening of March 14th in the U.S, they air on the morning of Monday March 15th for me. I will add any news about BTS and the Grammys in my next recap.

  • Billboard named BTS “The Greatest Pop Star of 2020.”
  • Variety included BLACKPINK on their list of “Women That Have Made an Impact in Global Entertainment.”
  • BTS has ranked on more year end charts for the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) after taking the title of Global Recording Artist of the Year (2020) last week.
    • “Dynamite” was #10 on the IFPI’s Global Digital Singles of 2020, making BTS the first Korean group to rank in the Top 10 of this particular chart.
    • The IFPI created the new Global Album All Format chart, which looks at all the various forms of album sales together (physical albums, digital downloads, and streaming). BTS is the first artist to rank #1 on this chart, with Map of the Soul: 7 taking first place.  BE (Deluxe Edition) also appeared on the chart at #4.
    • BTS had three albums appear on the Top 10 Global Albums chart: Map of the Soul: 7 at #1, BE (Deluxe Edition) at #2, and their Japanese album Map of the Soul: 7 ~The Journey~ at #8.
  • BLACKPINK’s The Album ranked #5 on the IFPI’s Top 10 Global Albums of 2020.
  • NCT 127 appeared on a Daily Show special called “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah Presents: Remotely Educational.” It featured Trevor Noah and various guest stars giving remote learning classes on various topics.
  • BLACKPINK’s Rosé made her solo debut this week, and she’s already seen some accomplishments in just a couple of days:
    • It appears that her music video for “On the Ground” was watched almost 40 million times in the first 24 hours. Although YouTube has not announced the official number, it’s likely she’ll break the record for highest number of views for a K-pop soloist’s video in 24 hours.
    • “On the Ground” set a Spotify record for most streams in 24 hours for a song by a Korean solo artist.
    • She will also be performing her new single on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon on March 16th, making her the first K-pop female soloist to do so.
  • BTS won three awards at the Nickelodeon’s Kid’s Choice Awards: Favorite Music Group, Favorite Song (“Dynamite”), and Favorite Global Music Star.
  • These K-pop music videos reached significant milestones on YouTube:
    • “God’s Menu” became Stray Kids’ first music video to reach 200 million views.
    • BTS’s “Dynamite” reached 900 million views, becoming the fastest K-pop group music video to do so.
    • BLACKPINK’s “How You Like That” is now the fastest K-pop girl group music video to reach 800 million views.

Notable Variety Shows Featuring K-pop Idols

Weekly IdolKnowing BrothersAmazing Saturday
This WeekONFNon-idol guestsNon-idol guests
Next WeekWEiHyeri (Girl’s Day) and Rosé (BLACKPINK)Shindong and Eunhyuk (Super Junior)

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: YG Entertainment (Rosé)

VIDEO SOURCES: YouTube, Brand New Entertainment (BDC), Maroo Entertainment (GHOST9), SM Entertainment/Label V (WayV), YG Entertainment (Rosé)

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

2 thoughts on “Katherine’s K-Pop Recap: March 8 – 14, 2021

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