Katherine’s K-Pop Recap: March 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

  • Rosé (BLACKPINK) continues to see success with her solo debut. After breaking the record for most album pre-orders for a female soloist, she also broke the record for highest first week album sales for a female soloist.
  • Big Hit Entertainment announced that they are changing their name to HYBE, as they are expanding their company. (There will still be a Big Hit Music label, which I assume will still manage BTS and TXT.). They put up a video explaining everything on YouTube, but you can read a summary of it here.
  • There are more developments in the bullying situation involving (G)I-DLE’s Soojin. You can read about a new accuser and Cube Entertainment’s response to them here. You can read a translation of Soojin’s detailed statement and Cube’s announcement of taking legal action here. (This is a second statement and is different from the one Soojin released a few weeks ago.)
  • Pledis Entertainment has released more updates about their investigation into bullying accusations leveled against SEVENTEEN member Mingyu. You can read a translation of their latest 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.)

Pentagon, “Do or Not” (3/15)

PURPLE KISS, “Ponzona” (DEBUT 3/15)

Super Junior, “House Party” (3/16)

Jessi, “What Type of X” (3/17)

MIRAE, “Killa” (DEBUT 3/17)

Woodz (Cho Seungyoun), “Feel Like” (3/15)

Ciipher, “I Like You” (DEBUT 3/15)

Drippin, “Young Blood” (3/16)

Weeekly, “After School” (3/17)

B.I, “Midnight Blue” (3/19 – special film)

Coming Up Next Week

Monday (3/22)Tuesday (3/23)Wednesday (3/24)Thursday (3/25)Friday (3/26)

This Week’s Music Show Wins

The Show (SBS MTV)Brave Girls, “Rollin'” (2nd win)
Show Champion (MBC)Brave Girls, “Rollin'” (3rd win)
M! Countdown (MNET)Brave Girls, “Rollin'” (4th win)
Music Bank (KBS)Brave Girls, “Rollin'” (5th win)
Music Core (MBC)Im Young Woong, “My Starry Love” (1st win)
Inkigayo (SBS)Brave Girls, “Rollin'” (6th 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 have included digital downloads because four out of five songs are K-pop. To see a full breakdown of the chart, you can go here.

Album SalesWayV,
Kick Back
Don’t Call Me
True Beauty OST
DownloadsIm Young Woong,
“My Starry Love”
Kang Daniel,
“Don’t Call Me”
Brave Girls,
“On the Ground”
SocialBLACKPINKBTSIm Young WoongLee Chan Won TWICE
  • Brave Girls’ “Rollin'” also placed #1 on the streaming chart placed #2 on the overall digital chart.
  • IU’s “Celebrity” placed #3 on the overall digital chart and #2 on the streaming chart.
  • BTS’s “Dynamite” placed #5 on the streaming chart.

The International Side of K-pop

  • There’s a lot of global news for BTS this week:
    • BTS had a historic performance at the Grammy Awards, as they were the first Korean (and K-pop) group to have their own stage at the show. They were also the first Korean (and K-pop) group to receive a Grammy nomination. (This technically could have been posted in last week’s recap, but I put it here because I live in Korea and the Grammys happened on Monday morning for me.)
    • “Dynamite” has earned BTS their very first double platinum certification in the United States by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
    • After BTS won three trophies at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards last week, they earned a Guinness World Record for most awards won by a music group at that particular show. They now have a total of five Kids’ Choice Awards.
    • They also received a Guinness World Record for the highest number of live viewers during a YouTube music video premiere (for “Dynamite”).
  • VERIVERY topped Billboard’s World Digital Song Sales chart with “Get Away.” This is their second song to reach #1 on this particular chart. (The first was “G.B.T.B.”) They are now the fourth K-pop group to have two #1 songs on this chart – the others are Big Bang, EXO, and BTS.
  • Rosé became the first Korean female soloist to rank on the UK’s Official Singles Chart.
  • The director-general of the World Health Organization tweeted at Super Junior and praised how their latest song “House Party” encourages social distancing and safe practices during COVID-19.
  • The following K-pop music videos reached viewer milestones on YouTube:
    • BTS had a couple music videos hit 100 million views. They were “I Need U (Original Version)” and the “Outro: Ego” comeback trailer (which is one of J-Hope’s solo songs on a BTS album).
    • Wonder Girls’ “Nobody” (English version) has become their first music video to hit 100 million views.
    • NCT U’s debut video “The 7th Sense” hit 100 million views.
    • SISTAR19’s “My Boy” hit 100 million views. (SISTAR19 is the subunit of SISTAR comprised of Hyolyn and Bora.)
    • TWICE’s “Fancy” hit 400 million views.
    • Rosé’s “On the Ground” reached 100 million views, making her the fastest Korean female soloist to do so. It was also confirmed that “On the Ground” officially broke the record for highest number of views in 24 hours (for a music video by a Korean soloist).
    • Jessi’s music video for “NUNU NANA” became her first to reach 100 million views.

Drama and Variety Show News

  • KBS recently indefinitely postponed the drama Dear M (starring NCT’s Jaehyun) because of the bullying scandal surrounding lead actress Park Hyesoo. It’s now confirmed that they’ll be filling the time slot with the drama Imitation, which was initially scheduled to air later in the year. The drama is actually about idol groups, so there are several idol cast members. They include four members of ATEEZ (Yunho, Seonghwa, San, and Jongho) as well as U-KISS’s Jun, T-ARA’s Jiyeon, former I.O.I and Pristin member Nayoung, and SF9’s Hwiyoung and Chani. Imitation is set to start premiering in May.
  • Kim Wooseok has been cast in a supporting role in tvN’s upcoming fantasy drama Bulgalsal. (A bulgalsal is a Korean mythical creature.)
  • SF9’s Rowoon will star in KBS’s upcoming historical drama Yeonmo, about a crown prince who is actually a woman pretending to be her deceased twin brother. Rowoon will play the lead character of the crown prince’s tutor.
  • AOA’s Hyejeong and Victon’s Seungwoo have been cast in the upcoming web movie series Love # Hashtag, which will premiere in April. The series will follow love stories of people in their 20s and 30s. Seungwoo will be one of the couple in their 20s, while Hyejeong will be one of the couple in their 30s.

Notable Variety Shows Featuring K-pop Idols

Weekly IdolKnowing BrothersAmazing Saturday
This WeekWEiHyeri (Girl’s Day) and Rosé (BLACKPINK) – they’re known to be close friendsShindong and Eunhyuk (Super Junior)
Next WeekVERIVERYNon-idol guestsEunwoo and Sanha (ASTRO)

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: Super Junior on Music Core! on 3/20. Originally posted to Super Junior’s official Twitter account (tweet here)

VIDEO SOURCES: YouTube, 131 Label (B.I), Cube Entertainment (Pentagon), DSP Media (MIRAE), Kakao M** (Weeekly), P Nation (Jessi), Rain Company (Ciipher), RBW Entertainment (PURPLE KISS), SM Entertainment (Super Junior), Woollim Entertainment (Drippin), Yuehua Entertainment* (Woodz)
*”Feel Like” music video is distributed by Stone Music Entertainment.
**”After School” music video is distributed by 1theK.

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

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