Katherine’s K-Pop Recap: April 26 – May 2, 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

  • There has been another hearing for two producers of the survival show Idol School. Much like the Produce 101 series scandal, these producers were found to have manipulated votes and the final results of the show, which formed girl group fromis_9. The prosecution has recommended prison sentences for both of them. You can read more about the situation here.
  • Hyunjoo is pursuing legal action against someone who anonymously posted rumors about her (and her behavior when she was part of April) on social media. This person claimed to have previously worked at DSP Media. You can read more about the situation here.
  • Sunn and Ye Ah have left rookie girl group cignature. You can read J9 Entertainment’s statement about it here. (cignature belongs to C9 Entertainment, but J9 Entertainment is a sub-label that manages them.)
  • IZ*ONE has officially disbanded after being together for about 2 and a half years. There’s no news about any of the members’ next steps, but all three Japanese members have returned to Japan for the time being. (Though Hitomi posted a picture of her new Korean driver’s license on Twitter like a day before her flight, so make of that what you will.)
  • Five out of six Apink members have renewed their contract with Play M Entertainment. Naeun has decided to leave the agency, and is in discussions with YG Entertainment. Despite her departure from Play M, she is still a member of Apink. You can read a translation of Play M Entertainment’s statement here and a translation of Naeun’s Instagram post about it here.
  • Duo B.O.Y has officially disbanded. Its two members Song Yuvin and Kim Kookheon were best known as former members of MYTEEN and competitors on Produce X 101. The decision to disband was made because Song Yuvin wants to fulfill his military service soon. You can read translations of Music Works’ statement and Yuvin’s Instagram post about it here. (EDIT: My dear friend pointed out to me hat Yuvin and Kookheon were members of MYTEEN, not MYNAME – sorry I got confused!)
  • Super Junior’s Eunhyuk has tested negative for COVID-19 after coming into contact with a confirmed patient.

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.)

AB6IX, “CLOSE” (4/26)

ONF, “Ugly Dance” (4/28)

ITZY, “In the Morning” (4/30)

ENHYPEN, “Drunk-Dazed” (4/26)


Coming Up Next Week

Monday (5/3)Tuesday (5/4)Wednesday (5/5)Thursday (5/6)Friday (5/7)
(Super Junior)

This Week’s Music Show Wins

The Show (SBS MTV)No broadcast/winner
Show Champion (MBC)No broadcast/winner
M! Countdown (MNET)NU’EST, “Inside Out” (1st win)
Music Bank (KBS)NU’EST, “Inside Out” (2nd win)
Music Core (MBC)NU’EST, “Inside Out” (3rd win)
Inkigayo (SBS)NU’EST, “Inside Out” (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 have included the streaming chart in my table, as most of the Top 5 are K-pop or K-pop adjacent. To see a full breakdown of the chart, you can go here. (NOTE: I think there’s some kind of error because article says that NU’EST topped the albums chart, but their screenshot shows otherwise.)

Album SalesBaekhyun (EXO),
The Book of Us: Negentropy
(Red Velvet),
Like Water
Kang Daniel,
StreamingBrave Girls,
Justin Bieber, “Peaches” feat. Daniel Caesar and GiveonIU,
Brave Girls, “We Ride”
SocialBTSBLACKPINKLim Young WoongLee Chan Won Young Tak
  • Brave Girls’ “Rollin”” placed #1 on the overall digital chart, while “We Ride” placed #5 (same as the streaming chart).
  • NU’EST’s “Inside Out” placed #1 on the digital download chart.
  • IU’s “Lilac” placed #2 on the overall digital chart.
  • Kang Daniel’s “Yellow” placed #2 on the digital download chart.

The International Side of K-pop

  • HYBE (formerly known as Big Hit Entertainment) is on TIME Magazine’s list of 100 Most Influential Companies.
  • BTS has been nominated for four Billboard Music Awards this year – Top Social Artist, Top Group/Duo, Top Song Sales Artist, and Top Selling Song (for “Dynamite”).
    • SEVENTEEN and BLACKPINK have also been nominated for Top Social Artist.
  • GOT7’s Mark has signed with Creative Artists Agency in the U.S.
  • TWICE received a Diamond Play Button from YouTube for reaching 10 million subscribers. They are the fourth K-pop group to get one after BLACKPINK, BTS, and Big Bang.
  • The following K-pop music videos reached viewer milestones on YouTube:
    • BTS’s latest Japanese single “Film Out” reached 100 million views.
    • Highlight’s “Fiction” became their first ever music video to reach 100 million views. (NOTE: “Fiction” was released in 2011 when Highlight was known as BEAST; they changed their name after they left Cube Entertainment.)

Drama and Variety Show Casting News

  • Seungyoon from WINNER is joining Season 4 of OCN’s hit thriller drama Voice.
  • ASTRO’s Cha Eunwoo will make his film debut in action movie Decibel.
  • Highlight’s Doojoon will star in his first drama since returning from military service. There Is No Goo Pil Soo is about the friendship between a man in his 40s who wants to start a new era in his life and a man in his twenties bent on making a successful startup. (Doojoon will play the latter.)

Notable Variety Shows Featuring K-pop Idols

Weekly IdolKnowing BrothersAmazing Saturday
This WeekAB6IXITZYGirls’ Generation (Hyoyeon and Yuri)
Next WeekITZYNon-idol guestITZY (Ryujin and Lia)

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: ITZY’s Twitter account. The picture is of them when they were performing for Studio Choom; you can see the original Tweet here.

VIDEO SOURCES: YouTube*, BE:LIFT Lab (ENHYPEN), Brand New Entertainment (AB6IX), JYP Entertainment (ITZY), S2 Entertainment (HOT ISSUE), WM Entertainment (ONF)
*”Drunk-Dazed” music video distributed by HYBE Labels.

OTHER SOURCES:  YouTube, Wikipedia, BillboardGaon Chart, KBS, MBC, MNET, SBS, TIME (1)

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