Katherine’s K-pop Recap: May 17-23, 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

  • MLD Entertainment has confirmed that Momoland’s Hyebin is dating Marco, who is best known as a member of project group UNB from survival show The Unit. (He was originally a member of boy group HBY.) Marco initially denied the dating rumors in a group chat with fans before the news broke, and he posted an apology on Instagram – you can read a translation of that here.
  • Several agencies are taking legal action on behalf of their artists:
    • SM Entertainment is taking legal action against people spreading false rumors about EXO member Chanyeol. You can read more about the situation here.
    • JYP Entertainment is taking legal action on behalf of Stray Kids for invasion of their privacy and spreading rumors about them. You can read a translation of their statement here.
  • YG Entertainment has confirmed that they’re debuting a new girl group this year, though they did not mention any more specific details beyond that.
  • All six members of GFriend are leaving their agency Source Music after not renewing their contracts. According to Source Music’s statements and the members’ letters to fans, it appears they will be disbanding.
    • You can read a translation of Source Music’s statement about the situation here.
    • You can read translations of the members’ letters to fans here.
    • You can read a translation of Source Music’s additional statement about GFriend’s social media accounts here.
  • Former BTOB member Ilhoon had his final court hearing for the purchase and use of marijuana. (South Korea has a strict zero-tolerance policy for drugs.) The prosecution has asked for a four year prison sentence and a fine, and he will be officially sentenced in June. You can read more about the situation here.
  • The Boyz member Younghoon will not be part of the group’s upcoming performance on Kingdom due to surgery he just had, and he is expected to perform seated for the time being. You can read a translation of Cre.ker’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.)

fromis_9, “We Go” (5/17)

aespa, “Next Level” (5/17)

TRI.BE, “RUB-A-DUM” (5/18)

ENHYPEN, “Fever” (follow-up single, 5/20)

Rocket Punch, “Ring Ring” (5/17)

Taemin (SHINee), “Advice” (5/18)

BTS, “Butter” (5/21)

Yuqi (G)I-DLE, “Bonnie and Clyde”
(special single, 5/21)

Coming Up Next Week

Monday (5/24)Tuesday (5/25)Wednesday (5/26)Thursday (5/27)Friday (5/28)

This Week’s Music Show Wins

The Show (SBS MTV)Oh My Girl, “Dun Dun Dance” (1st win)
Show Champion (MBC)NCT Dream, “Hot Sauce” (1st win)
M! Countdown (MNET)NCT Dream, “Hot Sauce” (2nd win)
Music Bank (KBS)No broadcast/winner
Music Core (MBC)NCT Dream, “Hot Sauce” (3rd win)
Inkigayo (SBS)NCT Dream, “Hot Sauce” (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 usually only list the Top 5 for album sales and the social chart. This week, I included all five charts in the table because there were a lot of K-pop releases. To see a full breakdown of the chart, you can go here.

Album SalesNCT Dream,
Hot Sauce
Binary Code
Oh My Girl,
NCT 2018 Empathy
NCT Dream,
We Boom
Overall DigitalNCT Dream,
“Hot Sauce”
Brave Girls,
Justin Bieber, “Peaches”IU,
Brave Girls,
“We Ride”
StreamingBrave Girls,
Justin Bieber, “Peaches”IU,
Brave Girls,
“We Ride”
DownloadNCT Dream,
“Hot Sauce”
Oh My Girl,
“Dun Dun Dance”
Kang Daniel,
“Outer Space”
Baekhyun (EXO),
“Black Mirror”
SocialBTSBLACKPINKLim Young WoongKim Ho Joong TWICE
  • NCT Dream also topped the BGM chart (background music downloaded for things like Kakao Talk), so they have a quadruple crown for this week.

Other Streaming and Charts

  • BTS’s “Butter” achieved a Certified All-Kill within two days of its release and a Perfect All-Kill within three days of its release.

The International Side of K-pop

  • SEVENTEEN performed “Don’t Wanna Cry” on “See Us Unite For Change,” MTV’s concert special in honor of AAPI Heritage Month. You can watch their performance here.
  • News related to BTS this week:
    • Their documentary Break the Silence: The Movie won “Best Music Documentary” at the 2021 MTV Movie & TV Awards.
    • They will return as guests and performers for The Late Show With Stephen Colbert on May 25th.
    • They will be the first artist for Good Morning America‘s 2021 Summer Concert series, performing on May 28th.
    • “Butter” is now Spotify’s song with the most first-day streams, and has set a new record as the biggest debut in the music platform’s history.
  • BTS’s YouTube records for “Butter” :
    • “Butter” was the biggest music video premiere in YouTube history, breaking the record held by “Dynamite.”
    • “Butter” is now the fastest K-pop music video to reach 100 million views (and every other milestone under that like 10 million, 20 million, etc.) It that number in under a day and broke all the records set by “Dynamite.” If you want to see a more detailed comparison between the views for “Butter” and “Dynamite,” you can look here.
    • “Butter” is also now the K-pop music video that accumulated the most views within 24 hours, surpassing the record BTS set with “Dynamite” once again.
  • Other K-pop music video viewer milestones on YouTube:
    • Last week, I mentioned that TWICE’s Japanese music video “Breakthrough” was their 17th to reach 100 million views. This week, it was confirmed that TWICE is now the girl group with the most music videos with over 100 million views on YouTube. (The previous record holder was British girl group Little Mix.)
    • Aside from all of BTS’s record-breaking with “Butter,” they had two other videos reach new milestones: the “Interlude: Shadow” comeback trailer(for Map of the Soul: 7 with Suga hit 100 million views, and their debut video “No More Dream” hit 200 million views.
    • BLACKPINK’s “Kill This Love” is now the fastest K-pop group music video to reach 1.3 billion views, beating the record they set with “DDU-DU DDU-DU.”
    • ITZY’s “In the Morning” is their fifth music video to hit 100 million views, and it’s also the fastest to do so.

Notable Variety Shows Featuring K-pop Idols

Weekly IdolKnowing BrothersAmazing Saturday
This WeekOh My GirlNon-idol guestsHyeri (Girl’s Day) and Jang Kiyong – to promote their new drama
Next Weekaespaaespa*NU’EST (Minhyun and Ren)

*Next week’s episode of Knowing Brothers looks like it will be a special theme outside of the regular format. So while aespa will appear, they might not be the episode’s main guests like usual.

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, Big Hit Music* (BTS), MTV (SEVENTEEN’s “Don’t Wanna Cry” performance), Off the Record Entertainment (fromis_9), SM Entertainment (Taemin and aespa), Universal Music Group (TRI.BE), Woollim Entertainment (Rocket Punch)
*Music video for “Butter” is distributed by HYBE Labels.

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

2 thoughts on “Katherine’s K-pop Recap: May 17-23, 2021

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