Katherine’s K-pop Recap: June 28 – July 4, 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

  • SM Entertainment held a press conference titled “SM Congress 2021,” where they unveiled several of the company’s plans for the rest of the year. (You can watch the whole video on YouTube here.) Here are several of the main things they announced:
    • The SM Remastering Project, which will digitally remaster more than 300 of SM Entertainment’s older music videos belonging to artists like H.O.T, Shinhwa, Fly to the Sky, and BoA.
    • aespa appeared in a talk segment with SM founder Lee Sooman, where he mentioned there might be an upcoming Hollywood film based on their cinematic universe. (They’re only in the discussions stage, so nothing’s confirmed yet.)
    • Lee Sooman hosted an additional talk segment with NCT members Doyoung (NCT 127), Mark (NCT 127/NCT Dream), and Kun. They revealed their plans for the second half of 2021, which include a full album and repackage for NCT 127, more activities for WayV, and NCT 2021. (They also said there would be new member combos for NCT U, but it’s unclear to me whether that’s part of NCT 2021 or an additional thing.) There’s also the upcoming show K-pop Goes Hollywood, the American survival show that will eventually form NCT Hollywood.
  • Former Big Bang member Seungri had another hearing for the ongoing Burning Sun trial, where he denied most of the charges raised against him. You can read more about the situation (which is too complicated for me to fully summarize) and translations of his statements here. Meanwhile, the prosecution has asked that he serve 5 years in prison and pay a 20 million won fine – you can read a translation of their statement here.
    • It’s worth noting that Dispatch published messages from the infamous KakaoTalk group chat Seungri was a part of after he said that a certain text message he sent was a typo because of autocorrect. However, I didn’t include that because Soompi (my most trusted news source) hasn’t made a post or translated those messages yet.
  • The Korean media retroactively revealed that Brown Eyed Girls member Gain was fined 1 million won last year for using propofol supplied by her plastic surgeon in 2019. You can read a translation of her agency’s statement about it here.
  • SEVENTEEN has completed their period of self-isolation and has resumed their activities. However, S.Coups is currently taking a break because of a shoulder injury. You can read Pledis Entertainment’s statement about him here.
  • HYBE announced that Bang Si Hyuk has given up the role of the company’s CEO, and that he will now be focusing on his roles as a music producer and the chairman of the board of directors.
  • Newly debuted group OMEGA X will undergo COVID-19 testing after someone at their debut showcase tested positive. They already tested negative a couple days ago, but will do it again. (The statement is a little confusing – from what I understand, the agency/group decided to test for COVID-19 after the showcase as a precaution and that was the one that came up negative. But then they found out someone from the showcase tested positive later, so they decided to do the test once more.) You can read a translation of their agency’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.)

2PM, “Make It” (6/28)

LOONA, “PTT (Paint the Town)” (6/28)

Drippin, “Free Pass” (6/29)

AleXa, “Xtra” feat. BM of KARD (7/1)

NCT Dream, “Hello Future” (6/28)

Han Seungwoo (Victon), “See You Again” (6/28)

OMEGA X, “Vamos” (DEBUT 6/30)

Coming Up Next Week

Monday (7/5)Tuesday (7/6)Wednesday (7/7)Thursday (7/8)Friday (7/9)
DAY6 – Even of DayTaeyeon (SNSD)BTS
Soyeon (G)I-DLE
*solo debut*

This Week’s Music Show Wins

The Show (SBS MTV)No broadcast/winner
Show Champion (MBC)SEVENTEEN, “Ready to Love” (2nd win)
M! Countdown (MNET)SEVENTEEN, “Ready to Love” (3rd win)
Music Bank (KBS)SEVENTEEN, “Ready to Love” (4th win)
Music Core (MBC)Brave Girls, “Chi Mat Ba Ram” (2nd win)
Inkigayo (SBS)Brave Girls, “Chi Mat Ba Ram” (3rd win)

Album Sales, Streaming, and Charting

Gaon Chart

NOTE 1: Gaon‘s weekly charts reflect the previous week. To see a full breakdown, you can go here.

Your Choice
Siren: Dawn
Don’t Fight the Feeling
Monsta X,
One of a Kind
Brave Girls,
Summer Queen
Overall DigitalBTS,
“Next Level”
Brave Girls,
“Chi Mat Ba Ram”
Oh My Girl,
“Dun Dun Dance”
“Next Level”
Brave Girls,
“Chi Mat Ba Ram”
Oh My Girl,
“Dun Dun Dance”
“Ready to Love”
MSG Wannabe M.O.M,
“Foolish Love”
Brave Girls,
“Chi Mat Ba Ram”
MSG Wannabe JDSK,
“Only You”

Hanteo Chart

This week, Hanteo Chart released a “Global K-Pop Report” for the first half of 2021. In it, they ranked the Top 50 artists who contributed the most to K-pop in the first half of the year. I listed the Top 10 below, but you can see the full Top 50 list and the criteria for ranking here.

  1. NCT Dream
  2. BTS
  3. Baekhyun (EXO)
  4. EXO
  6. IU
  7. Rosé (BLACKPINK)
  8. TXT
  10. TWICE

The International Side of K-pop

  • Several K-pop groups had notable achievements on various Billboard charts this week:
    • BTS’s “Butter” is #1 on Billboard‘s “Hot 100” for the 5th consecutive week, extending their personal record for their longest-running #1 hit on the chart.
    • SEVENTEEN’s mini-album Your Choice is their first to appear on the Billboard 200, debuting at #15. It also ranked #1 on the Top Album Sales chart, the Top Current Album Sales Chart, and the World Albums chart.
    • TWICE’s mini-album Taste of Love is their first to remain on the Billboard 200 for two weeks – it debuted at #6 last week and ranked #60 this week.
    • TXT’s The Chaos Chapter: FREEZE stayed on the Billboard 200 for three weeks, becoming the first K-pop album of 2021 to do so. It ranked at #82, while the previous rankings were #4 and #34.
  • BTS had three music videos reach new viewer milestones on YouTube:
    • “Butter” has now reached 400 million views. Though it broke the record for fastest K-pop group music video to pass 100 million views, 200 million views, and 300 million views, it did not break the 400 million view record (so that still belongs to “Dynamite”).
    • “Fire” hit 700 million views.
    • “DNA” is now the first K-pop boy group music video to reach 1.3 billion views.

Notable Variety Shows Featuring K-pop Idols

Weekly IdolKnowing BrothersAmazing Saturday
This WeekRookie Boy Group Special featuring members of T1419, MIRAE, and OMEGA X2PMTXT (Yeonjun and Beomgyu)
Next WeekNCT DreamT-ARADefconn and Jung Hyungdon (they’re not idols, but they’re well known variety stars who were the original hosts of Weekly Idol and Idol Room)

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: SBS Inkigayo‘s Twitter account (original tweet here)

VIDEO SOURCES: YouTube, Blockberry Creative (LOONA), JYP Entertainment (2PM), SM Entertainment (NCT Dream and SM Congress 2021), Spire Entertainment (OMEGA X), Woollim Entertainment (Drippin), ZB Label (AleXa)

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

2 thoughts on “Katherine’s K-pop Recap: June 28 – July 4, 2021

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