Katherine’s K-Pop Recap: August 23-29, 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

  • Red Velvet’s Joy and Crush are confirmed to be dating. They previously collaborated on a song together last year, and have stayed in touch since – recently becoming a couple.
  • There are more rumors about Source Music’s new girl group. Last week, IZ*ONE members Chaewon and Sakura were reported to have signed contracts with Source Music (and by extension, HYBE). This time, the news is that Pledis Entertainment trainee Heo Yunjin transferred to Source Music in order to join the new girl group – she is best known for competing on Produce 48 in 2018. HYBE is once again not confirming anything, so we’ll still have to wait for more details.
  • Apink’s Eunji has taken legal action against her stalker. You can read a translation of Play M Entertainment’s statement about it here.
  • NCT’s Lucas was caught up in a controversy when several of his alleged ex-girlfriends accused him of acts such as cheating, gaslighting, and using them to get expensive gifts. Lucas posted an apology for his past behavior on his Instagram account, and SM Entertainment announced that he would stopping his activities and going on hiatus. (He was supposed to release a single with fellow WayV member Hendery this week.) You can read a summary of the initial situation as well as translations of Lucas and SM’s statements here.
    • There are other websites who have translated all the posts by the rumored ex-girlfriends, including ones who have come forward after his apology. I’ve decided not to include them here because my main news source didn’t translate them, which is the same policy I followed with other “hot topic” issues regarding K-pop idols earlier this year. But if you want to know more details about the allegations, the translations of the posts are definitely out there and easy to find.
  • SM Entertainment and NCT 127 also faced accusations of plagiarism this week – teasers for the group’s upcoming album were released, and American band Downtown Boys noticed an altered version of their poster in the production design. The company that SM hired for prop design clarified that they were behind the incident and apologized. You can read more about the situation here.
  • B.I had a hearing this week after being indicted for purchasing and using drugs, and it’s been revealed that the prosecution is seeking a three year prison sentence. You can read more about the situation here.
  • Earlier this month, Seungri was sentenced to three years in prison after being found guilty of several acts such as prostitution mediation, embezzlement, and gambling. It was revealed this week that both Seungri (as the defendant) and the prosecution have filed to appeal this sentence. You can read more about the situation here.
  • ATEEZ’s Jongho has suffered a minor knee injury and will be temporarily scaling back his activities so that he can participate in the group’s upcoming comeback as much as possible. You can read KQ Entertainment’s statement about the situation here.
  • Former IZ*ONE members Jang Wonyoung and Ahn Yujin came into contact with a staff member who caught COVID-19. Wonyoung tested positive, while Yujin tested negative – both will be going into self-isolation. (Yujin did not appear as an MC on this week’s episode of Inkigayo.) You can read Starship Entertainment’s statement about the situation 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.)

Brave Girls, “Alcohol (After We Ride)” (8/23)

VERIVERY, “Trigger” (8/23)

Kwon Eunbi, “Door” (SOLO DEBUT – 8/24)

Jay B (GOT7), “B.T.W” feat. Jay Park (8/26)

BTS feat. Megan Thee Stallion, “Butter” Remix (8/27)

Stray Kids, “Thunderous” (8/23)

T1419, “Flex” (8/23)

MIRAE, “Splash” (8/25)

CL, “Spicy” (pre-release, 8/24)

Coming Up Next Week

Monday (8/30)Tuesday (8/31)Wednesday (9/1)Thursday (9/2)Friday (9/3)
Key (SHINee –
pre-release with Taeyeon)
Lee Eunsang
(Super Junior – special single)

This Week’s Music Show Wins

The Show (SBS MTV)TXT, “LO$ER=LO♡ER” (1st win)
Show Champion (MBC)TXT, “LO$ER=LO♡ER” (2nd win)
M! Countdown (MNET)Red Velvet, “Queendom” (1st win)
Music Bank (KBS)Red Velvet, “Queendom” (2nd win)
Music Core (MBC)Red Velvet, “Queendom” (3rd win)
Inkigayo (SBS)Red Velvet, “Queendom” (4th win)

Album Sales, Streaming, and Charting

Gaon Chart

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

Album SalesTXT,
The Chaos Chapter: FIGHT or ESCAPE
Red Velvet,
The Awakening: Written in the Stars
Prologue: Be OK
The Boyz,
Overall DigitalLee Mujin,
“Traffic Light”
MSG Wannabe (M.O.M),
“Foolish Love”
AKMU feat. IU,
“Next Level”
StreamingLee Mujin,
“Traffic Light”
MSG Wannabe (M.O.M),
“Foolish Love”
AKMU feat. IU,
“Next Level”
DownloadsRed Velvet,
The Boyz,
“Thrill Ride”
Jeon Somi,
“Dumb Dumb”
SEVENTEEN, “Is It Still Beautiful” (OST)
SocialBTSBLACKPINKTWICEIm Young Woong Kim Ho Joong


This week, Melon Chart released a list of the “Top 100 K-pop Songs of All Time.” The list was made by collaborating with 35 industry experts and music critics. I wrote out the Top 10 below, but you can look at the selection process and see the full 100 songs here.

  1. BoA, “No. 1”
  2. EXO, “Growl”
  3. PSY, “Gangnam Style”
  4. BTS, “Dynamite”
  5. Girls’ Generation, “Gee”
  6. Girls’ Generation, “Into the New World”
  7. 2NE1, “I Am the Best”
  8. Brown Eyed Girls, “Abracadabra”
  9. Wonder Girls, “Tell Me”
  10. TVXQ, “Mirotic”

The International Side of K-pop

  • BTS’s “Butter” placed #8 on Billboard‘s “Hot 100” chart in its 13th week, while “Permission to Dance” came in at #66 in its 6th week.
  • “Butter” was also certified platinum in Japan for passing 100 million streams. According to the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ), it’s now the fastest song to ever be certified platinum.
    • “Butter” is also now BTS’s 6th single to be certified silver in the UK.
  • The following K-pop music videos reached new viewer milestones on YouTube this week:
    • Stray Kids’ “Back Door” is their second music video to reach 200 million views after “God’s Menu” earlier this year.
    • EVERGLOW’s “Bon Bon Chocolat” has passed 100 million views.
    • TWICE’s “Dance the Night Away” has hit 300 million views.

Drama and Variety Show Casting News

  • (G)I-DLE’s Miyeon will be starring in a new webdrama called Delivery. You can read more about it here.
  • MBC and Discovery Korea are producing a new variety show called How a Family is Made, which features celebrities coming together to create a virtual family. Cast members include Yesung (Super Junior), Yubin (formerly Wonder Girls), Eunkwang (BTOB), Lim Nayoung (former I.O.I/Pristin), Hyunjae (The Boyz), Kang Hyewon (former IZ*ONE), Xiaojun (WayV), Hendery (WayV), YangYang (WayV), and Daehwi (AB6IX/former Wanna One). Though there’s no set premiere date yet, there was a broadcast to talk about the show – you can read a summary of it here.

Notable Variety Shows Featuring K-pop Idols

Weekly IdolKnowing BrothersAmazing Saturday
This WeekStray KidsCL and Jeong JunhaNon-idol guests
Next WeekCIXNon-idol guestsJang Youngran, Yoojung (Weki Meki)

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: Stray Kids at their MNET comeback show / Original picture can be found on MNET’s Twitter here

VIDEO SOURCES: YouTube, Big Hit Music/HYBE (BTS), Brave Entertainment (Brave Girls), CL’s YouTube Channel, DSP Media (MIRAE), H1GHR Music (Jay B), Jellyfish Entertainment (VERIVERY), JYP Entertainment (Stray Kids), MLD Entertainment (T1419), Woollim Entertainment (Kwon Eunbi)

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

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