Katherine’s K-Pop Recap: September 20-26, 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

(Not too much news this week because of Chuseok!)

  • ASTRO members Moonbin and Sanha tested negative for COVID-19 after fellow member JinJin’s positive diagnosis – the former two had previously been classified as the latter’s close contacts. You can read a translation of Fantagio Entertainment’s statement about it here.
  • Boy group 100% will soon be disbanding after nine years together once their contracts expire in October. You can read translations of their statement (as well as original agency TOP Media’s) here.
  • Over three years after the conclusion of KBS survival show The Unit, it was discovered during an audit report on the channel that there were errors in the vote counting for the final episode. (Unlike the Produce 101 scandal that was proven to be intentional vote manipulation by the producers, it seems like this was an accidental slip up.) Due to these mistakes, there were two eliminated male contestants that should have in UNB and one eliminated female contestant that should have in UNI.T. You can read more about the situation here.
  • BTOB member Eunkwang tested negative for COVID-19 after coming into contact with a staff member who was positive, but will be going into self-isolation as a precaution. You can read a translation of EMK Company’s statement about it here. (EMK Company is producing the musical Excalibur that Eunkwang is currently acting in.)

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.)

Yang Yoseob (Highlight), “Brain” (9/20)

Hanse, (VICTON), “Take Over” (*solo debut* 9/25)

Coldplay and BTS, “My Universe” (9/24)

(Not technically K-pop, but included because it’s a pretty major collaboration)

ITZY, “LOCO” (9/24)

Lisa (BLACKPINK), “Money” (special video, 9/23)

Coming Up Next Week

Monday (9/27)Tuesday (9/28)Wednesday (9/29)Thursday (9/30)Friday (10/1)
(English single)

This Week’s Music Show Wins

The Show (SBS MTV)No broadcast/winner announced (Chuseok)
Show Champion (MBC)ATEEZ, “Deja Vu” (1st win)
M! Countdown (MNET)NCT 127, “Sticker” (1st win) / no live broadcast
Music Bank (KBS)NCT 127, “Sticker” (2nd win)
Music Core (MBC)NCT 127, “Sticker” (3rd win)
Inkigayo (SBS)Lee Mujin, “Traffic Light” (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 SalesNCT 127,
Zero: Fever Pt 3
Overall DigitalThe Kid LAROI and Justin Bieber,
Lee Mujin,
“Traffic Light”
“Next Level”
MSG Wannabe (M.O.M),
“Foolish Love”
StreamingThe Kid LAROI and Justin Bieber,
Lee Mujin,
“Traffic Light”
“Next Level”
MSG Wannabe (M.O.M),
“Foolish Love”
DownloadsNCT 127,
“Deja Vu”
Lee Mujin,
“Fall in Fall”
Jeon Mido,
The Kid LAROI and Justin Bieber,
SocialBTSBLACKPINKCLLisa Im Young Woong

According to Hanteo, NCT 127 and ATEEZ also recorded the 4th and 5th highest number of first week sales on their chart’s history. (The Top 3 spots are BTS, SEVENTEEN, and NCT Dream. And according to Gaon, NCT 127 sold over 2 million copies of their new album Sticker in their first week.

The International Side of K-pop

  • BTS traveled to New York City this week as presidential envoys and spoke at the UN General Assembly with South Korean president Moon Jae In. You can read a translation and summary of their speeches here – it also has videos of BTS speaking at the General Assembly and performing “Permission to Dance” at the UN. In addition, BTS visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art with First Lady Kim Jung Sook to gift a painting by a Korean artist.
  • BTS also performed “Permission to Dance” as the opener for the 24-hour “Global Citizen Live” event, which you can watch here.
  • BLACKPINK will appear on YouTube Originals’ upcoming special “Dear Earth,” which is part of a global campaign promoting climate change. The special will air on October 23rd.
  • Billboard charts news this week:
    • TXT extended their record for longest running K-pop album of 2021 on the Billboard 200, with The Chaos Chapter: FREEZE ranking at #142 in its 13th week.
    • ATEEZ made their debut on the Billboard 200, with their album ZERO FEVER: Pt 3 ranking at #42. The album also topped the World Album Sales Chart.
    • BTS’s “Butter” ranked #14 in its 17th week on the “Hot 100.”
    • Lisa made her debut on the “Hot 100” when “LALISA” ranked #84. She also topped the World Digital Song Sales chart and debuted at #2 on both the “Global 200” and the “Global Excl. US” charts.
  • ITZY will be performing their new song “LOCO” on The Kelly Clarkson Show on September 27th.
  • TWICE will be debuting their new English single “The Feels” on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon on October 1st.
  • BTS’s “Butter” has been certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), meaning it has sold over 2 million units in the U.S.
  • NCT 127’s Sticker ranked #40 on the UK’s Official Albums weekly chart, their first album to do so.
  • NCT member Jaehyun also live-streamed Prada’s fashion show for Milan Fashion Week on his Instagram, making him the first celebrity to ever do so for the brand. You can read Prada’s comment about it here.
  • The following K-pop music videos reached new viewer milestones on YouTube this week:
    • Weeekly’s “After School” is their first ever music video to reach 100 million views.
    • BLACKPINK’s “DDU-DU DDU-DU” continues to be the most watched K-pop group music video on YouTube, as it became the first to reach 1.7 billion views. And “Kill This Love” became their second music video to hit 1.4 billion views.
    • Lisa’s “LALISA” also reached 200 million views in just about two weeks, becoming the fastest female K-pop soloist music video to do so.

Notable Variety Shows Featuring K-pop Idols

Weekly IdolKnowing BrothersAmazing Saturday
This WeekNo broadcast (because of Chuseok)Park Jeongmin and Yoona (Girls’ Generation)ATEEZ (San and Wooyoung)
Next WeekITZYSuper Junior D&E, Young Tak, and Lee ChanwonLee Sangyeob and Mijoo (Lovelyz)

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 – original image and tweet here

VIDEO SOURCES: YouTube, Around Us Entertainment (Yang Yoseob), Coldplay’s YouTube channel (for “My Universe”), Global Citizen, JYP Entertainment (ITZY), KQ Entertainment (ATEEZ), Play M Entertainment (Hanse), United Nations YouTube channel

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

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