Katherine’s K-pop Recap: November 1-7, 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

  • Nearly all the members of girl group Lovelyz will be leaving Woollim Entertainment once their contracts expire later this month – out of eight members, only one (Baby Soul) will continue to stay with the agency. It’s not completely clear whether this is an outright disbandment, but the members’ letters seem to indicate they’re all going their own ways for now. You can read a translation of Woollim Entertainment’s statement about it here and translations of each member’s letter here.
  • Starship Entertainment announced that their upcoming girl group will be named IVE. They also confirmed that former IZ*ONE members Jang Wonyoung and Ahn Yujin will be part of it, as well as four other girls. (No confirmation on the total number yet.) You can see the members who have been revealed so far here.
  • Five out of six ONF members have decided to fulfill their mandatory military service together. (The sixth member, U, is Japanese and doesn’t have to enlist.) Since boy groups often end up on extended hiatuses when members go in and out of the military, it seems like they want to all go together to cut down on that time. The five members will be enlisting in December, which means they should all return from service sometime in mid-2023. You can read translations of letters from ONF leaders Hyojin and J-US here.
  • Ha Sungwoon will be leaving his longtime agency Star Crew Entertainment after the release of his next album. You can read the agency’s statement about it here.
  • CJ E&M confirmed that the members of Wanna One are positively discussing a reunion. Though nothing is set in stone yet, some possible events include an appearance at the upcoming MNET Asian Music Awards, an album, and a concert. You can read more about the situation here.
  • ENHYPEN’s Heeseung might have to temporarily scale back his activities in the near future as he recovers from surgery. You can read BE:LIFT LAB’s statement about it here.
  • HYBE posted a video on YouTube called “2021 HYBE Briefing With the Community” and announced several big news items. You can watch the video here, or you can read summaries of the following highlights below:
    • HYBE America is partnering with Geffen Records (under Universal Music Group) to create a global girl group and are holding auditions through November. Meanwhile, HYBE Japan is launching a boy group with former I-LAND contestants and will be airing another audition program on YouTube as they select who will join the previously chosen members. You can read more about both new groups here.
    • On the technological side of things, Weverse and V Live will officially be merged into a new platform in early 2022. HYBE is also developing a new game that’s had input from BTS, and is partnering with Dunamu as they enter the NFT business. You can read more about all three things here.
    • HYBE will be premiering four original webtoons in January 2022 – three of them will be based on the label’s artists (BTS, TXT, and ENHYPEN). You can read more about them here.
    • HYBE also included a financial report of their earnings for Q3 of 2021, which you can read more about here.
  • The 2021 MNET Asian Music Awards (MAMA) unveiled their list of nominees this week, along with an announcement that fan voting is no longer a component for most of the major prizes – Artist Category awards, Song Category awards, and three of the major daesangs (Album, Artist, and Song of the Year). However, the Worldwide Icon of the Year and the Worldwide Fans’ Choice Top 10 are now 100% based on fan voting. You can see the nominees and learn more about the new selection criteria here.
  • Korean TV channel KBS is planning to bring live studio audiences back to its music shows, including Music Bank. You can read more about it here.
  • The first official trial involving YG Entertainment founder Yang Hyunsuk was held this week after two preliminary charges earlier this year. Yang Hyunsuk was previously indicted for threatening retaliation against Han Seohee (the former trainee, not the actress) because she was an informant for the drug case related to B.I (who was in iKON and under YG Entertainment at the time). You can read more about what happened at the trial 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.)

Super Junior D&E, “ZERO” (11/2)

2AM, “잘 가라니” (11/1)

Leo (VIXX), “I’m Still Here” (11/2)

MJ (ASTRO) feat. Kim Taeyeon, “계세요”
(*solo debut* 11/3)

2AM, “가까이 있어서 몰랐어” (11/1)

The Boyz, “Maverick” (11/1)

LABOUM, “Kiss Kiss” (11/3)

TO1, “No More X” (11/4)

Coming Up Next Week

Monday (11/8)Tuesday (11/9)Wednesday (11/10)Thursday (11/11)Friday (11/12)
Mark (GOT7)

This Week’s Music Show Wins

The Show (SBS MTV)Park Jihoon, “Serious” (1st win)
Show Champion (MBC)SEVENTEEN, “Rock With You” (3rd win)
M! Countdown (MNET)NCT 127, “Favorite (Vampire)” (1st win)
Music Bank (KBS)SEVENTEEN, “Rock With You” (4th win)
Music Core (MBC)NCT 127, “Favorite (Vampire)” (2nd win)
Inkigayo (SBS)No broadcast/winner announced

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.

NCT 127,
Dimension: Dilemma
Map of the Soul: 7
Overall DigitalIU,
“Strawberry Moon”
NCT 127,
“Favorite (Vampire)”
Im Young Woong,
“Love Always Run Away” (OST)
The Kid LAROI and Justin Bieber,
“Strawberry Moon”
The Kid LAROI and Justin Bieber,
Lee Mujin,
“Traffic Light”
“Next Level”
DownloadsNCT 127,
“Favorite (Vampire)”
“Rock With You”
Im Young Woong,
“Love Always Run Away”
“Strawberry Moon”
Park Jihoon,
SocialBTSLisaBLACKPINKIm Young Woong Kim Ho Joong

NCT 127 has also officially sold 1 million copies of their repackage album Favorite in the first week of its release.

The International Side of K-pop

  • K-pop on various Billboard charts:
    • SEVENTEEN’s Attacca debuted at #13 on the Billboard 200. This is their second album to appear on the chart, as their other 2021 release Your Choice previously debuted at #15. Attacca also ranked #1 on the World Album Sales chart, the Top Album Sales chart, and Top Current Album Sales chart.
    • NCT 127’s album Sticker ranked #106 on the Billboard 200 in its sixth week on the chart, with a significant rise from last week’s ranking of #200. (This is probably thanks to the repackage, since it seems that both the initial and the repackage are counted together on this chart – a similar thing happened with TXT.)
    • ENHYPEN’s Dimension: Dilemma remained on the Billboard 200 for a second week, ranking #108.
    • “My Universe” by BTS and Coldplay ranked #20 on the “Hot 100” in its fifth week.
    • Lisa’s song “Money” debuted at #84 on the “Hot 100,” making her the second female K-pop soloist to have more than one song appear on the chart (after CL).
  • Three BTS releases have received new certifications from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The song “Life Goes On” was certified platinum, the album BE was certified both gold and platinum, and the song “Dynamite” nabbed the group’s first ever triple platinum certification.
  • aespa will be performing during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in the United States – they’re the second K-pop group to do so after their labelmates and seniors NCT 127.
  • BTS and Coldplay’s “My Universe” ranked #13 on the UK’s Official Singles chart in its sixth week, while Lisa’s “Money” ranked #54 in its fifth week.
  • The following K-pop music videos reached new viewer milestones on YouTube:
    • BLACKPINK’s “Boombayah” continues to be the most-watched K-pop debut music video on YouTube, and it’s now also the first one to hit 1.3 billion views.
    • BTS’s “Butter” reached 600 million views, while “Life Goes On” reached 400 million. Meanwhile, their single “My Universe” with Coldplay” hit 100 million views.
    • TWICE’s latest English single “The Feels” is their 19th music video to reach 100 million views, extending their record as the girl group with the most music videos over that number.
    • EXO’s “Call Me Baby” is their fourth music video to reach 400 million views after “Monster,” “Love Shot,” and “Ko Ko Bop.”

Notable Variety Shows Featuring K-pop Idols

Weekly IdolKnowing BrothersAmazing Saturday
This WeekLABOUMNon-idol guestsAiki and Noze from Street Woman Fighter
Next WeekMoonbin and Sanha (ASTRO), Jangjun and Joochan (Golden Child), Yohan and Donghan (WEi)“Celebrity Friends” special – Xiumin (EXO), Seolhyun (AOA), Jangjun (Golden Child), Dayoung (WJSN), some other non-idol guestsNon-idol guests

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: SM Entertainment (Super Junior D&E)

VIDEO SOURCES: YouTube, Cre.ker Entertainment (The Boyz), Fantagio Entertainment (MJ), Interpark Music Plus (LABOUM), Jellyfish Entertainment (Leo), SM Entertainment (Super Junior D&E), Stone Music Entertainment (2AM), WAKEONE Entertainment (TO1)

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

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