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
- The Show MCs Yeosang (ATEEZ), Jihan (Weeekly), and Yohan (WEi) hosted their last episode this week. Their replacements haven’t been announced yet, but I’m guessing it will happen early next year.
- Kep1er members Xiaoting and Mashiro have tested positive for COVID-19 after initially getting negative results last week. The group already delayed their comeback when they were first classified as close contacts to a case, so hopefully their new debut date (January 3rd) is far enough away that they won’t have to postpone it further. You can read translations of the agencies’ statements about it here.
- 2PM’s Chansung announced several major life updates: he’s in a long-term relationship, he and his girlfriend are getting married and expecting a baby, and he will be leaving JYP Entertainment after his contract ends in January (though it appears from his wording that he’ll still be part of the group). You can read a translation of his Instagram post here. JYP Entertainment also clarified that the other 2PM members still at the agency have longer contract lengths, which you can read more about here.
- After initially being sentenced to two years in prison for buying and using marijuana, former BTOB member Jung Ilhoon has received a new verdict during his appeal trial. His original sentence has been suspended for three years of probation, and he must also pay an additional fine and take a drug treatment course. You can read more about the situation here.
- Co-ed group CHECKMATE has disbanded after debuting around a year ago. You can read a translation of their YouTube channel’s announcement about it here.
- News related to end of year festivals:
- SBS announced their full lineup for their Gayo Daejeon on Christmas, which you can see here. (I didn’t list them all because there are 25 artists total.)
- KBS’s annual Gayo Daechukje took place on December 17th, and you can see all of the performances here.
- NU’EST’s Ren didn’t perform with his group because he came into contact with someone who has COVID-19 – although he tested negative, he’s still in self-isolation. You can read Pledis Entertainment’s statement about it here.
- ASTRO’s Rocky didn’t perform with his group after suffering some minor injuries during practice. You can read Fantagio Entertainment’s statement about it 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.)
NCT 2021, “Beautiful; (10/14)
Billlie, “Snowy Night” (10/14)
Coming Up Next Week
|Monday (12/20)||Tuesday (12/21)||Wednesday (12/22)||Thursday (12/23)||Friday (12/24)|
|aespa (holiday remake single)||Minho (SHINee)|
This Week’s Music Show Wins
|The Show (SBS MTV)||IVE, “Eleven” (2nd win)|
|Show Champion (MBC)||IVE, “Eleven” (3rd win)|
|M! Countdown (MNET)||No broadcast/winner announced|
|Music Bank (KBS)||IVE, “Eleven” (4th win)|
|Music Core (MBC)||IVE, “Eleven” (5th win)|
|Inkigayo (SBS)||No broadcast/winner announced|
Album Sales, Streaming, and Charting
NOTE: Gaon‘s weekly charts reflect the previous week. To see a full breakdown of the chart, you can go here.
Zero Fever: Epilogue
|Kai (EXO), |
|Overall Digital||“Merry-Go-Round,” Show Me The Money 10*||“Limousine,” |
Show Me The Money 10**
|“Meeting is Easy, Parting is Hard,” Show Me The Money 10***||“Dissonance,” Show Me The Money 10****||IU,|
|Streaming||“Merry-Go-Round,” Show Me The Money 10||“Limousine,” |
Show Me The Money 10
|“Meeting is Easy, Parting is Hard,” Show Me The Money 10||“Dissonance,” Show Me The Money 10||IU,|
“The Real (Heung version)”
|Social||BTS||Lisa||BLACKPINK||Im Young Woong||Kim Ho Joong|
*”Merry-Go-Round” is by sokodomo featuring Zion.T and Wonstein and produced by Slom.
**”Limousine” is by BE’O featuring Song Mino and produced by Gray.
***”Meeting is Easy, Parting is Hard” is by Basick featuring Leellamarz and produced by Toil.
****”Dissonance” is by Mudd the Student featuring AKMU and produced by Gray.
NCT also reached approximately 1.7 million pre-stock orders before their album Universe officially dropped this week.
The International Side of K-pop
- K-pop on various Billboard charts this week:
- TWICE’s Formula of Love: O+T=<3 ranked #66 on the Billboard 200 in its fourth week. This is TWICE’s first album to remain on the chart for a month, and it’s the first girl group K-pop album of 2021 to do so. (It might also be the only one, given how close to the end of the year we are.)
- NCT 127’s Sticker ranked #62 on the Billboard 200 in its twelfth week, and it also topped the World Album Sales chart.
- TXT’s Japanese mini-album Chaotic Wonderland debuted at #177 on the Billboard 200. Their other Japanese album Still Dreaming and their Korean album The Chaos Chapter: FREEZE also spent time on the chart in 2021, so they’re the only K-pop artist to have three different albums debut on the Billboard 200 in one year.
- Coldplay and BTS’s “My Universe” ranked #59 on the “Hot 100” in its eleventh week.
- BTS’s “Butter” placed #1 on the Digital Song Sales chart, and it has topped the chart for eighteen (non-consecutive) weeks. BTS is now the artist with the most #1s on the Digital Song Sales chart, with 46 in total. (The previous record holder was Taylor Swift.)
- Lisa’s “Money” ranked #40 on the Pop Songs Airplay chart, making her the first female K-pop soloist to ever appear on the chart. Two male soloists have previously appeared on the chart – PSY and Suga (as a featured artist).
- BTS news this week:
- V broke two Guinness World Records for fastest Instagram account to reach both 1 million views and 10 million views.
- The Late Late Show With James Corden released their “Crosswalk Concert” segment with BTS, which you can watch here.
- BTS has been nominated for Best International Group at the BRIT Awards in the UK.
- VERIVERY canceled the rest of their United States tour after member Yongseung tested positive for COVID-19. You can read the agency’s statement about it here.
- TWICE’s “Alcohol-Free” passed 200 million views on YouTube, their fifteenth music video to do so.
End of Year Lists
Tumblr released their “Top K-pop Groups of 2021” and “Top K-pop Stars of 2021” based who was talked about the most on the site. I’ve listed the Top 10 for both categories and given the links to the full lists below:
Top K-pop Groups of 2021
- Stray Kids
- NCT 127
Top K-pop Stars of 2021
- Jungkook (BTS)
- Jimin (BTS)
- V (BTS)
- Suga (BTS)
- RM (BTS)
- Jin (BTS)
- J-Hope (BTS)
- Bang Chan (Stray Kids)
- Hyunjin (Stray Kids)
- Jaehyun (NCT/NCT 127)
Notable Variety Shows Featuring K-pop Idols
|Weekly Idol||Knowing Brothers||Amazing Saturday|
|This Week||ONF||Jaejae, Bibi, Choi Yena||Non-idol guests|
|Next Week||Unannounced (maybe a holiday special)||Non-idol guests||Rain* and Kim Bum|
*Though Rain is an idol, it seems like he’s appearing to promote his upcoming drama with his co-star.
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.
FEATURED IMAGE SOURCE: SM Entertainment (NCT)
VIDEO SOURCES: YouTube, Mystic Story (Billlie), SM Entertainment (NCT), The Late Late Show With James Corden