Katherine’s K-pop Recap: December 27, 2021 – January 2, 2022

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

  • HYBE denied two different dating rumors involving BTS members this week. The first rumor connected Jungkook to an actress, and the second was about RM and a non-celebrity.
  • Blockberry Creative also denied dating rumors, this time involving LOONA member Heejin and D1CE’s Jinyoung. Heejin was apparently showing something on her iPad to fans during her V-Live, and the rumors started because some people saw pictures of a man who looked like Jinyoung in her photos. However, Blockberry Creative clarified that the guy was Heejin’s cousin.
  • TEEN TOP members Niel and Changjo will be leaving their agency TOP Media after their contracts expire in January. However, both they and the company clarified that they remain part of the group and will still take part in promotions. You can read translations of TOP Media’s statement and the member’s social media posts about it here.
  • During all of the criticism and controversy surrounding JTBC’s new drama Snowdrop last week, a civic group named Declaration of Global Citizens in Korea filed an injunction to attempt to stop the show’s airing. The Seoul Western District court dismissed this, stating that the Korean public was unlikely to accept the alleged historical distortions depicted in the show as fact. You can read more about the situation here. (This isn’t technically K-pop related, but I mention it because the drama stars BLACKPINK’s Jisoo and it’s pretty big news over here in South Korea.)
  • HYBE trainee Leo came under fire after a Trainee A video showed him using misogynistic lyrics during a rap battle that he wrote himself. (Trainee A is a YouTube account that posts content for some of HYBE/Big Hit Music’s male trainees.) The video was taken down, and both the Trainee A contents team and Leo posted apologies to the YouTube channel. You can read more about the situation plus the English versions of the statements here.
  • Yuehua Entertainment announced they will be debuting a boy group named TEMPEST sometime in 2022. You can see their teaser video and social media accounts here.
  • Jay Park announced that he is stepping down as CEO of both AOMG and H1GHR MUSIC, labels which he founded or co-founded in 2013 and 2017 respectively. His Instagram post about it has apparently been deleted, but you can read the English version of it here.
  • Jae announced on his personal Twitter account that he was taking a hiatus from DAY6. Shortly after, JYP Entertainment stated that he had left both the group and the company. Jae then did a Twitch stream where he clarified that he departed JYP and he wasn’t part of DAY6 as of January 1st, but the latter was “for now.” I didn’t watch the whole Twitch stream – and can’t because I’m not a subscriber – but this fan video shows the highlights where he talks about the situation. You can also read a translation of Jae’s tweet here and a translation of JYP’s statement here.
  • Concerts, festivals, and awards:
    • MBC held its annual Gayo Daejejeon on New Year’s Eve. You can watch the performances here.
    • SM Entertainment held its second free online concert on New Year’s Day, featuring most of the company’s groups and artists. The concert was available for streaming on many different platforms and ended up getting 51 million streams worldwide, the most for any Korean online concert. You can read more about it here.
    • The Golden Disc Awards announced its performer lineup for the upcoming ceremony on January 10th: IU, BTS, Heize, Oh My Girl, SEVENTEEN, Brave Girls, Im Young Woong, The Boyz, Stray Kids, Jeon Somi, STAYC, aespa, ENHYPEN, and Lee Mujin. (BTS will not actually be performing during the ceremony since they’re on vacation, but they will be showing some footage from their recent LA concerts.)

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.)

*I know I said last week that there weren’t any releases I was aware of, but it turns out there were a few singles that got dropped this week. IU also released a special album on the 29th, but there isn’t a music video for the lead single.*

Kim Jaehwan, “Unforgettable” (12/27)

Moonbyul (MAMAMOO) feat. Seori, “머리에서 발끝까지” (*pre-release single*, 12/30)

BamBam (GOT7) feat. Seulgi (Red Velvet), “Who Are You” (*pre-release single*, 12/28)

Coming Up Next Week

Monday (1/3)Tuesday (1/4)Wednesday (1/5)Thursday (1/6)Friday (1/7)
GOT the Beat*WJSN ChocomeAleXa
Kep1er (*DEBUT)*

*GOT the Beat is part of SM’s project girl group Girls on Top. The current lineup includes BoA, Taeyeon and Hyoyeon from Girls’ Generation, Seulgi and Wendy from Red Velvet, and Karina and Winter from aespa. They technically had their debut stage during SM’s concert on the 1st (which you can see here), but the single is officially dropping on the 3rd.

This Week’s Music Show Wins

The Show (SBS MTV)No broadcast/winner announced
Show Champion (MBC)No broadcast/winner announced
M! Countdown (MNET)No broadcast/winner announced
Music Bank (KBS)NCT U, “Universe” (2nd win) / No broadcast
Music Core (MBC)No broadcast/winner announced
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.

Album SalesIVE,
Eclipse (Trilogy III. Vincere)
Formula of Love: O+T=<3
Overall DigitalBE’O feat. Beenzino, “Counting Stars”“Merry-Go-Round”,
Show Me the Money 10*
Show Me the Money 10**
Mariah Carey,
“All I Want for Christmas is You”
StreamingBE’O feat. Beenzino, “Counting Stars”“Merry-Go-Round”,
Show Me the Money 10
Show Me the Money 10*
Mariah Carey,
“All I Want for Christmas is You”
“Still I Love You”
V (BTS),
“Christmas Tree” (OST)
Minho (SHINee),
“Dreams Come True”
BE’O feat. Beenzino, “Counting Stars”
SocialBTSLisaBLACKPINKIm 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.

Melon’s End of Year List

Melon released lists of the most liked artists and songs by users who were teenagers or in their twenties. You can look at the full article here, or see my breakdown below:

Favorite Artists

Teen FemalesFemales in Their 20sTeen MalesMales in Their 20s
#2NCT 127NCT DreamHomiesBrave Girls
#5aespaNCT 127Lee Mujinaespa
#6BTSBTSChangmoLee Mujin
#7The BoyzLee MujinJustin BieberHeize
#10NCTSHINeeGiriboyBaek Yerin

Most-Liked Songs

Teen FemalesFemales in Their 20sTeen MalesMales in Their 20s
“Next Level”
Lee Mujin,
“Traffic Light”
“Next Level”
Lee Mujin,
“Traffic Light”
Homies feat. UNEDUCATED KID and Paul Blanco,
“Siren Remix”
Brave Girls,
#4NCT Dream,
“Hot Sauce”
Brave Girls,
The Kid LAROI and Justin Bieber,
Justin Bieber,
#5Brave Girls,
Lee Mujin,
“Traffic Light”
Justin Bieber,

The International Side of K-pop

  • K-pop on various Billboard charts this week:
    • Monsta X’s English album The Dreaming ranked #111 on the Billboard 200 in its second week.
    • TWICE’s Formula of Love: O+T=<3 ranked #36 on the Billboard 200 in its sixth week.
    • NCT’s Universe debuted at #20 on the Billboard 200 and also placed #1 on the World Album Sales chart.
    • NCT 127’s Sticker ranked #85 on the Billboard 200 in its fourteenth week, officially becoming the longest charting K-pop album of 2021.
    • Coldplay and BTS’s “My Universe” ranked #84 on the “Hot 100” in its thirteenth week.
  • The following K-pop music videos reached new viewer milestones on YouTube this week:
    • TWICE’s “What is Love” became their second music video to pass 600 million views after “TT.” Meanwhile, “Feel Special” reached 400 million views.
    • The choreography version of BTS’s “Dynamite” reached 200 million views, their 25th music video to do so.

Notable Variety Shows Featuring K-pop Idols

Weekly IdolKnowing BrothersAmazing Saturday
This WeekNo broadcastYujin and Wonyoung (IVE) and other non-idol guestsNon-idol guests
Next WeekXdinary HeroesNon-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: (G)I-DLE’s Miyeon, Kim Minju, ITZY’s Yeji, and IVE’s Yujin and Wonyoung while recording their cover of f(x)’s “Rum Pum Pum” for the MBC Gayo Daejejeon. The original photo can be found on ITZY’s Twitter here.

VIDEO SOURCES: YouTube, Abyss Company (BamBam), RBW Entertainment (Moonbyul), SM Entertainment (GOT the Beat’s performance), SWING Entertainment (Kim Jaehwan)
The video showing clips from Jae’s Twitch stream were uploaded to YouTube by user krljms.

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

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