In 2020, TWICE has officially set a record of over 10 million albums sold in Korea and Japan, proving their status as K-pop’s representative girl group. Their album sales reached 5,818,380 in Korea and 4,210,862 in Japan, and the total is 10,029,242 copies. What a remarkable achievement!
2. Baekhyun becomes the first million seller solo artist after 19 years
According to SM Entertainment, Baekhyun’s second mini album “Delight,” released on May 25, has sold a total of 1,018,746 copies as of June 30. This makes Baekhyun the first solo artist in 19 years to surpass a million copies in sales since Kim Gun Mo‘s seventh album in 2001.
3. Aespa gained the title “Most viewed Kpop debut in the first 24 hours”
With an unprecedented level of attention, Aespa‘s debut MV “Black Mamba” has broken the all-time record for most-viewed Kpop debut music video in 24 hours. As of 6PM Korean standard time on November 18, “Black Mamba” had 21.4 million views on YouTube, giving it the highest 24-hour view count for a debut MV in Kpop history.
4. Stray Kids’ “Back Door” is in the list of Times Top 10 songs of 2020
In November, the TIME released their list of “The 10 Best Songs Of 2020,” and Stray Kids made it as the only K-pop act to be given the nod with their song “Back Door” taking the eighth spot. This spot was also taken by Psy’s Gangnam Style in 2012 and SNSD’s I Got A Boy in 2014.
5. Jennie broke Psy’s record
BLACKPINK Jennie’s song “Solo” officially surpassed Psy’s “Gangnam Style” to become the most-streamed Korean soloist song on Spotify. It surpassed 240.8 million streams on Spotify, YG Entertainment has officially confirmed.
6. Moonbin & Sanha become the Fastest Sub-Unit to win on a Music Show
After just 8 days, The ASTRO’s sub-unit Moonbin & Sanha took 1st Sub-Unit Win For “Bad Idea” On “The Show”, surpassing Red Velvet’s Irene & Seulgi with 11 days. This is their first ever achievement as a unit.
7. BTS becomes the first K-pop group performing at NYRE
Instead of welcoming New Year’s Eve in Korea, BTS spent the first moments of 2020 at Times Square (New York, USA). They were the first K-pop group performing live at the “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” (NYRE) festival on New Year’s Eve.
8. BTS becomes the first Kpop group nominated for Grammy and performing at this awards
BTS’s hit song “Dynamite” was nominated for the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance category, alongside stars like Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift. Specifically, during the 62nd Grammy Awards, BTS had 47 seconds to appear on stage with Lil Nas X. Together they performed the song Old Town Road All-Stars version.
9. BLACKPINK’s collaboration with Selena Gomez
After the success of “How You Like That” with the Perfect All-Kill certification, BlackPink continued to make a historical collaboration with Selena Gomez in “Ice-cream”. This is a remarkable milestone in the mission of connecting K-pop and US-UK music industries together.
10. BLACKPINK become the most subscribed female artists on Youtube
After three comebacks in 2020 only, BLACKPINK gained a huge number of subscribers, officially surpassing Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift to become the most subscribed female artists on Youtube. This event also marked that BLACKPINK surpassed Ed Sheeran and Marshmello – two of the world’s most subscribed Youtube channels.
11. BLACKPINK becomes the fastest to receive Million certification
Specifically, on December 10, the Gaon chart announced Korean albums achieved Million certifications, including BLACKPINK. They achieved this thanks to the group’s debut full album THE ALBUM, which officially sold more than one million copies. The album was released on October 2, 2020, which means BLACKPINK only took over 2 months to reach Gaon’s Million certification.
1. Mina’s official comeback with TWICE
After seven months of stopping all activities with TWICE because of her anxiety disorder since August 2019, fans were delighted to see Mina perform at TWICE’s concert night at Marine Messe Fukuoka on February 11, 2020. The video of Mina performing “Feel Special” at the concert was posted by JYP. This was the first time all nine members performed the song “Feel Special” on stage.
2. Kai and Suho having their first solo debut
On March 30, Suho officially debuted solo with the mini-album “Self-Portrait” including the title song “Let’s Love”. He is the 4th member in EXO to debut solo after Chen, Baekhyun and Lay.
On November 29, Kai became the 5th one when releasing “Mmmh”, which is an R&B pop song with a simple yet addictive melody on a minimal track.
3. CL’s comeback after years of hiatus
In September, CL has made fans extremely excited when announcing her official comeback with the song “Post Up”. Still a somewhat rebellious style often seen, CL has brought fans satisfaction and given them hope of the reunion of 2NE1.
4. G-Dragon announcing his comeback
On November 2, a Korean newspaper reported that G-Dragon is working to prepare for his solo comeback album. It is known that the leader of BIGBANG frequently appears at the new headquarters of YG Entertainment and the studio under YGX and THE BLACK LABEL. YG then confirmed that G-Dragon was composing a new song. This shows that the return of the male idol is not far away.
5. BTS doesn’t have to join the military until 30
On December 1, at the National Assembly session held in Seoul, National Assembly Chairman Park Byung Seok passed a bill to amend laws related to military service. In particular, BTS will become a boy group with the postponement of military service until the age of 30 thanks to their outstanding activities and achievements.
6. The Goo Hara Act
Also on December 1, the Korean National Assembly officially passed the Goo Hara Act. According to the Goo Hara Act, biological parents who neglect and fail to fulfill their childcare responsibilities will not be entitled to inherit property left by their children after death.
7. New rookies debuting in 2020
In 2020, the Kpop community is amazed by a series of debuted groups from different agencies. They are Aespa, ENHYPEN, TREASURE, GHOST9, STAYC, SECRET NUMBER, CRAVITY, H&D, etc. TREASURE and SECRET NUMBER are the two rookies who won the Rookie Of The Year Award at AAA 2020. These gen 4 rookies are said to be very promising, making 2021 a worth-waiting year for Kpop fans.
8. B.I’s first product after his scandal
On January 2, B.I posted on his personal SoundCloud account a song titled “DEMO.1”. Although this is only a demo, the song has overly emotional lyrics. This is a message addressed to B.I for fans who are always waiting and supporting him after he had to leave the group because of a mistake in the past.
9. BLACKPINK has a documentary on Netflix
“BLACKPINK: Light up the sky,” directed by Caroline Seo, tells the story of BLACKPINK’s journey of becoming a famous star since their debut in 2016. This film featured unprecedented scenes of Blackpink, their after-stories, dorm life, and practice. Besides, the film also goes deeper through interviews with individual members. To fans, this documentary is a remarkable milestone in Blackpink’s career.
10. BTS’ speech at the UN General Assembly 2020
“COVID-19 was beyond my imagination. Our world tour was canceled, all our plans went awry, and I became alone. I looked up but couldn’t see the stars at night,” said BTS’ leader RM at the event focused on protecting future generations. This shows how much BTS concerns about the Coronavirus situation and their effort to comfort people during this dreary time.
11. Blackpink announcing their first online concert on Youtube
YouTube Music confirmed that BlackPink will hold an online concert called “The Show”, scheduled to be broadcast exclusively on January 31, 2021, where they will perform songs from their debut studio album, The Album. This online concert is a clever idea to deal with the Coronavirus situation.
1. Woojin (Stray Kids) left JYP
On October 28, netizens and STAYs were shocked when JYP Entertainment announced that member Woojin officially left Stray Kids and terminated the exclusive contract with the agency for personal reasons.
2. Krystal left SM
On October 12, Korean media reported that Krystal, former of f(x) officially left her management company SM Entertainment after 11 years. After this, she would join H&H Entertainment.
3. Lisa got frauded by her former manager
According to an exclusive report published by Market News on June 2, Lisa’s former manager, who worked with the female singer since 2016, cheated on her with a billion won. Because she lives far from home, Lisa put her full faith in her heart and let this person control all her schedules and finances, but this man has failed her.
4. BLACKPINK didn’t attend MAMA again
The Mnet Asian Music Awards 2020 finally aired on December 6. From debut until now, BLACKPINK hasn’t joined MAMA for 5 years. Though not appearing at the show, they still received two awards: the Best Female Group and Best Female Group with Best Performance.
5. Groups disbanded in 2020
While a lot of rookies are starting their career, sadly there are 5 groups that have to say goodbye to us in 2020. They are X1 (Produce 101), Yellow Bee (Addiction Entertainment), NeonPunch (A100 Entertainment), SPECTRUM (Wynn Entertainment) and TREI (Banana Culture).
6. A series of idols tested positive for Coronavirus
Two EVERGLOW members, Yiren and Sihyeon were tested positive for Coronavirus on December 2. Yuehua Entertainment has announced both of them are now in quarantine. Not long after, on December 12, Chungha was also tested positive for this virus. Her upcoming schedules and December comeback will likely have to be postponed until her health stabilizes.
1. Jimin (AOA)’s bully scandal
Former AOA member Mina shocked the whole Kpop community when she revealed that she had been the victim of bullying during her time in AOA. She shared multiple posts on her now-deleted Instagram account on how Jimin tormented her when they were bandmates. This eventually led Jimin to leave both AOA and the entertainment industry, as her image is now ruined.
2. The Itaewon bar scandal
In May, Jungkook was reported going to a bar during the Covid-19 quarantine period. There were also Astro’s Cha Eun Woo, Seventeen’s Mingyu and NCT’s Jaehyun. The managers of all three groups confirmed that they arrived in Itaewon on the same day as Jungkook, and apologized for not following the measures of social distance during the epidemic.
3. Jennie’s nurse costume controversy
Jennie’s nurse costume in “How you like that” created a big controversy right after the song was released. According to Pannchoa, Jennie’s costume is a short, tight white dress with a heart-shaped hat and a pair of red high heels, which made a number of nurses in Korea uncomfortable. After that, YG had to omit that scene.
4. Irene’s attitude scandal
On October 22, Korean media simultaneously reported that Kang Kook Hwa – a famous editor and stylist with 15 years of experience, had accused that a female idol had a nasty attitude toward her. Irene herself posted an apology post on her personal Instagram account on the same day. Irene and Red Velvet’s fame was seriously affected. Therefore, Red Velvet have to cancel their comeback.
5. Chanyeol’s love affair rumor
Chanyeol of EXO has been accused by an alleged former girlfriend of cheating on her repeatedly during a three-year relationship. She later discovered Chanyeol had been involved with more than 10 other individuals during their relationship, and that she had recorded a conversation in which he didn’t deny he had been with other women. This rumor has not yet been proved.
6. Aespa’s series of copyright issues
Aespa got involved in the scandal of copying the idea for their first photoshoot. Not long after the photos were released, Bryan Huynh, a famous U.S photographer, exposed that SM literally copied his artwork. Secondly, the MV Black Mamba teaser of the group was once pointed out by a German artist because it was too similar to his product. Aespa also got involved in the scandal of copying the idea for their first photoshoot. Thirdly, after seeing their stage, on November 22, a visual artist from Los Angeles named Blake Kathryn accused the SM rookie team of copying her idea.
7. The MAMA idols vs actors controversy
2020 MAMA is accused of poor treatment of idols compared to actors when a series of pictures showing idols having to wait outside for hours under the freezing weather, while actors are provided with lounges and snacks. The controversy raised questions about how some people take the value of K-pop idols. Though MAMA hosts have given explanations, it seems like netizens have not yet been satisfied.
8. Seungri’s scandal updated
According to Allkpop, on January 30, the Seoul District Prosecutor’s Office officially prosecuted Seungri and 11 other members involved in the Burning Sun scandal. Seungri was prosecuted without custody for charges of prostitution, illegal gambling, and violating the law of foreign exchange transactions.
LOVE IS IN THE AIR
1. Heechul and Momo are officially dating
On January 1, the Market News page drew attention when they reported that Heechul and Momo were in a relationship despite their busy schedules. This Korean-Japanese couple quickly received support from fans.
2. Chen (EXO)’s wedding announcement
The EXO fan community in general and Chen in particular were extremely surprised by the sharing of him about holding a private wedding with his girlfriend. Chen has talked with the EXO members and their agency, SM, before deciding to publicize this letter. Chen’s wife isn’t in Kbiz, and she’s pregnant with Chen.
3. Changmin’s wedding announcement
According to Edaily, in June, Changmin (DBSK) wrote a long letter posted on the fancafe to announce his decision to marry. His wife isn’t in Kbiz. However, this wedding was canceled due to Covid-19.
4. Kang Daniel and Jihyo break up
On November 10, Dispatch exclusively reported that Kang Daniel and Jihyo (TWICE) decided to break up after one year and three months of public dating. The reason for that was the busy schedule.
5. Chaeyeong’s dating rumor
In November, “Chaeyeong (TWICE) dating male tattoo artist” became a hot topic on the Internet. Knet said that his name’s Jung Seung Hyun. This rumor hasn’t been confirmed yet but there are many proofs for it.
So, 2020 has been such a hard year for the world in general and for K-pop in particular. There are bad things happening, but they are still outnumbered by good things. Hopefully in 2021, we’ll be able to witness a flourishing year of K-pop and see more great achievements of K-pop artists.
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