Barely two months into the year, and the K-pop industry is already counting wins. Here’s a rundown of every exciting record-breaking thing that’s happened so far. What did we miss?
BLACKPINK is the first Asian act to headline Coachella
BLACKPINK made history in 2019 as the festival’s first female K-pop performers, an indication that a tide was shifting and interest in K-pop was skyrocketing in the west. Now, they’ve been welcomed back. This time, as headliners.
7 out of the 10 bestselling albums in the US
According to a year-end analysis released by Luminate and Billboard last week, seven out of the 10 best-selling CD albums in the United States in 2022 were by K-pop artists — BTS, Tomorrow X Together, Stray Kids, TWICE, Stray Kids, Enhypen and NCT 127. BTS’s Proof was number one, of course.
Pachinko wins critics choice award for best foreign language series
Apple TV+’s Korean drama series Pachinko bagged the best foreign language series award at the Critics Choice Awards 2023. It was nominated alongside strong shows like Extraordinary Attorney Woo, 1899, Borgen, Garcia!, The Kingdom Exodus, Kleo, My Brilliant Friend and Tehran.
Late actor, Kang’s final movie tops Netflix’s global film charts
Jung E starring the late actress, Kang Soo-yeon in her final performance, topped Netflix’s global list for four days in a row.
TWICE is the first Korean winner of Billboard Women in Music Award
TWICE, a K-pop girl group, is the first Korean act to receive a Billboard Women in Music Award. The awards recognise the most influential female musicians, creators, producers and executives in the music business in a particular year. TWICE was named Breakthrough Artist on January 30.
BIGBANG’s Taeyang and BTS’s Jimin’s new digital single
VIBE was released on the 13th of January by singers from two different generations of K-pop. Any true stan will know how much of a big deal this is.
TXT announces ACT: SWEET MIRAGE world tour
A comeback and a tour; TXT is keeping their fans fed this year. On Tuesday (January 17), BIGHIT announced the countries they’ll tour in the first leg. Africa wasn’t included, but “more to come” was, so maybe there’s hope?
Lee Young Ji wins Show Me The Money
Yongi is the first woman to win the contest and went home with over ₩100 million ($80k or ₦36.5 million). Former winners of the show are Punchnello, Bobby of iKON and LOCO.