Former Girl’s Generation leader Taeyeon graces the April Issue in Elle Korea.
Artist Taeyeon (30) graced the April issue of ELLE Korea showing off her everlasting beauty. The former idol’s professionalism and chameleon like adaptability is reported to have made all the different lipstick colors (pomegranate red, neon orange, bubblegum pink, ripe plum etc.) give different vibes proving her status as a ‘beauty muse’.
Who isn’t tempted to go buy those lipstick colors? Or her accessories?
Kpop girl group Momoland released their upcoming album tracklist!
On March 17, 12 AM (KST), Momoland released the tracklist for their upcoming new album ‘Show Me’. The tracklist has increased anticipation for fans and industry insiders alike after news of Shinsadong Tiger‘s participation in the upcoming album.
MLD entertainment shared the members are doing their best in preparation for the upcoming album release on March 20.
Weki Meki Choi Yoo-jung may have mistakenly assumed about Narae Bar to the owner Park Narae’s astonishment.
On March 6’s episode of JTBC’s My Mad Beauty 3, MC Park Narae was in for a surprise when Weki Meki maknae Yoo-jung innocently asked if she could go to Narae Bar when Park Narae wasn’t there. Park Narae was reported to be astonished at the question since Narae Bar is actually her home that she nicknamed as Narae Bar.
Weki Meki Yoo-jung isn’t the first person to be misinformed about the true identity of Narae Bar. Even top actor Lee Seo Jin was reported to have thought Narae Bar was an actual bar as previously mentioned on KBS’s ‘Happy Together‘.
Park Narae’s Narae Bar is widely known for looking incredibly like an actual bar based on the furnishings, “menu” of alcoholic drinks and bartender Narae’s amazing skills. Many celebrities have already had the chance to experience drinking at Narae Bar on various shows. While others like Daniel Henney has expressed his desire to visit Narae Bar. In particular, MBC’s I Live Alone has aired segments at Narae Bar contributing to Narae Bar’s popularity.
Park Narae has previously shared everything at Narae Bar is paid out of her own pocket. She does not accept any payments and budgets everything carefully as opposed to rumors. Narae has previously joked she provides more attention to single male guests to her “bar” like her VVVIP guest- actor Lee Seo Jin or newcomers.
As unbelievable as it may be, the 2010s will soon be over in just 10 short months! Kpop has had exponential growth in the last few years, which will also determine Kpop’s future for the following decade!
The hallyu wave aka Kpop wave has definitely become more globalized within the last couple years. There is no doubt that in 2019 there will be more Kpop fans as more Kpop idols (BTS, Monsta X, NCT, Oh My Girl, Red Velvet, Blackpink, Sunmi etc.) continue to promote abroad. Especially in the US, thanks mostly to BTS’s success paving the way for Kpop growth this year.
Hollywood is the Kpop market for this year
Based on previous patterns of Kpop idol groups like Wonder Girls, Girl’s Generation, Super Junior, TVXQ etc. many Kpop idols usually extend their fan base to other countries in Asia before pursuing Europe & the Americas. Kpop’s growth in other countries are indeed significant, but given US is home to global names like Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Ed Sherman, Chris Brown, Drake, Justin Timberlake etc. (as well as Kpoplove’s headquarters) Kpop’s future global outlook will focus on the US market for this article.
Kpop before BTS
BTS on American Music Awards (2017)
Just 5 to 10 years ago, prior to BTS’s historical invasion in the US, Kpop was just a new and upcoming genre in the US that originated from a small country in Asia. As a decades old Kpop fan, I can personally attest to instances in the past where people confused North and South Korea and probably couldn’t name any Kpop artist even if their life depended on it.
Other idols’ success in the US
However, this does not mean Kpop has never made its mark in the US. Examining only the idol groups who are no longer “active” meaning either disbanded or no longer actively promoting with all members, idol groups like Wonder Girls and Girl’s Generation have previously tried to break into the US market without as much success as BTS.
JYP’s Wonder Girls (2007-2017) released a single- ‘Nobody’ (2009)- that was No.76 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart as the 1st Kpop group on the Billboard charts. This provided the opening for the group to enter the US market and pursue international activities. Wonder Girls can be considered to have been at the peak of their career in Korea (and Asia) prior to moving to the US in 2009 to focus on US activities. However contrary to expectations, Wonder Girls was unable to continue their momentum and ended up with changing the line-up and regroup back in Korea.
Wonder Girls on Wendy Williams Show (2009)
SM’s Girl’s Generation (2007-present) released a single-’The Boys’ (2012)-officially debuting and promoting in the US a few years after Wonder Girls. Comparing various aspects like promotions, fanbase, hallyu wave’s influence and method, there are so many differences that can explain the different levels of success between the 2 girl groups.
Girl’s Generation on Late Show with David Letterman (2012)
Taking a closer look at how BTS did not need to promote in the US to have the biggest US debut stage of all in 2017 as the 1st Korean group to perform at AMAs, BTS clearly did something that sets them apart from others. Not to mention BTS performed in Korean while Wonder Girls and Girl’s Generation performed in English. Based on BTS’s sucess, BTS’s momentum can only be expected to grow further this year.
BTS’s significant role for Kpop mainstreamed in US
In 2019, there are very few individuals who wouldn’t know what the 3 letters “BTS” refers to in the US. Even if one is completely clueless about Kpop, there is a big chance someone’s family, friend or acquaintance is a BTS fan or BTS ARMY.
Similar to BTS’s predecessors (e.g. legendary Kpop idol groups Girls Generation, Super Junior, TVXQ), BTS became mainstream in Asia a few years ago and became more globally recognized as they made their mark on the Billboard charts in 2015. But unlike other Kpop groups, BTS didn’t make any special plans to promote in the US market soon after their first placement on the Billboard charts. Instead BTS continued to release more content and focused on their music letting time to gradually increase their popularity all over the world.
Why is BTS different?
BTS contributed to further spreading the hallyu wave rather than having to focus on establishing the Kpop wave. Currently in 2019, nearly everyone has a smartphone as opposed to 10 years ago. Internet is easily accessible to many age groups enabling the daily use of social media like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube etc. This has allowed Kpop idols, especially BTS, to focus on interacting with fans and growing their fanbase. BTS members are well known for being very active participants as singers-songwriters within the Kpop industry and renowned for sharing many of their content on SoundCloud or V Live which played a significant role for BTS’s success today.
BTS’s timing may have been what led to BTS’s breakthrough to becoming the biggest Kpop group in the world. Rather than jumping on the first signs of opportunity to pursue international activities, BTS bided their time to focus on their work and to further nurture their talents while waiting for their hard work to come to fruition.
The 7 membered boy group became recognized for their global popularity when selected by international corporations like Puma, LG Electronics, Hyundai Motors etc. as global ambassadors and made significant collaborations with Mattel, Medicome Toy, Netmarble Games, Line Webtoons, Line Friends x BT21 and more!
BTS World Tour & BT21
When BTS had their 3rd world tour last summer, Line Friends x BT21 also officially opened their pop-up store in LA situated amongst Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. As someone who has accompanied various people to this store in August, September, October and December of last year, I can personally affirm the lines were unbelievably long not only when the pop-up store first opened but also for the following months. Amazingly, the lines did not really decrease much every time I had to go.
Most of my experience at this store consisted of standing in line for hours while conversing with other people accompanying their niece or cousin to the store. As to why the lines didn’t decrease much even after BTS finished touring in the US would be since BT21 items were often sold out with limited quantities, unpredictable shipments of new items, new seasonal (Halloween, Christmas) items and such.
Initially the Line Friends store was announced to stay for 3 months. Later, due to high demand, the pop-up was extended to January 2019 with plans to locate permanently. Just the fact that BT21 became popular enough to become a permanent store in LA speaks volumes about BTS’s success in the US. Aside from BT21, BTS is renowned for increasing sales for many associated businesses leading to the birth of the term “BTS effect” from major news outlets as many profit from BTS’s influence. BTS has become symbolic as a guaranteed catalyst to enhance micro and macro economics.
Lots of Kpop events in 2019
Just within 2 months of this year, there have been so many appearances or scheduled appearances of Kpop idols and artists in the US. Just to name a few upcoming events- Girl’s Generation’s Tiffany will be having her first showcase as Tiffany Young in a few days, Sunmi will be having her first world tour next month, BLACKPINK will be at Coachella in April and BTS will be touring the US again in May. Additionally, Red Velvet, Oh My Girl, Hong Jin Young and Dean have already performed in the US within the last 2 months.
BLACKPINK made their official US debut on “Good Morning America” and announced their North American Tour during the interview just awhile back. With so many activities planned in the US for the first half of 2019, many are wondering whether BLACKPINK will be able to have success similar to BTS. There is definitely a lot of potential but as previous idol groups like Wonder Girls and Girl’s Generation have proven, it isn’t easy to accomplish.
As an avid Kpop fan whose biases are mostly the first generation of Kpop idols, I can’t help but feel happy and excited to see how well Kpop is doing in the US. There are many idol groups who have also contributed to Kpop’s success like Monsta X, EXO and annual events like KCON LA or KCON NY. But amongst everything I have read, seen and heard, I want to credit BTS for really opening the door wide open for Kpop to take on the US. There have been many attempts but no one has been as successful as BTS and thanks to that, I think Kpop fans are able to have more opportunities to see their favorite Kpop idols shine for Uncle Sam.
All I could hope for would be that BTS’s continuous momentum ushers in even more opportunities for other Kpop artists to enter the US market. Till the day Kpop can be heard on various iheart radio stations in the US, “Hwaiting” to all Kpop artists!
(G)I-dle’s music video for “Senorita” made a great hit, reaching 5 million views on YouTube only in 21 hours.
Released on February 26 at 6 PM, (G)I-dle’s music video for “Senorita,” the title number for their second mini-album “I made,” has reached 5 million views by 3 PM on the next day. It’s 21 hours since the music video was released.
“Senorita,” which was written by the group’s leader So-yeon, is characterized by addictive hook, skilled vocals, and perfect dance performance. So-yeon also wrote previous title songs including “LATATA” and “HANN.”
The new song also secured high positions on local music charts. (G)I-dle will debut the new song on stage through “Show Champion” on February 27 at 6 PM.
Blackpink sets another record in 2019! BLACKPINK Jennie’s ‘Solo’ debut has gotten over 100 million views!
On February 25 (KST), YG’s founder Yang Hyun Suk commemorated BLACKPINK setting a another record again on his Instagram! Member Jennie’s ‘Solo’ choreography unedited version hit 100 Million views within 102 days.
Jennie made her solo debut on November 15, 2018. Jennie made an “all kill” on all the music charts in Korea and was No.1 on the iTunes charts of 40 countries with ‘Solo’. Congratulations to BLACKPINK and BLINKs!
Kpop’s legendary female idol group Girl’s Generation is still as close as ever!
On February 24, Girl’s Generation Sunny updated her Instagram sharing she’s currently catching up with fellow member Tiffany in LA! Sunny captioned the photo with “My friend who’s like a time machine. When I’m with you, it takes me back to when I was 19 years old!” with ” Ah, we’re holding glasses of alcohol in the picture [LOL] cool [LOL] I’m happy to see we’re aging!! #GG4EVA”.
Tiffany who now uses the stage name Tiffany Young has been pursuing a solo career in the US after departing from SM Entertainment in 2017. Tiffany Young recently released a new single ‘Lips on Lips’ on February 22 and will be having a mini showcase tour in the US next month.
K-pop girl group WJSN is celebrating its 3-year anniversary on February 25.
Celebrating the third anniversary, WJSN members shared their thoughts through the agency.
“We still can recall the first day on the stage on February 25, 2016,” wrote WJSN. “It’s hard to believe that it’s already been three years since the debut. We’re so thankful of our members, who trusted each other over the three years, and our fans, who gave us so much love and supports.”
The statement continued, “Since the debut, we’ve always been wanting to share hope through our music and performances. We’ll continue to make songs that reflect our own charms, so please keep supporting us.”
Since its debut in 2016, WJSN has been creating its own character through various concepts ranging from universe to magic school. The group will have the second solo concert on March 2 in Seoul.
On this week’s episode of MBC’s I Live Alone titled Love Yourself, the show’s favorite guest, Mamamoo’s Hwasa finally made her reappearance again!
MBC I Live Alone‘s highly popular and anticipated guest was none other than Mamamoo’s Hwasa! Hwasa has previously guest starred on multiple episodes of MBC’s I Love Alone in 2018 causing a sensation after each appearance. In addition, Hwasa ended up taking the rookie trophy home from the MBC Entertainment Awards for her segments on I Live Alone.
Brief background on MBC’s I Live Alone
MBC’s entertainment reality TV program, I Live Alone has been airing every week since March 2013 where cast members and guests view and comment about the current episode. Known for having popular guests (e.g. idols, actors) appear on the show in addition to the hilarious scenes from the cast members, I Live Alone is recognized to be one of the most popular variety shows in Korea. Even MBC’s Omniscient Interviewing Viewcan be said to derived from this show. Current MC Jun Hyun Moo became familiar with his girlfriend model Han Hye Jin while filming on this show in 2017.
Regular cast members: Jun Hyun Moo, Park Narae, Han Hae Jin, Gian84, Lee Si Eon, Henry
Commenters on Hwasa’s segment: Jun Hyun Moo, Park Narae, Han Hae Jin, Mamamoo’s Hwasa, Sung Hoon, Gian84
Opening scene to all commenters gathered together in the studio. MC Jun Hyun Moo starts off with congratulating Hwasa for accomplishing an “all kill” on all the music charts for her solo debut with “Twit”.
Cut to the first scene of Hwasa at home, lying in bed, watching the movie “I am Sam” and eating tangerines without the lights on. Interview cuts to Hwasa saying that “today is a rest day” where she plans to rest at home.
After rolling around in bed for a long time, Hwasa reaches for a book next to her bed while remarking “I’m bored” and finally leaves her bed to turn on the lights. As the camera focuses on the book Hwasa had just grabbed-Art of Peeling Tangerines-commenter Park Narae comments Hwasa seems to have unique books at home referring to the other unique books she saw last time at Hwasa’s home.
Hwasa moves to the sofa and ties her long hair into the trademark top bun and begins looking for an easy activity to try from the book. As Hwasa skims through various pages of making animal figures out of tangerine peels, she decides to try making a bunny rated with 1 star for difficulty.
Hwasa attempts to understand where she needs to start from the instructions (since instructions aren’t numbered or clearly organized) for peeling a tangerine into a bunny shape. In her confused state, she reads a part that states a random fact about how “Rabbits reproduce a lot” to which she reacts with “what kind of dog information is this.”
Cut to the surprised commenters back at the studio to which Gian84 explains authors sometimes add irrelevant information to make the book thicker to increase sales. Hence, why there’s random information in that book.
Hwasa starts crafting her bunny with the tangerine by first drawing the bunny shape with a pen. Unfortunately, as Hwasa cuts along the lines, tangerine juice squirts into her eyes. After getting over the sudden squirt, she’s peeling her bunny out of the tangerine where the finished product is finally revealed!
Once seeing the finished product, everyone back at the studio is laughing at how it looks so different from the expected cute bunny. Cut back to Hwasa who isn’t deterred from her first try and decides her next target will be a horse (difficulty: 2 stars). As the next product is finally revealed-success! It looks like a horse! Hwasa continues to successfully peel a monkey (difficulty: 3 stars) and long tailed rooster (difficulty: 5 stars) from a tangerine to her satisfaction.
Finally meal time!
Hwasa, hungry after her arts and craft time, heads to the kitchen and starts making instant Jjajang ramen! As everyone back at the studio starts salivating while watching Hwasa make her meal, the commenters are shocked at her cooking method which is different from the instructions. Interestingly, Hwasa adds the soup base before the noodles have started boiling and instead lets it simmer for a long time. Followed by adding her secret ingredient-Truffle Oil-which makes the JJajang ramen very rich and luxurious.
While the noodles are done cooking, Hwasa prepares an egg yolk to add as a garnish to her noodle dish but unfortunately the yolk ends up breaking while placed on a bowl. So Hwasa prepares another egg yolk.
After putting the noodles and egg yolks to a plate, contrary to everyone’s expectations, Hwasa grabs an instant meat balls to heat up. After which, Hwasa finally heads to the table with her noodles and meatballs and starts to eat.
Cut back to everyone back at the studio salivating with hunger, Hwasa eats the plate of noodles and comments to herself “It was so good!” Predictably, Hwasa takes her plates back to her kitchen after which she heads back to the bed for a nap.
Time to beat the game
After nap time, Hwasa gets up and heads to her arcade machine! She starts off with collecting all her coins from the arcade machine to use again during her game session. (The benefits of being the arcade owner!) Then she proceeds to insert enough coins for 21 rounds into the arcade machine.
During the game, Hwasa becomes so focused she ends up breaking her nails and reveals various expressions like deep focus, glares, smiles etc. until the end of the game when she finally clears the final round. Thus, her mini happy dance commences.
After Hwasa finishes up with the game, she unplugs the arcade machine and heads straight to the sofa to a rest time. Soon after, she’s removing her fake nails in preparation for her Twit m/v filming. During this time, Hwasa shares she doesn’t have enough time to go to the salon to get her nails done. As a result, she usually requests for various fake nail designs to be prepared for her in advance so she can do them at home.
Time to wig it up and meditate!
Hwasa opens her long awaited packaged which turns out to be wigs she’s ordered from abroad. Hwasa shares she was inspired to wear wigs when she saw Hollywoods celebrities wear wigs to events. Thus, a fitting for wigs follows of which each result is contrary to expectations.
Back at the studio, it turns out Hwasa brought the wigs to give to the commenters. Resulting in the following scenes where all the men to try the wigs on.
Camera rolls back to Hwasa ending her day filming for the show with a session of meditation which helps her relax amidst her busy schedule.
During the ending interview, Hwasa comments it was a very productive day and expresses her satisfaction on a restful day at home.
It is always a pleasure to watch Mamamoo’s Hwasa on MBC’s I Live Alone. She reminds Kpop fans that behind all the glitzy charisma seen on camera, Kpop idols are just like us ordinary folks who like to remove their makeup and just chill at home.
I personally became Hwasa’s fan after her first appearance on this show last year and I’m so glad to see she’s getting much love and attention for her solo debut! Check out the Twit M/V.
Based soley on Hwasa’s appearance on this show, I think she is very good at creating content. Hwasa is able to make something that would be considered ordinary into something special and memorable. Like this week’s arts and crafts with tangerine peels! How is genius is that? I wouldn’t be surprised if this becomes a trend.
Like previous episodes of Hwasa’s I Live Alone segments, Hwasa’s mukbang is truly the best in increasing one’s appetite. I really ended up craving Jjajang ramen and had to dash to the nearest korean market to make some for myself. While I wanted to try using Hwasa’s method of cooking the dish, since I don’t have truffle oil in my kitchen, I substituted it for some truffle salt I got at TJs awhile back and it tasted pretty good. I’ll probably try making it again once I get my hands on some truffle oil in the near future. 🙂
Lastly, the wig part of the episode reminded me of a scene from Sung Hoon’s debut drama where he had worn a wig as a special event for his on screen bride. I would personally recommend watching this drama (New Tales of Gisaeng) to all Sung Hoon fans!