Sunye sent love and support to Sunmi along with a thoughtful lunch box.
On March 17, Sunmi posted to her Instagram to show off the love and support she’s received from Sunye. The picture shows lunch boxes prepared by Sunye and a card says, “To Sunmi, from Sunye unnie.”
Both Sunmi and Sunye debuted in 2007 as members of girl group Wonder Girls. Even after the disbandment of the group, the members continue to support each other in their own fields.
Sunmi launched her first world tour as a solo artist on February 24. As the artist is currently in Canada for her performance in Toronto, fans are guessing that the two could have met each other in Toronto.
Married to missionary James Park in 2013, Sunye is living in Canada with her three children.
Singer Sunmi is back with her new song “Noir,” which critiques the effects of living in a world where social media seems to dictate people’s lives.
As the name of the song implies, there is a dark undertone to the lyrics and the subject matters depicted in the music video. With it being prescient in the same way that Dean’s song “Instagram” was last year, this song is sure to hit home for many people.
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!
KBS announced the 29 participating groups and singers for its yearend song festival.
On December 20, KBS announced the third and final lineup for 2018 KBS Song Festival, which will be held on December 28 at 8:30 PM.
The newly announced teams are Celeb Five and Kim Yeon-ja, who have established their own genres in K-pop with unique music and performances. With their participation, a total of 29 teams are performing for the upcoming song festival.
Take a look at the list below for the artists to make appearances in 2018 KBS Song Festival:
Boy Groups – BTS, EXO, Wanna One, Seventeen, BTOB, Norazo, VIXX, NU’EST W, GOT7, Monsta X, and NCT 127 Girl Groups – TWICE, Red Velvet, GFriend, A-Pink, Oh My Girl, (G)I-dle, AOA, Lovelyz, Momoland, WJSN, and Celeb Five Solo Artists – Hwang Chi-yeol, Sunmi, Chungha, Yong Jun-hyung, 10CM, Roy Kim, and Kim Yeon-ja
2018 KBS Song Festival has announced its MCs and 2nd lineup for the upcoming event!
On December 14, KBS announced further details about the upcoming 2018 KBS Song Festival. According to the notice, EXO’s Chanyeol, BTS’ Jin, and TWICE’s Dahyun have confirmed to host the event.
Along with the announcement about the hosts, the event also announced the second lineup of artists in attendance. The list includes A-list idol groups such as EXO, TWICE, AOA, Vixx, N’UEST W, GOT7, MONSTA X, NCT 127, Highlight’s Yong Jun-Hyung, 10CM, Roy Kim, Lovelyz, and Momoland.
Meanwhile, the first lineup included BTS, Wanna One, Red Velvet, SEVENTEEN, (G)I-DLE, BTOB, Apink, Hwang Chi-Yeul, Sunmi, Chungha, Norazo, and Oh My Girl.
2018 KBS Song Festival will take place at the KBS hall in Yeouido on December 28 at 8:30 PM, KST.
Original Article (1), (2), (3) Translated by Dasol Kim
Once the Gaon Chart Policy Commission implemented a new policy that freezes real-time streaming charts overnight, it revealed the significance of those hours for idol fandoms.
BLACKPINK’s comeback earlier this year was well received. Great video, catchy song, punchy choreography, and an actual album rather than a single. Moreover, it had been almost a year since their last comeback. With that said, their fans were eager for something from the four-member girl group. More than that, they were ready to support — and support they did.
During their comeback, BLACKPINK managed to break various records as a K-pop group including being the fasted K-pop group to get to 200 million views on YouTube. In addition to that, their title track “Ddu-du Ddu-du” achieved multiple perfect all-kills (PAKs), a term used to describe when a song ranks no. 1 in both daily and real-time charts. Notably, their comeback came right before the Gaon Chart Policy Commission had implemented their new policy.
Whether the policy may or may not have affected the group’s performances we’ll never know. However, what we do know is that it did affect other idol groups’ ability to wow on charts — especially those who are generally expected to outperform other and get PAKs too like TWICE, BTS, and Red Velvet.
Continually, since the implementation, fewer idols groups have come close to the top of the charts. More importantly, drastic shifts in ranking due to overnight streaming from dedicated fandoms. As such, when the hourly publication of ranks are sent out my iCharts Korea it more accurately reflect the true streaming trends in South Korea, even as the music grows increasingly international.
Indeed, when soloist like Sunmi, Roy Kim, Punch, Paul Kim — some of which are not as well known internationally. Their accomplishments are significant in that they demonstrate who is really popular with the general public domestically.
Of course, there are many more steps that need to be taken to further deter chart meddling (which are mostly from fandoms, let’s be real). On the bright side, this small change laid before us a truth about the amount of manipulation that had and still is besieging Korea’s domestic music market.
Singer Sunmi was transported to the hospital for headache during the pre-rcording KBS2 ‘Music Bank’.
On Septemer 14th, Sunmi’s agency Makeus Entertainment announced on their official social media account, “We are informing that our artist Sunmi was not able to perform on the ‘Music Bank’ stage. During the pre-recording, Sunmi felt a headache, so she had to stop immediately. After, she was promptly transported to the hospital and is now taking rest.”
They continued, “The doctor said it seemed like a temporary symptom, but suggested to keep looking at her conditions. Therefore, she couldn’t participate in the pre-recording at the end.”
Meanwhile, Sunmi made a comeback on the 4th earlier this month with her mini album ‘WARNING’, and has been actively performing the title song ‘Siren’.
Singer Sunmi is paying particular attention to the choreography for her upcoming comeback.
On September 4, Sunmi will make a highly-anticipated comeback with her new album WARNING. Further, with her previous releases “Gashina” and Heroine” certified hits, her fans are looking forward to the singer’s next concept.
If clues about the dance routine are any help, then we can say that the soloist’s next title track is going to have crazy and catchy choreography. According to Daily Sports, the singer has enlisted the talents Jang Joo-hee who worked on Psy‘s “Gangnam Style” and Lia Kim whom she paired up with for “Gashina.”
Fans’ expectations are on the rise as the singer continues to drop hints and teaser about her return. According to information released, WARNING will be the final installment in the singer’s three-part project. Sunmi plans to use the last album to connect the main character that she introduced in “Gashina” and elaborated on in “Heroine.”
Unfortunately, the three teasers she has released thus far have done little to quell fans’ curiosity. Fractal-lens type images overlaid with the names of the album and songs provide few clues.
Meanwhile, the singer will return after eight months on September 4 at 6 pm KST.
Sunmi is to make a guest appearance in K-pop variety show, “Idol Room.”
On August 20, the production team of JTBC’s K-pop variety show “Idol Room” announced that Sunmi will appear in the show, along with her upcoming comeback.
Sunmi is currently preparing for her comeback on September 4. Thanks to her charismatic performances and trendy songs she has been presenting since her solo debut, music fans are anticipating her upcoming return.
Sunmi is the first female solo singer to be featured as a guest in “Idol Room.” Previously, Seungri became the first solo singer to appear in the show, which mostly features idol groups. Her fans are early waiting for the episode, especially because Sunmi is to perform her first comeback stage in the show.
The episode of “Idol Room” featuring Sunmi will air September 4.