2017 started off with a bang.
Besides all the new and wonderful music that came out this month…
You Will Be Missed…
We had a lot of goodbyes this January…
M.I.B. kicked off our year with the sad news confirming their disbandment on January 3rd. It became official just one day later on January 4th. There is a silver lining; Kangnam announced his plan to come back as a solo artist in June or July. [Are we really surprised? He always liked to do his own thing.]
Wonder Girls also announced their upcoming disbandment. Their final song release will be on their 10th Anniversary, February 10th. [Baby why-y-y-y I’m so lonely (sob)]
The 13th of January Brave Entertainment announced that Yoojin will be leaving both Brave Girls and the entertainment industry to focus on studying. Hyeran is also leaving Brave Girls due to heath issues The group is still planning on moving forward with their comeback this winter.
15th January, boy band 5tion (pronounced “Ocean”) was in a car wreck on the way to their concert in Japan. They were taken to the hospital, but it was announced there was no one seriously hurt.
On January 21st, 2NE1 gave us a wonderful parting gift as their final song. Thanks CL for the beautifully poignant lyrics, and thanks to all of 2NE1 for your hard work and the memories. [#Fourever #Goodbye #MoreSobbing]
VAV is also losing yet another member: GyeoUI. (KpG Note: ZeHan left in December 2016.) On the 26th it was announced GyeoUI will be leaving to pursue his own career.
In sad (but not so heart-wrenching) news… BigBang had their last stage on Inkigayo and their final concert in Hong Kong before enlistment rounds begin. T.O.P’s touching message on Instagram [of course] brought a few teary sniffles [I was amazed at his restraint and the lack 17 posts of horses. All the sad horses…I wouldn’t be able to handle that also.]
I.O.I also had their final concert in Seoul January 2oth to 22nd. The experimental group hopes to stay connected with their fans through solo stages in the upcoming year.
And on one final goodbye- James, bassist for Royal Pirates, will be leaving the group permanently due to medical issues. Our hearts truly break for his struggles and his most recent news. We wish you the best, James. You were and still are an inspiration. You never once let us down. You will be missed. [So much ugly crying right now. You and me both, Kell. *hands Kell the box of tissues*.]
On happier news- there was our usual round of ISAC (Idol Star Athletics Championships). Otherwise known as ThouShallNotSharePicturesUnlessYouWantToBeRemoved. [Unless you’re popular enough. Right?! Whomever came up with that rule clearly did not think it through.]
To which every band promptly poses delightfully for pictures in hopes of not being
invited forced to attend next time.
If you’re not familiar with ISACs-it’s an athletic competition that runs twice a year usually once at the beginning and once at the end of the ever so exhausting award season, and smack in the middle of what should be every idol’s vacation (frequently known to the rest of the world as September and January/February).
It’s when Korea attempts to put sharp pointy objects in the hands of our not always coordinated idols, and forces those with two left feet to run AND catch things… while fandoms everywhere wonder how to sneak suits made of bubblewrap onto their faves. ISACs usually end with more than one injured idol and a lot of angry netizens. [Basically it’s all the horrors of compulsory Field Day from when we were in school- but 360° televised for all the world to see. I never had Field Day. The idea of it is really weird to me. You never had field day???? You lucky, luck person! I’m totally not jealous. *steals Kell’s muffin and hides her favorite pen* Nope. Here is me, not being jealous.]
Thankfully; in 2017, everyone survived ISAC… except a camera.
V App figured out how to get even more money out of our wallets.
They opened the V Channel+ where you can pay a monthly premium to connect regularly and talk with your idols. There are currently six Channel+ accounts: BLACKPINK, BTS, INFINITE, MONSTA X, SEVENTEEN, and TWICE. We’re sure there will be more in the upcoming days.
BTS continues to set new record highs on Gaon Chart with their album WINGS. And while currently ranking at the number 3 spot for the last week in January on Gaon weekly album sales- it shows no sign of slowing down.
KpG Note – BTS had also previously broken and set a new record for first month sales with their October Gaon numbers.
ARMY also proved that #BTSarmyCrash is still alive and kicking in 2017. On January 25th, at noon KST, fans desperate to get their pre-orders in for BTS’s upcoming extension album, YNWA, were so overwhelming they DDOSed the Synnara servers and caused many Hanteo registered sites like KpopMart, KpopTown, KTown4U, and even the BTS Official Shop to lag on all orders. [So basically: BTS Army is coming. Expect us. ]
BLACKPINK also reached a milestone with their YouTube MV BOOMBAYAH reaching 100 million views 0n 31 January KST. The MV released on 8 August 2016, so this brings them to the 100m mark in just under 6 months. Good job, BLINKS!
Perhaps in trade for Gallant performing at Korea’s 2016 MAMAs, or maybe due to the success of Gallant and Tablo’s collaboration on Cave Me In… [Go Eric Nam! It’s such a good track, please listen to it!]
Whatever the case, Tablo was invited to attend the 2017 Grammy Awards. [Yay for across the pond friends.] (And congrats Tablo!) [Woohoo!]
As with every January, we also had our introduction to new KPop debuts:
- Dream Catcher
- B Heart
- B SKIT
- YeoJin (this month’s LOONA Girl)
And solo debuts from old friends:
- Ravi (from VIXX)
- Kang Sira
- Seohyun (from SNSD)
- Suzy (from missA)
Variety Show Woes
On January 24th, Running Man announces they aren’t calling it quits after all… and most of the KPop world wonders if we’re being trolled.
Produce 101 desperately tries to affirm there will be a Season 2 with a boys unit despite all the major labels telling them they won’t be sending trainees for a second season, and season 1’s host Jang Keun Suk also bowing out.
Looking to February
For us KPoppers, February 2017 is stacking up to be a full month, with loads of truly loved groups announcing their stages and releases. [Seriously. There are only so many lines in our calendar. We need some of you to remember that March is also a thing.]
I’m sure; just like us, you are anxiously awaiting what all of February will have in store. To keep tabs on what comebacks and debuts are being released this month (read: just take all my money), we’ll see you over at our February calendar. Feel free to drop us a line of what you are looking forward to the most – or just cry with us over depleted bank accounts.
For a full look at the calendar of events and releases from January 2017… go here.