At this point, we will start telling what happened to K-Pop this 2019, covering from January to November.
The events in K-Pop for the year 2019 is perfectly summed up in one phrase: Rookies and Scandals.
More positives happened this year. This includes creating a special celebrity challenge called Queendom. In this show, select girl groups are given tasks and are to experiment on different genres. This helped some underrated groups rise to fame, as is the case with AOA and Oh My Girl.
For the first time in K-Pop, SuperM was created out of different groups. The select members from EXO, SHINee, and NCT were combined to form a supergroup.
Enlistments are still ongoing, with Hongki, D.O., and Xiumin joining the corps. Meanwhile, some military discharges are happening like that of Super Junior and Bigbang.
This has been also the Year of the Rookies, with so many new groups debuting and garnering attention. Listed were Cherry Bullet, AB6IX, TXT, ITZY, VeriVery, BVNDIT, Hinapia, and others. For TXT, ITZY, and AB6IX, they bagged awards, got promotions, and endorsements in a short span of time.
Another positive aspect was on proactive approach of fandoms in various issues. With the power they have, fandoms are going to be less beholden to unresponsive agencies. Take the case of Monbebes, who are taking collective efforts for Wonho to return. They even launched a fundraising to install posters at Times Square. To a lesser extent, this is happening on Merries and Produce 101 fans.
On dating scandals, some succeeded in this hurdle, but many failed to go through. Famous success stories were on TWICE’s Jihyo and Kang Daniel, and Hyuna and Dawn. Failures include that of Jennie and Kai, and Daisy and Yunyeong.
Some pioneer groups are trying to go back to the K-Pop scene. This we see with Fin.K.L, Brown Eyed Girls, Ladies’ Code, and Super Junior with their respective comebacks.
More sad news are surfacing in the industry. First is on disbandment, namely that of f(x), Wanna One, B.A.P., Myteen, Boyfriend, Hello Venus, and Pristin.
Second, but equally painful, was the scandals. Scandals that made major impact on K-Pop were on Seungri’s case and Sulli’s death. The Burning Sun, in which various artists were involved, later crippled YG Entertainment, even if Seungri and Yang Hyun Suk were kicked out.
Sulli’s death highlighted the dark side of K-Pop, primarily pressure from agencies and hate remarks from netizens. Her death prompted several stars to suspend or cancel various engagements as sign of respect.
More and more members are going to rest due to health reasons. This is the case with Choi Yoojung, Dino, Yanan, and Minari. If not on hiatus, they part ways mainly on career change, retirement, and scandals. Notable cases were on B.I., Woojin, Hwall, Laun, Kangin, AOA’s Mina, and Wonho.
This year characterized several hiatus with Momoland and Cherry Bullet. Both have two members on hold for unspecified reason. And as of this writing, their agencies are silent on this lingering problem.
The voting scandals of Produce series are now casting doubts, not only on future shows, but also on groups born in it (IZ*ONE and X1). There have been petitions to ban these groups from future engagements.
In the next article, we will discuss on the future of K-Pop ten years from now.
Featured Image Credit: KMania Channel