While the majority in Western countries have not heard about K-pop before PSY’s ‘Gangnam Style’ in 2012, Korean pop idols started to become famous in Asian countries in 2003. Singer BoA and boyband TVXQ became the first K-pop idols to successfully break into the Japanese market. With the support of the South Korean government, who saw the industries economic potential, the so-called Korean wave started to spread even further, and K-pop gained a global audience. Girlband Blackpink was the first K-pop band to headline the famous U.S. music festival Coachella in 2019. Nevertheless, with both nationwide and global success, the seven-member boyband BTS is the biggest active boyband in South Korea currently.
It’s just a little over two weeks into 2021, and already there have been some pretty highly anticipated K-Pop comebacks that have come out!
Here are the most-watched K-Pop music videos of the year so far!
- ON THE GROUND-
Blackpink’s Rose set two Guinness World Records with her impressive solo debut! On April 9, Guinness World Records revealed that the music video for Rosé’s “On The Ground” had been officially recognized as the most viewed YouTube music video in 24 hours by a solo K-pop artist. The music video for “On the Ground” garnered 41.6 million views in the first 24 hours after it was released. This is the first time the record has been broken in eight years since the previous record set by PSY with 36 million views for “Gangnam Style.”
Rosé is the first to top Billboard’s global charts as both a soloist and as a group. “On The Ground” debuted at No. 1 on both the Global 200 and Global Excl. U.S. charts. The lists, which launched last September, rank songs based on streaming and sales data from more than 200 territories. BLACKPINK currently has 27 videos with over hundreds of millions of views and almost 60 million subscribers on their YouTube channel. Not only are they the female artist with the most YouTube subscribers but they’re only second to Justin Bieber as the most subscribed artist on YouTube.
BTS has hit the 350 million mark with another music video! On April 16 at approximately 1:11 a.m. KST, BTS’s “ON” Kinetic Manifesto Film: Come Prima surpassed 350 million views on YouTube, making it the group’s 14th music video to do so after “DNA,” “Fire,” “Dope,” “Blood Sweat & Tears,” “MIC Drop (Steve Aoki Remix),” “Fake Love,” “IDOL,” “Save Me,” “Boy With Luv,” “Not Today,” “Dynamite,” “Spring Day,” and “Boy in Luv.” BTS originally released their Kinetic Manifesto Film for “ON” on February 21, 2020 at 6 p.m. KST, meaning that it took the video just over one year, one month, and 25 days to reach the milestone.
- LIFE GOES ON-
BTS has hit the 300 million mark with their latest title track! On March 27 at approximately 2:18 p.m. KST, BTS’s music video for “Life Goes On” surpassed 300 million views on YouTube, making it their 15th music video to do so following “DNA,” “Fire,” “Dope,” “Blood Sweat & Tears,” “MIC Drop (Steve Aoki Remix),” “Fake Love,” “Save Me,” “IDOL,” “Not Today,” “Boy With Luv,” “Boy In Luv,” “Spring Day,” “Dynamite,” and “ON” (Kinetic Manifesto Film: Come Prima).
BTS originally released the music video for “Life Goes On” on November 20, 2020 at 2 p.m. KST, meaning that it took the song just over four months and seven days to reach the milestone.
IU’s “BBIBBI” music video has joined the 200 million view club on YouTube! The music video surpassed 200 million views on March 23, taking about two years, five months, and 12 days to hit the milestone and becoming IU’s first MV to do so. “BBIBBI” was released as a single on October 10, 2018 to celebrate IU’s 10th debut anniversary. While fans continue to enjoy her past hits like “BBIBBI,” IU is currently getting ready to make a comeback this week with her first full-length album since the award-winning “Palette” came out in April 2017.
TWICE has reached another YouTube milestone! On March 19 at approximately 7:30 p.m. KST, their music video for “FANCY” surpassed 400 million views. This is about one year, 10 months, and 25 days since its release on April 22, 2019 at 6 p.m. KST. “FANCY” is TWICE’s fifth music video to reach 400 million views following “TT,” “Likey,” “What Is Love?,” and “Cheer Up.”
BTS has once again set a new record! On March 24 at approximately 12:56 p.m. KST, the group’s “Dynamite” music video surpassed 950 million views on YouTube. This is about seven months and three days since its release on August 21, 2020 at 1 p.m. KST. “Dynamite” is BTS’s third music video to reach 950 million views following “DNA” and “Boy With Luv.” It is also the fastest Korean group music video to achieve this feat.
By Sharon Lewis