Big Wins For BTS & Co. As Big Hit Entertainment Goes Public & Prices Fluctuate

South Korean company Big Hit Entertainment – best known as the home of the record-breaking septet BTS – went public on Thursday (Oct. 15), and it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster ever since with share prices soaring then dipping, but ultimately proved to be a sizable success for Big Hit. Going public on South Korea’s KOSPI, Big Hit issued shares for 135,000 KRW (around $115 USD) – though they ultimately opened at 270,000 KRW –, raising 962.55 billion KRW ($822 million) and valuing the company at

Millions And Millions: Physical K-Pop Album Sales Stay Strong In 2020

The global music industry may be facing a slow down in the face of the global coronavirus pandemic, but K-pop physical album sales are hotter than ever in 2020. At a time when only the most dedicated fans are spending money on hard copies of music, fans of South Korea-based acts are earning big, with 2020 witnessing over five albums selling over 1 million copies each, and one by BTS with over 4 million recorded sales. Earlier this year, South Korea’s Gaon Chart – which reports accumulated sales

K-Pop Group Treasure On ‘The First Step’ To Being The Future For YG Entertainment

The 12 members of Treasure are heralded as gems set to color the world with their music, and the new K-pop group represents the future of South Korean company YG Entertainment. One of South Korea’s historic “Big 3” K-pop companies, YG is home to K-pop royalty BLACKPINK and a roster of boy bands and solo artists, but Treasure (often stylized in all capitals as TREASURE) represents the first time its ever expanded to a double-digit team, with more of a dance pop slant than the company’s typical h

Jessica Jung Brings the World of K-Pop to the Written Word in YA Book ‘Shine’

As a member of South Korean group Girls’ Generation, Jessica Jung made a name for herself in the highest echelons of pop royalty. Having since gone solo (she left the group in 2014) and launched a fashion line, with plans to open a flagship store in Seoul, Jung is now taking readers on a journey to stardom in her debut YA novel, “Shine.” Released Sept. 29 from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, the novel tells the story of Rachel Kim, a Korean-American trainee at an entertainment company

K-Pop Star Taemin On Taking Control With ‘Never Gonna Dance Again’

He’s been reinventing himself in the spotlight for over a decade now, and Taemin has hit the reset button once again with the release of last month’s Never Gonna Dance Again : Act 1. A K-pop star since he was a young teenager and debuted in boy band SHINee in 2008, Taemin’s latest – his third solo Korean LP – feels like a modern day fever dream fronted by the single “Criminal,” a throwback to the era when pop stars were gods among men, when Ziggy Stardust and Michael Jackson’s larger-than-life p

These 5 K-Pop YA Books Will Tide You Over Until Next Comeback

Interest in all things K-pop is at an all-time high nowadays, with Seoul-based musical acts and artists gaining prominence on radio, television, music and video streaming platforms, and, of course, on social media. But one final frontier for K-pop is literature. While fanfiction and self-publishing have been forums for fan-written stories based on the lives of their favorite stars, 2020 is a milestone year for young adult novels centered around the Korean pop music industry. Arriving as the lat

Pink Sweat$ & Seventeen Discuss Coming Together On '17' Remix In Age Of Corona

Back in July, Pink Sweat$ released his EP The Prelude, a six-track album full of soulful pop, including the track “17.” On September 17, he teamed up with K-pop group Seventeen to remix the lucky-numbered track, creating a cross-cultural collaboration with two of the members, Joshua and DK. “It’s a beautiful thing,” Pink Sweat$ told Forbes about connecting with Seventeen and creating a song together after reaching out when he saw DK had done a cover of his song “Honesty” in May. “It’s almost li

K-Pop Mega-Stars SuperM Talk 'Super One' & Finding Unity In The Covid Era

In late June, Ariel Rechtshaid scored a Hot 100 Number One in the unlikeliest of ways, he says. "It was another random phenomenon in a series of random phenomena that I've witnessed in my life—and another thing you couldn't possibly control or cook up." The 41-year-old songwriter and producer is talking about "Trollz," a splashy chart-topping collaboration by New York meme-turned-rapper 6ix9ine and actual New York legend Nicki Minaj, which was co-written and produced by Jeremiah Raisen, who’s s

‘BTS Universe Story’ Offers Innovative Storytelling Game Based On Band’s Creative Universe

Fans of BTS can now enter the band’s creative universe in the new game BTS Universe Story, which launched globally on Thursday (Sept. 24) in South Korea (Wednesday, Sept. 23 in the U.S.). The mobile game, which will be available on Apple’s App Store and Google play worldwide, is inspired by the South Korean septet’s BU, or BTS Universe, a narrative woven into the act’s music, performances, social media, merchandise, etc. that tells the time-looping story of seven men struggling with life in the

10 Years On, Twitter Is Shaping The Spread Of K-Pop

Twitter has changed the way fans, and the world, engage with K-pop over the past few years, and is commemorating a decade of K-pop Twitter this month. Through a series of events this month, including a discussion between fans and artists held on the social media platform, Twitter Korea is celebrating its impact on the way the world has engaged with South Korean pop artists through it since 2010, when K-pop acts and fans first started to engage with the app in impactful ways that would ultimatel

English lyrics bolster K-pop's global appeal [INTERVIEW]

In recent years, K-pop has become increasingly visible globally. Foreign-language music has never had an easy time climbing the charts in the U.S., but K-pop was able to have a stronger presence, thanks to its devoted fandom. Now, K-pop has found a better strategy to break through and sustain success in the West: composing songs with English lyrics. BTS wrote history again this month by becoming the first K-pop act to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart with its first English language song "Dynami

Lay Zhang Is Aiming To Bring Chinese Music To The World

It’s been a few years now since Lay Zhang (also known as Zhang Yixing) released his debut EP Lose Control in 2016. Already a prominent star throughout Asia after debuting as part of K-pop boy band EXO back in 2012 and becoming a prominent television personality in China, Zhang – who is usually known mononymously as LAY – started down a path that year that would turn him into one of the biggest musical players in Asia less than half a decade later: in 2018, he broke onto the U.S. Billboard 200 al

Big Hit Entertainment, Company Behind BTS, Aims To Raise Up To $810 Million In IPO

Just days after BTS made history with their first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, the company behind the South Korean superstars announced its plans to go public. Big Hit Entertainment, founded in 2005 with a mission to create “Music & Artist for Healing,” has long been rumored to go public and in recent months took steps to pursue an initial public offering (IPO). According to a statement from the company, Big Hit's first offering will list 7,130,000 shares on South Korea’s KOSPI, each e

Digital Corona Concerts Ushers In New Era For K-Pop Fan Experiences

As the global corona pandemic set in during the first half of 2020, live music events came to a standstill. While socially distanced concerts began to take place upon occasion, and there are those who refused to adhere to guidelines, digital concert events have become the mainstay of the music world in 2020. And nobody’s doing it better than the K-pop industry, which has managed a near-seamless shift to online concerts that offers an experience that multitudes of fans across the world can enjoy,

BoA Talks Her 20th Anniversary, Legacy & Being A Forerunner Of K-Pop's Rise

At 13-years-old, Kwon Bo-ah released her first album ID; Peace B on August 25, 2000. Two decades later, the South Korean pop star known as BoA has gone on to become one of the country’s, and Asia’s, most beloved pop divas, with over a dozen albums in Korean, Japanese and English, and so many hit songs that it would be hard to fit them all in one paragraph. Recognized as the first South Korean artist that broke into the Japanese music scene, the second-largest music market in the world, and led

ATEEZ Discusses ‘ZERO: FEVER, Pt. 1’ EP & Their Musical Exploration Of Youth

"What do you want to do? What are you going to become? / Don't know, it's my first time. I think I'll have to live a little longer to know." This query and answer sets the stage for ATEEZ’s “Thanxx,” released through a music video on August 23. The second lead track on their recently released ZERO: FEVER, Pt. 1, out on July 29, the anthemic swagger of “Thanxx” was preceded by the alternating moods of the melodic hip-hop and EDM maelstrom of last month’s dramatic “Inception.” As a pair of single

BTS’s “Dynamite” Makes YouTube History With Over 100 Million Views In 24 Hours

BTS has made history yet again, this time with the best-ever 24 hour debut of a music video on YouTube with their new song “Dynamite,” out on August 21. “We can confirm that BTS (방탄소년단) 'Dynamite' Official MV set a new all-time 24hr record, surpassing 100M views with 101.1m views in the first 24 hours,” a YouTube spokesperson tells Forbes via a statement. “Dynamite,” the septet’s first-ever all-English single, arrived last week to bring its bright disco pop vibes to heat up the end of summer 2
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