Weekly Up & Down: 2NE1, SNSD, YongSeo, and ALi
K-Pop continued to make strides on a global scale last week as 2NE1 had their first performance in the U.S., while Cube Entertainment artists held the very first K-Pop concert on Latin American soil. SNSD announced details for their first U.S. single, and YouTube launched a K-Pop-only channel, which is the first page dedicated to the music industry of a certain country.
Meanwhile, where there’s good, there’s also bad (?), and some of the news was not as well-received. Seohyun’s comment regarding Yonghwa caused major uproar among “YongSeo” fans, and ALi’s emotional press conference made fans furious over netizens’ brash criticism. Goo Hara’s past photo caused quite a stir among fans and H.O.T’s reunion rumors continued to confuse us with conflicting comments.
Check out the list below for our roundup of last week’s biggest trending topics:
1) 2NE1: It was another week jam-packed with 2NE1 news. They had their first live performance in New York City for the MTV Iggy Awards, where they were named the “Best New Band in the World.” They also made it to Slant Magazine’s “The 25 Best Singles of 2011” with “I Am the Best.” Later in the week, they were featured in interviews with BBC and MTV Style, both in fluent English, showcasing their enormous star potential.
2) United Cube in Brazil: Cube Entertainment held the first-ever K-Pop concert on South American soil with the “United Cube in Brazil” concert. 4minute, BEAST, and G.NA gave an impressive concert to thousands of Latin fans, later receiving positive reviews from major press outlets. 4minute was even compared to Lady Gaga and Rihanna, which should be taken as a compliment considering their global appeal.
3) SNSD: SNSD has announced their plans to venture in to the U.S. market with the release of their maxi-single, “The Boys,” on December 20. They also picked Interscope Records as their label in the U.S. market, which will only help their promotions. To start if off, rap artists Snoop Dogg and Lil Play have confirmed to be featured in SNSD’s new U.S. single.
4) YouTube: When Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman, visited Korea last month, there were rumors of YouTube launching its own K-Pop channel. We didn’t expect it to happen this fast, but on December 15, YouTube opened up a page fully dedicated to K-Pop as a music genre. It is the first time a single country’s music industry has been featured as a new musical genre on YouTube and it’s definitely going to help K-Pop grow its global fan base.
1) Seohyun: Despite wowing fans with her glamorous body earlier in the week, Seohyun’s answer on KBS “Happy Together” almost caused pandemonium among the “YongSeo” fans last week. She held up an “x” sign when asked if she ever really liked CN Blue’s Jung Yonghwa, who played her husband on MBC “We Got Married.” We know Seohyun was being smart, and she made the right decision in not causing any further scandals with this answer, but it sure did disappoint a lot of “YongSeo” fans.
2) Goo Hara: A photo titled “Goo Hara’s shocking selca” was uploaded to several online communities last week. It was a selca picture of Goo Hara taken immediately after her double-eyelid surgery, showing her eyes noticeably swollen and with no makeup on. In 2010, she did confess that her eyelids got “slightly fixed,” but she could have done a better job keeping those pictures to herself.
3) Netizens on ALi: ALi who got under fire for releasing a song with the title and lyrics about a true rape victim, “Nayoungee,” came out in public and explained the real reason for doing it—she herself is a rape victim. The song was intended to give hope and comfort to “Nayoung,” unlike some of the netizens who criticized her for trying to gain publicity and make money off of the song, and she wanted to raise awareness for preventive measures. Much kudos/respect to ALi for her courageous act and we truly hope for her success moving forward. The only reason she’s on this list is because of the netizens who turned this song into a whole new controversy and for inflicting extra pain to an already excruciatingly painful past.
4) H.O.T: Some of the old-school K-Pop fans are dying for their reunion, but they keep confusing us with conflicting comments. Moon Hee Joon supposedly said the reunion was all but confirmed and all five members had agreed to get together under SM Entertainment’s chairman, Lee Soo Man. But soon after reports of his comments went out, Jang Woo Hyuk and Tony An tweeted messages in denial, seeming totally confused by the reports. Whatever’s going on, please give us one last chance to see the legendary group on stage together!
Thunderstix is the Editor-in-Chief for soompi.com. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow his twitter.com feed at @eugenekim222.