Welcome to another edition of SB Week in Review! Here’s all the news you might have missed:
- This week fans and friends alike remembered the passing of Kim Jonghyun. The Shiny Foundation — founded by Jonghyun’s mother — also held a memorial on December 17. We at the Seoulbeats family continue to miss him, and send our love.
- N.Flying’s Kwon Kwang-jin voluntarily left the group following online accusations of inappropriate behavior with fans. In a statement, FNC asserted that while the accusations of sexual harassment were not true, Kwang-jin did have inappropriate relationships with fans outside of schedules — which is against agency rules. Therefore, he will be stepping down from group while FNC looks further into the online rumors and who circulated them.
- The Korea Popular Music Awards were pressured into issuing an apology this week after the 2018 Popularity Award was given to both Wanna One and Exo. While voting margins had been tight between the two groups up until the polls closed, Wanna One technically came in first place. However, KPMA clarified that because the voting was so close, they thought it would be best to award both groups the title. I’m not sure that explanation will be sufficient for fans who paid to vote.
- Other big awards went to BTS for album of the year with Love Yourself: Answer, and Twice for song of the year with “Heart Shaker.”
- BtoB‘s Minhyuk was the most recent celebrity to be pulled into a #DebtToo scandal. Cube later clarified that Minhyuk reached a settlement with the lenders as soon as he heard about the outstanding debt his father owed.
- Two former girl group member interviews made headlines this week:
- Minzy spoke to Billboard about the harsh criticism and struggle with depression that she endured during her time with YG Entertainment.
- Stellar member Gayeon opened up with Insight about how The Entertainment Pascal forced the members into a sexy concept with “Marionette” and how the “sexy” image impacted the Stellar members up until disbandment.
Debuts & Comebacks
- Yeesung and Chungha came together for “Whatcha Doin’?”
- The FNC family declared “It’s Christmas.”
- Winner returned to tropical house for “Millions.”
- Sooyoung showed off a new side of her musicality with “Winter Breath.”
- Cosmic Girls collaborated with an oddly deep-voiced Micky Mouse for “Good Time.” The track was released as part of Micky Mouse’s 90th birthday world tour celebration. The group’s official winter comeback should come in January.
- Seventeen released the MV for “Getting Closer” as a prequel to the You Make My Day series.
- Jiyeon returned with the wintery single “One Day.”
- Eric Nam‘s Encounter OST track “The Night” was released.
- Jay Park‘s latest MV is “Million.”
Teasers & Announcements
- Weekly Idol has new MCs: Kawnghee, Jo Se-ho, and Nam Chang-hee.
- Lay‘s Christmas single, “When It’s Christmas” will drop on December 24.
- Exo’s new variety Exo Arcade will begin airing on December 17.
- Can you believe it’s time for TVXQ‘s 15th anniversary album? The Truth of Love will arrive on December 26.
- Following his Korean debut with Face, Key will be debuting “Hologram” in Japan on December 26.
- Teasers have begun to drop for VeriVery‘s January 9 debut.
- Looking towards the new year, both Astro and GFriend are slated for January comebacks.
- RBW will also be launching their new boy group, ONEUS on the same day.
- iKon‘s repackage album release will be delayed until January.
- KNK has a new member, Lee Dongwon.
- Highlight‘s Lee Gikwang will begin his military service on January 24.
- Soyeon will be taking a break from Laboum‘s “Turn It On” promotions while she recovers from the flu.
- SNSD‘s Yuri has started her own YouTube channel.
- This week it was revealed that Producer Moon Young-il — who has been accused of abuse by former East Light members Lee Seokcheol and Lee Seunghyun — was jailed on December 15 ahead of his trail.
- Comedian Lee Young-ja became the first woman to win the KBS Entertainment Awards Daesang.