BTS Grammy nomination, AOA Jimin, BLACKPINK The Album & more: Here are the top Korean newsmakers of 2020

Kiona Rosh
·7-min read

The year 2020 is almost over and has been a typical roller coaster rides with its level of highs and lows! But for the K-pop industry, it has only been the highs as we are going to talk about the top Korean newsmakers of 2020.
Talking about 2020 we have come a long way with the deadly virus to various mind wreaking news all around the world. We have managed to protect our sanity.. or not let’s not even discuss it. Yes, there has been some exciting news regarding our beloved K-pop hunks and beauts. Korean culture has found a permanent place in the world’s heart for being just the thing everyone needs to keep their faith alive. K-Pop and K-dramas reached worldwide popularity never seen before and thanks to OTT platforms, they have managed to keep us entertained all this pandemic and have done a magnificent job.

Here are the top Korean newsmakers of 2020:

The parasite makes Oscar history with 4 wins: The 2019 masterpiece movie Parasite directed by Bong-Joon-ho has made history at the 92nd Academy Awards, bagging 4 Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best International Feature Film.

BTS earns a Grammy Nomination; named TIME’s Entertainer of the Year 2020
BTS attained their first-ever Grammy nomination in a major musical category for the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 2021 Grammys. BTS was also named TIME’s Entertainer of the Year 2020, by TIME Magazine and has made history yet again.

BLACKPINK’s Album and it’s Netflix documentary Light Up The Sky; Variety names BLACKPINK Hitmakers’ Group of the Year
BLACKPINK released their first, full-length album titled The Album in 2020 which broke numerous records and topped charts since its release as well as Netflix released their first-ever K-Pop documentary Light Up The Sky which shows us BLACKPINK’s musical journey in their own words. Variety also named BLACKPINK their Hitmakers’ Group of the Year.

Chinese fans upset on BTS due to their Korean War remark
According to the Global Times, During BTS’s acceptance speech for receiving the General James A. Van Fleet Award RM (the leader) says, “We will always remember the history of pain that our two nations share and sacrifices of countless men and women”. This enraged Chinese fans as it allegedly seemed to reflect a “one-sided” attitude, disregarding China’s participation in the Korean War.

Money Heist Korean remake announced
A Korean remake of the absolute masterpiece Spanish Netflix series Money Heist has been confirmed. The remake will be directed by Kim Hong Seon and the screenwriter will be Ryu Yong Jae. Also through some sources, Yoo Ji Tae will play the role of The Professor, Jeon Jong Seo will play the role of Tokyo and Park Hae Joon will play the role of Berlin.

UK BBC praises South Korea’s top actress Kim Hee-ae’s acting skills
Kim Hee Ae’s acting in the 2020 drama, ‘The World of the Married’ was highly appreciated not only in South Korea but also worldwide. Especially because the Korean drama was based on BBC One’s Doctor Foster, Kim Hee Ae’s praise became a matter of national pride.

It’s Okay To Not Be Okay and Kingdom Season 2 on New York Times Best International Shows List
It’s Okay To Not Be Okay featuring Kim Soo Hyun, Oh Jung Se and Seo Ye Ji and Kingdom Season 2 featuring Ju Ji Hoon and Bae Doona was named in the New York Times’ list of the Best International Shows of 2020.

AOA Jimin leaves group over bullying controversy
K-pop undoubtedly has its dark side and it has emerged following in the form of a bullying controversy between former members of girl group AOA and the group’s now-former leader, Jimin. The group’s Ex-member Mina took her social media to reveal that she had been bullied for nearly 10 years by Jimin which led her to become suicidal and commit self-harm. Jimin’s agency later announced that Jimin would be leaving the group.

EXO Chanyeol cheating controversy
Controversy surrounded EXO member Chanyeol when his alleged ex-girlfriend revealed on online platforms and social media that Chanyeol had been cheating on her during their relationship with multiple women including other girl group members, as well as flight attendants and her friends. She also added that Chanyeol did not like another member of EXO which she hinted at being Baekhyun. SM Entertainment released a statement regarding this by saying that they have no official position in this matter.

Korean Military Service Act revised for BTS.
The South Korean parliament passed a bill this year which allows BTS and other equally influential stars to postpone their mandatory military service until 30 years old. The revised Military Service Act states that “Military Service Act, “a pop culture artist who was recommended by the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism to have greatly enhanced the image of Korea both within the nation and throughout the world”.

BTS’ Suga collaborates with IU
Suga from BTS collaborated with IU to create ‘eight’, a track that was both critically and commercially successful and won numerous awards in South Korea.

Red Velvet Irene behavior controversy
Red Velvet’s Irene was called out for allegedly mistreating and misbehaving with a fashion editor during a photo-shoot as she humiliated the latter. The fashion editor took to Instagram to elaborate upon the “verbal abuse” she had faced from a certain girl group idol. Fans deduced this to be Red Velvet’s Irene who quickly apologized for her behavior through a post on Instagram. SM Entertainment also released a statement apologizing for Irene’s behavior and assuring fans that such a thing would never happen again.

Sunmi admits to being diagnosed with a borderline personality disorder
On an episode of Mnet’s Running Mates, Sunmi confesses that she was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder five years ago. She said, “I was diagnosed five years ago with a borderline personality disorder. That’s what was bothering me, but I felt relieved because I got diagnosed and can get treatment, and I got better after taking medicine. Still, I had to resolve the fundamental thing because it’s the people around the person with a borderline personality disorder that goes through a lot of difficulties”.

SM Entertainment debuts AI group aespa
SM Entertainment debuted their first-ever girl group with an AI counterpart concept called aespa, where each of the members has a virtual avatar. Aespa’s debut with Black Mamba proved to be another incredibly successful debut of the year across the world.

Bighit IPO acquires Zico’s KOZ Entertainment
BigHit Entertainment applied for a pre-IPO consultation with the Korea Exchange. This is required under South Korean law before a company can file paperwork for an IPO. One week later, the company filed for a preliminary review of their planned IPO. On October 15, 2020, Big Hit was listed in the KOSPI index and began trading stocks. This effectively made Bang Si Hyuk and BTS multi-millionaires. BigHit also acquired Zico’s company KOZ Entertainment.

      Agust D becomes the first Asian solo artist to hit #1 on 100 iTunes charts for ‘Daechwita’ and D-2.
In September, BTS Suga also known as Agust D, became the first Korean solo artist to top the single and album iTunes charts in over 100 countries for Daechwita and his second mixtape D-2.

Rain introduces boy group Ciipher
First-generation K-Pop star Rain introduces the first-ever boy group under Rain Company, Ciipher. Fans can’t wait to see what these rookies have in store for them.

Refund Sisters
One of the biggest and highly anticipated project girl groups in the history of K-Pop finally took form in 2020 with Refund Sisters bringing together legends like Uhm Jung Hwa and Lee Hyori with modern superstars Hwasa and Jessi.