Latest K-pop News: BTS’ Jin begins military service as fellow band member Jungkook breaks streaming record

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BTS' Jungkook at the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Red Carpet
Johnny Nunez / Getty Images

Is there ever a dull moment on the K-pop scene? As always, Korean heartthrobs BTS are snatching headlines all over. If it isn’t one member smashing a streaming record, it’s another enlisting in the military and shaving his head (we’re still mourning the soft, bouncy hair). But BTS aren’t the only ones making waves; fellow boy band BLANK2Y and girl groups Momoland and Lapillus are chasing stardom for themselves as they prepare to perform in Hanoi, Vietnam. You’ve no doubt been exposed to our Marvel, Star Wars, horror and fantasy round-ups, but We Got This Covered welcomes you to our first K-pop news round-up of hopefully many.

K-pop, the shortened version of Korean popular music, originally gained popularity with “idol” culture in the 1990s and eventually grew into the subculture that has garnered thousands upon thousands of international fans. Thanks to the blend of melodies, out-the-box choreography and attractive Korean performers, the musical sub-genre has become a global phenomenon. Perhaps the most well-known K-pop groups include BTS and BLACKPINK, both of whom are integrating into modern English society and smashing charts outside of Korea in places like the United Kingdom and the United States. But enough with the chit-chat, let’s see what the K-pop world has in store for us on this fine Wednesday.

Momoland, BLANK2Y, and Lapillus will perform at Dong KinhNghia Thuc Square in Hanoi

BLANK2Y Korean boy band
Image via Billboard Korea

Originating from the 2016 reality show Finding Momoland, the South Korean girl group Momoland debuted with their mini album Welcome to Momoland that same year. Fresh on the heels of BTS’ success, there’s a new boy band in town: BLANK2Y. The nine-member band debuted in May 2022 with their first EP titled K2Y I: Confidence [Thumbs Up]. Last but not least, Lapillus entered the K-pop limelight a month after BLANK2Y in June 2022 with their single album Hit Ya!, but member Bessie is currently on hiatus due to health issues. Momoland is more established than BLANK2Y and Lapillus, which are both rookie groups. All three groups are looking to make themselves known to the Vietnamese public on Dec. 17 and 18 when they perform at the 2022 Korea Culture And Tourism Days at the Dong KinhNghia Thuc Square in Hanoi.

Fans wave farewell to a K-pop icon as BTS’ Jin sports a buzzcut and begins military service

BTS' Jin shaves head
Image via Weverse

It’s been common knowledge for a while now that all members of BTS are enlisting in the military in the coming years. It was apparent for a long time that 30-year-old Jin would be enlisting after promoting his solo single, “The Astronaut,” at the end of October. Well, we never thought this day would come, but it’s here; Jin has shaved his head in preparation and we’re all mourning his luscious locks. Just kidding… sort of. But the BTS Army are still devastated that Jin will be taking a temporary hiatus to serve his country. Jin wrote, “It looks cuter than expected,” in a post that was re-shared on Twitter.

As South Korea continues to wage war against their neighbors North Korea, all able-bodied men are required to serve. As the BBC reports, Jin has begun five weeks’ training at a bootcamp near the North Korean border. The BTS Army are in a frenzy over the dangerous scenarios in which Jin could find himself. “Cadets told us that the most challenging tasks they faced were being sealed in a gas chamber, to experience the effects of CS gas, and having to detonate a live grenade.” BTS’ remaining members — RM, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook — are expected to follow in Jin’s footsteps in the future.

Also in BTS World, Jungkook sets a Spotify streaming record as a solo artist

Jungkook performs at the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards
Emma McIntyre / Getty Images

While Jin prepares to undergo rigorous training, BTS’ youngest member, Jungkook, sets a streaming record on Spotify by becoming the app’s most-streamed K-pop solo artist. On Dec. 13, it was announced that Jungkook smashed 676 million streams on Spotify. Before it was revealed that Jungkook had claimed the title, Spotify wrongly stated that BLACKPINK’s Lisa had surpassed all other K-pop solo artists, which resulted in the BTS Army and many disgruntled K-pop fans verbally attacking Lisa on social media. Thankfully, Spotify set the record straight… eventually. Blink’s are still waiting for their apology, however. Prior to Jungkook, it was Lee Ji-Eun, aka IU, who held the record with 675 million streams. It was three songs — Stay Alive, Left and Right, and Dreamers — that propeled Jungkook to such unreachable heights.

Annyeonghi gaseyo (go peacefully), dear K-pop friends. Until next time.