Thursday, 31 October 2013

October Headliners: The Agencies And Artists That Dominated This Month's K-Pop News

October delivered lots of news to make YG's CEO, Yang Hyun Suk happy.

October delivered lots of news to make YG's CEO, Yang Hyun Suk happy.

October was a fascinating month for K-Pop, one where it was evident that the former balance of power was about to return. The headlines of K-Pop news were once again filled with announcements and promotional activities from SM, YG, and JYP Entertainment artists. While there were many successful comebacks launched in October, the completion of the YG Entertainment's competition program WIN, became one of the most talked about issues of the month. Beyond WIN, YG Entertainment delivered so much news within October, that the agency is clear in its intent to become the leader in the return of the Big Three in K-Pop.

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October marked the beginning of announcements in which YG Entertainment laid out the schedule of comeback activities for global sensation, Big Bang. It was known that T.O.P would be releasing his film,Commitment, in November and the artist was actively engaging in promotional activities for the film. However, it was announced that T.O.P would have his first musical solo release in November. Big Bang group mate Taeyang also began to reveal news for his upcoming solo project, solidly ending the month with the release of the teaser for the dubstep influenced Ringa Linga. In addition, G-Dragon continued to topple the competition on music countdown shows and became the recipient of the SIA Style Icon Of The Year award.

Aside from the solo announcements for Big Bang, YG Entertainment's PSY announced plans for the mysteriously named Moonlight Gymnastics concert, which is set to take place December 22, 23, and 24. PSY also revealed that he had collaborated with Aerosmith front man, Steven Tyler, on an upcoming release. Finally, the artist was named along with 2NE1, as being part of an upcoming hologram concert which is set to take place in the UK in early November.

If the announcements regarding Big Bang and PSY were not enough buzz for YG Entertainment, the reception that both Team A and Team B received upon the completion of WIN, were definitely icing on the cake. Although, many fans of YG and K-Pop followed the competition show, the K-Pop world went wild about the Final Battle performances and began to debate whether or not Team A were the rightful winners of the competition. In addition, YG immediately released some of tracks by both Team A and Team B, in a move reminiscent of KPop Star or American Idol. The excitement surrounding WIN continued when it was announced that Team A would be opening for upcoming Big Bang's Dome Tour.

Park Jin Young, CEO of JYP Entertainment and solo artist, kicked off October with the shocking announcement that he would be getting married within the month. Following his marriage, he released information regarding not only his own comeback, but his future plans regarding a new male group, artists JJ Project, and Miss A. After what seemed like a lengthy absence, JYP Entertainment is set to fully return.

In terms of K-Pop comebacks, solo artist IU and JYJ's Kim Jaejoong were the most successful, overcoming what could have been crippling obstacles. Following her SNS photo scandal with Super Junior's Eunhyuk, it seemed like IU would never be known as Korea's Little Sister, again. However, she made huge comeback with the widely successful, jazz influenced album Modern Times. Kim Jaejoong, in a similar move of reinvention, helped to change the way in which K-Pop and K-Rock are viewed with WWW.

Beyond the reemergence of the so-called Big Three in K-Pop, YG Entertainment's dominance in October, and the comebacks, October marked the beginning of the award show bonanza. By comparison to past seasons, networks have made huge strides to include international K-Pop fans in both the voting and viewing processes. With networks supporting online streaming and the inclusion of languages other than Korean and Japanese on voting sites, it is apparent that the industry is beginning to shift towards wider acceptance of international audiences. As this shift occurs, which agencies and artists will continue to evolve; which members of K-Pop industry will be left in the dust?

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