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

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

2020 has been an incredible year for a number of reasons. As the world reels from a deadly virus and embarks on a process of recovery, having completely reset the way humanity perceives life, film, television and music truly protected our sanity through the past year. In particular, Korean culture 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, these mediums could reach places that can’t even be pointed on a map. With this amount of overwhelming love, a strong spotlight has been shed on all the minute events that took place this year in the world of Korean entertainment.

Here are the top Korean newsmakers of 2020:                   

Parasite makes Oscar history with 4 wins

Bong Joon Ho’s social commentary masterpiece Parasite made history at the 92nd Academy Awards, winning 4 Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best International Feature Film respectively.

BTS earns a Grammy Nomination; named TIME’s Entertainer of the Year 2020

BTS gained their first ever Grammy nomination in a major musical category, Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 2021 Grammys. BTS was also named TIME’s Entertainer of the Year 2020, once again, making history.

BLACKPINK’s The Album, Netflix documentary Light Up The Sky; Variety names BLACKPINK Hitmakers’ Group of the Year

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

Chinese fans upset by BTS’ Korean War remark

According to the Global Times, BTS’ acceptance speech for receiving the General James A. Van Fleet Award where RM says, “We will always remember the history of pain that our two nations share together and sacrifices of countless men and women” enraged Chinese fans because it allegedly seemed to reflect a “one-sided” attitude, disregarding China’s participation in the Korean War where they assisted North Korea against South Korea and the United States of America.

Money Heist Korean remake announced

A Korean remake of the mega-hit 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. According to 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.

BigHit debuts ENHYPEN

BigHit Entertainment and CJ E&M’s joint venture BE:LIFT organised I-Land this year, a survival reality show to create a boy group that will debut under BigHit Entertainment. The group that was eventually created out of the show was called ENHYPEN, who went on to have one of the most successful debuts of the year.

UK BBC praises South Korea's top actress Kim Hee-ae’s acting skills

Kim Hee Ae’s acting in the 2020 JTBC drama The World of the Married was highly appreciated not only in South Korea but also worldwide. Especially due to the fact that the Korean drama was based on BBC One’s Doctor Foster, Kim Hee Ae’s praise became a matter of national pride.

AOA Jimin leaves group over bullying controversy

The dark side of K-Pop emerged following the bullying controversy between former members of girl group AOA and the group’s now former leader, Jimin. Ex-member Mina revealed on her social media 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 also surrounded EXO member Chanyeol when his alleged ex-girlfriend revealed on online forums and social media that Chanyeol had been cheating on her during their relationship with multiple women including other girl group members, flight attendants as well as her own friends. She 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.

Red Velvet Irene behaviour controversy

Red Velvet’s Irene was called out for allegedly mistreating and misbehaving with a fashion editor during a photo-shoot which humiliated the latter. The said 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 apologised for her behaviour through a post on Instagram. SM Entertainment also released a statement apologising for Irene’s behaviour and assuring fans that such a thing would never happen again.

It’s Okay To Not Be Okay and Kingdom Season 2 on New York Times Best International Shows List

2 Korean dramas, 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 were named in New York Times’ list of the Best International Shows of 2020.

Sunmi admits to being diagnosed with 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 have 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.

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.

BTS' Suga and IU collaborate

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.

Korean Military Service Act revised for BTS

Finally, 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".

ALSO READ: Peninsula, The Call & more: Here are the top 10 Korean films of 2020 that you should watch

What do you think of these newsmakers? Share your thoughts with Pinkvilla in the comments section below!