Throughout 2021, just five K-pop acts reached the Hot 100, with nine different tracks finding space on the tally for at least one frame. BTS collected four new wins, including a trio of No. 1 debuts, but that globe-dominating band wasn’t the only name to break onto the list. In fact, 2021 was a big year for new acts from the K-pop space hitting the Hot 100 for the first time, with three beloved talents placing their first tune (or tunes) on the ranking.
Here are the three K-pop musicians who landed on the Hot 100 for the first time in 2021.
Blackpink member Rosé started 2021 off right by officially launching her solo career, and fans were eager to show the singer that they loved her and supported her, whether on her own or with the band that made her a star. The powerhouse shared a single album titled, simply, R, and it produced the lead single “On the Ground.” That tune blasted onto the Hot 100 at No. 70, and while it only held on for one frame, it made the performer just the second solo female K-pop musician to appear on the tally.
Almost exactly six months after Rosé debuted on the Hot 100, she was joined by fellow Blackpink artist Lisa, who became the second member from the girl group and just the third solo woman in the K-pop space to find her way to the list. Lisa’s debut single “Lalisa,” also the name of her first single album, opened at No. 84 on the chart, and then disappeared.
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Incredibly, the only other song Lisa released as part of her first era as a soloist also reached the Hot 100. B-side “Money” peaked at No. 90, but it held on for a pair of frames, making it a very rare and special hit among women in K-pop.
In October, Twice tried something new by dropping their first single written and recorded specifically for English listeners, and American fans of the South Korean band reacted positively. The catchy and upbeat “The Feels” quickly debuted at No. 83 on the Hot 100, and by landing anywhere on the list, Twice became just the third girl group to place a tune on the ranking, following in the footsteps of Wonder Girls and Blackpink. “The Feels” preceded the release of their album Formula of Love: O+T=<3, which also became a historic win on its respective roster.