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[Today’s K-pop] Shinee returns stronger than ever

(Credit: SM Entertainment)
(Credit: SM Entertainment)

Shinee discussed their new album “Don’t Call Me” at an online media conference on Monday. 

The quartet is returning as a whole -- after 2 and a 1/2 years -- with its seventh studio album as three of the members completed their military duties. 

“I was nervous and full of worries resuming my career after such a break,” confided leader Onew. “We’ve prepared as much to make up so please keep up your expectations,” he went on, “and I was happy and had so much fun preparing, all of us together.”

“We’ve been in a combat mode,” Minho added. 

“Finally the day has come,” said Key promising that they will stay true to themselves and be diligent as they always have been. 

The same-titled focus track is a hip-hop dance number as a man betrayed by his love warns not to call him. They chose the song because they wanted a dramatic change from what they have been doing, explained Key.

Stray Kids to meet Japanese fans online

(Credit: JYP Entertainment)
(Credit: JYP Entertainment)

Stray Kids will host an online meet with its Japanese fans to mark the first anniversary of its debut. 

Its management company JYP Entertainment confirmed on Monday that the band will hold an event named “STAYing Home Meeting” on March 18. Stay is the name of its official fandom community. 

In addition to celebrate the anniversary, fans will be able to watch the band perform and have a Q&A session with the bandmates via a media platform provided by telecoms company KDDI. 

The eight-piece act debuted in Japan with “SKZ2020,” a compilation of their hits, in March last year. The album was the most sold Kpop album released in Japan in the first half of 2020, according to Tower Records. Its first Japanese single “Top” topped Oricon’s weekly singles chart when it came out in June 2020. 

The boy band held its first fan meeting session via its channel on Naver’s V Live on Saturday looking back at the past three years with fans from around the world. It performed “Pacemaker,” from the first full-length album “Go Live,” for the first time at the live show.

Seventeen’s Mingyu denies bullying rumor 

(Credit: Pledis Entertainment)
(Credit: Pledis Entertainment)

Mingyu of Seventeen strongly denied the allegation that he terrorized classmates when he was in middle school. 

His company Pledis Entertainment released a statement on Monday saying the allegations are not based on facts and the yearbook shown in the photograph the alleged victim posted online as proof is not from the year he attended school. 

“We have confirmed with [the artist] and the claim is clearly untrue,” said the statement, “and we do not understand who is making such claims, with what intentions.”

The person who claimed that he was the victim of bullying said that Mingyu was part of the group that abused him verbally and physically –- such as hitting the face with a bottle cap -- and even asked for money. 

Meanwhile, the band is hosting an online concert for its Japanese fans on April 27 to mark the release of its third single in Japanese “Hitorijyanai.” The single, translated as “You are not alone,” will come out on April 21.

BTS’s V climbs back to top of iTunes chart

(Credit: Big Hit Entertainment)
(Credit: Big Hit Entertainment)

V of BTS became the first Kpop artist to have two US iTunes chart-topper. 

In time for the first anniversary of release, his solo single “Inner Child” climbed back up the iTunes Top Songs chart in the US, this time all the way to the top. This is the second time he ranked first at the chart following the feat of “Sweet Night,” his second solo track also from last year.” 

The song, written by the artist himself, is part of the band’s 2020 “Map of the Soul: 7,” and rose to No. 1 on iTunes songs charts in 89 countries when it came out. 

It was touted by British media NME as the key track on the album which was listed as one of 2020’s best Asian albums and was streamed over 70 million times on Spotify last month. 

By Hwang You-mee