BIG 3’s achievements in 2021: SM “on the next level” thanks to aespa, YG artists are familiar faces on magazines, JYP’s disappointing performance

After many significant events throughout the whole year, 2021 is finally about to end soon. Especially, artists of the Big 3 companies, SM – YG – JYP, have gained lots of achievements.

SM Entertainment has had a splendid year thanks to aespa and NCT’s successes. YG’s idols and dancers decorated magazines’ covers continuously. Meanwhile, JYP Entertainment was left behind with poorer performances.

BIG 3’s achievements in 2021
Many changes have happened to the Big 3 companies in 2021

SM Entertainment had a successful year with explosive performances of aespa and NCT

In 2021 alone, aespa brought home many amazing achievements. Despite having debuted for only 1 year, this SM girl group has amazed everyone with their great potential. Sweeping all domestic charts with their back-to-back hits “Next Level” and “Savage”. In particular, “Next Level” caused a craze on SNS because of its addictive beat, and its choreography also created a dance cover trend. Meanwhile, “Savage” helped aespa get their first Perfect All-kill (PAK), becoming the first and only 4th generation group to achieve a PAK at this time.

Notably, aespa also won their first Daesangs – the Performance of the Year at 2021 Asia Artist Awards and Record of the Year at 2021 Melon Music Awards. Not only that, aespa members also proved themselves as promising stars in the fashion world by getting promoted as ambassadors and muses for many famous brands.

BIG 3’s achievements in 2021
aespa is one of the most impressive girl groups in 2021

Apart from aespa, boy group NCT also carried out activities enthusiastically and made great strides in their career. In 2021, all NCT units released albums and gained remarkable achievements. In particular, their albums recorded enormous sales and even exceeded “millions” copies. Most recently, album “Universe” recorded a number of pre-orders exceeding 1.7 million, making NCT the best-selling boy group of 2021.

BIG 3’s achievements in 2021
NCT is one of the “million sellers” of KPOP

YG artists constantly grace magazine covers 

Throughout 2021, YG artists engage in various activities. Most notable among those are the solo debuts of two BLACKPINK members – Rosé and Lisa.

In March, Rosé released the album -R- consisting of two songs On The Ground and Gone and achieved good results on both domestic and international charts. Following her fellow member, Lisa took the music industry by storm with the release of LALISA in September. Aside from the duo from BLACKPINK, in December, YG also launched solo album INFINITY for Winner’s Mino

BIG 3’s achievements in 2021
YG artists focus on solo activities in 2021

Not only releasing new music, YG artists are also featured in well-known fashion and lifestyle magazines. BLACKPINK is a prime example by constantly appearing in major magazines such as W, Vogue Korea, Harper’s Bazaar.

Besides BLACKPINK members, rapper Mino also became the cover star of W Korea. Model and actress Lee Sung Kyung did a beauty pictorial for Harper’s Bazaar Korea.

YG’s dancers, YGX had a fashion pictorial with Elle Korea along with other dance crews on Street Woman Fighter.The famous Kwon Twins also had a photoshoot for W Korea.

BIG 3’s achievements in 2021
YG’s artists are constantly featured in famous magazines 

JYP artists lose the hype 

Unlike YG and SM, 2021 does not seem to be JYP’s year. Many netizens think that the company is showing signs of going downhill this year. Two girl groups TWICE and ITZY are falling behind in achievements compared to their rivals of the same generations.

Although TWICE achieved many good results with 2 albums Taste Of Love and Formula of Love: O+T=<3, the title songs Alcohol-Free and Scientist did not live up to the public’s expectations and could not make it to the top of digital music charts in Korea.

BIG 3’s achievements in 2021
TWICE had an underwhelming performance on Korean charts in 2021 

2021 is also deemed a not so lucky year for ITZY. Both title tracks of the 5-member girl group did not do well on domestic charts this year. Lia getting involved in a controversy over school bullying also damaged ITZY’s positive image in the public eye

BIG 3’s achievements in 2021
ITZY is gradually losing popularity in Korea 

In addition to the striking decline in the girl groups’ digital sales, sad news broke at the beginning of this year to fans of JYP’s highest-earning boy group when all members of GOT7 decided to part ways with JYP and head to new agencies. Famous boyband Day6 also saw many changes and there is a high chance they will not renew the contract with JYP. 

BIG 3’s achievements in 2021
Male artists move on from JYP

The trio of major Kpop entertainment companies witnessed many changes in 2021. Fans are expecting SM – YG – JYP artists to have more explosive activities in the upcoming year, especially with the long-awaited debuts of JYP and YG’s new girl groups.


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