BTS lost No.1 the most representative artist of Kpop 2021 to SM’s Gen Z boy group, BLACKPINK and TWICE almost dropped out of the top 10

In the first half of 2021, Kpop has had many exciting activities from many hit names.

2021 is halfway through, K-pop during the epidemic period has limited direct activities, but the artists are still very active. In the first half of this year, the physical album market grew 34,25% compared to the same period last year. In addition, global album sales also showed a high growth rate, up to 50.02%. This represents the expansion of the K-pop fandom worldwide.

And to “measure” the popularity of Kpop idols, Hanteo has announced the Top 50 Kpop artists in the first half of 2021. Top 50 are selected based on the following criteria: Album sales, broadcasts, media/music programs, social data, portals, worldwide fandom. Let’s see, which are the idols that have contributed to making Kpop become more popular globally in recent years.

1. NCT Dream

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The top position surprisingly belonged to NCT Dream. SM’s “youngest” boy group had a spectacular comeback with all 7 members after 3 years through the full album “Hot Sauce”. The album has reached 2 million album sales in just 16 days. NCT Dream surpassed a lot of seniors to become the first SM group to reach 2 million copies in just over 2 weeks.

2. BTS

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Originally dominating the No. 1 position of many charts, but in terms of popularity, BTS only ranked 2. At the beginning of the year, BTS came back with an English single called Butter. The group created a big buzz when staying at No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 5 weeks in a row, continuously winning the weekly music trophy despite not promoting.

3. Baekhyun

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EXO’s Baekhyun released his Bambi album ahead of his enlistment. The album continues to bring Baekhyun an impressive record of millions of copies. The song Bambi is highly appreciated for its quality, continuously reaching the top of the best songs in the first half of 2021.

4. EXO

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EXO has just made a comeback with the special album Don’t Fight The Feeling, achieving the 6th million-selling achievement. Lay’s comeback after 3 years also drew attention.


SEVENTEEN also made a comeback with the album “Your Choice” and the title song “Ready To Love”. This comeback continues to show the group’s stable performance with 1.3 million albums sold in the first week on Hanteo. SEVENTEEN is in the process of promoting and winning music trophies non-stop.

6. IU

IU is the female solo artist with the highest ranking in the top 50. She also just returned with LILAC last March.

7. Rosé

Following IU is Rosé (BLACKPINK). She made her solo debut with On The Ground last March.

8. TXT

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BTS’s ‘younger brother fgroup’, TXT has a comeback with 0X1=LOVESONG (I Know I Love You). The song is also appreciated in terms of quality.


BLACKPINK is the only group that has not made a comeback in the first half of 2021 but is still in the top 10. However, the YG girl group had a very successful online concert earlier this year called The Show.


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The last place in the top 10 belongs to TWICE. The group made a comeback with a summer song titled “Alcohol-Free”.

Source: K14

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