As Billboard Korea estimated earlier this week, PSY races up to K-Pop Hot 100 this week with a smashing No. 1 debut for "Gentleman," the follow-up to "Gangnam Style" that had at one point tied the record for longest No. 1.
Upon its release, "Gentleman" ruled digital distributors in Korea. Unlike in America, which uses one or two main digital music stores, there are many different outlets in South Korea. Digital communities that combine the data to report how singles are selling saw huge sales in “Gentleman” from its first hour of availability. PSY had been reported to be topping every one of Korea’s digital charts which is clearly seen in the chart that combines all this data into one: the K-Pop Hot 100.
“Gangnam Style” started at No. 6 on the chart before rising to No. 1 for five weeks last summer. It’s a particularly hot time for K-pop though and there’s some singles that may pose a big threat to a major chart run.
The living legend of Korean music, Cho Yong Pil, is finally making an official comeback after a long, 10-year hiatus. To build anticipation for his upcoming 19th full-length album (scheduled for release on April 23) he pre-released a track, "Bounce," on April 16, which starts at No. 47 this week. As the title suggests, "Bounce" is a bouncy, rhythmic track that fuses drum, piano and acoustic guitar. In commemoration of his album release, Cho Yong Pil will hold a showcase for the first time in his 45-year musical career. With the release of his eagerly-anticipated album, one can expect to see more of his singles chart within the next few weeks. “Bounce” may have a major chance at snatching the top slot from PSY as the song has captured the nation’s attention with his majorly-anticipated comeback. The song has even caught top K-pop idols’ eyes like BIGBANG’s G-Dragon, Girls’ Generation’s Tae Yeon and SHINee’s Jonghyun. See a preview below:
The second highest debut of the week was Lyn’s collaboration with BAE CHI GI “Tonight.” The light-hearted piano-led hip-hop/pop track with playful lyrics about wanting to see your significant other. The track showcases both Lyn’s airy vocal approach while BAE CHI GI ride their smooth rapping style with clever lyrics. Both Lyn and BAE CHI GI have earned No. 1s on the chart with the ballad queen ruling for four weeks with “To Turn Back Hands of Time” in February 2012 while the hip hop duo topped for two weeks with “Shower of Tears” featuring Ailee. K-pop singles turn to rise on their second week on the chart. While PSY may rise as well, the team up is definite competition.
Singer/actor Seo In Kuk also had a major debut on the chart with new track, “With Laughter Or With Tears.” Just like Lyn and BAE CHI GI, he also has a former No. 1. He ruled the chart for three weeks with his soundtrack song “All for You” that featured Jeong Eun Ji of seven-member girl group A Pink. “With Laughter or Tears” is another heartfelt mid-tempo. The combination worked last time. Perhaps it can work again? He doesn’t have the charismatic A Pink vocalist on his side this time, but that does not mean he should be counted out.
Other notable chart achievements come from the American-bred and, at times, very controversial Jay Park with new single debuting at No. 8. Rookie JYP Entertainment act 15& also rise to the Top 10 with their new single "Somebody." Their first single, "I Dream," just missed the Top 10 peaking at No. 11 upon release.
Will PSY stay at No. 1? Check back Thursday when the K-Pop Hot 100, along all the other Billboard charts, are refreshed.