Lee Hi Nabs Second No. 1 Debut in Korea, Kara's No. 2 in Japan

If anyone thought Lee Hi earning a No. 1 out of the gate with her first single "1,2,3,4" in November was a fluke, think again: she's done it again with her new single "Rose."

She premiered the first new track from her album "First Love," titled "It's Over," in early March that followed the same funky, soul-pop style of “1,2,3,4.” Her latest “Rose” is a subtly dramatic dance track that is sure to put the young star’s captivating voice at the forefront. The song was pushed back a week from its original release date, but the results seemed worth it.

Singer, songwriter and prolific producer Ra.D (who created Lee Seung Gi’s 2011 No. 1 “Era of Love”) broke his four-year hiatus with the release of his “Small Story” EP. The release consists of six tracks, including “It’s Been So Long” which peaked at No. 8 on the K-Pop Hot 100 earlier. The official single track “Thank You” skyrockets in for a No. 10 debut this week. The refreshing acoustic guitar track is about a couple who reconfirm their love and gratitude for each other after going through a period of ennui. 

Youn ha’s “Unacceptable” climbs into the Top 10 to the No. 6 spot from No. 13 this week. The song was composed/scripted by Naul, who topped the chart for three consecutive weeks in October 2012 with his ballad “Memory Of The Wind.”  This subtle, sorrowful ballad is about a girl in denial about her breakup. Youn ha’s lyrics express emotional confusion as begging her lover to come back with her strikingly deep vocals.  Naul adds depth to the song as he lends his voice in the chorus. 

Elsewhere on the chart, Busker Busker continues to prove that "Cherry Blossom Ending" is a new anthem for South Korea's spring only slipping to No. 2 after returning to No. 1 a year after topping the chart in 2012. Like "Cherry Blossom Ending," Nos. 3-5 (Davichi's mid-tempo, harmony-heavy "Turtle," Girls' Generation leader Tae Yeon's ballad "And One" and Akdong Musician's new release "Crescendo") are all shifted down one spot from last week. Charismatic seven-member boy band INFINITE's one-year comeback single "Man in Love" falls two slots to No. 8. 

Even with spring around the corner, The One's soundtrack single "Winter Love" jumps up one spot to No. 7. K-diva Baek Ji Young makes a big splash on this week's chart with her new ballad "Acacia" jumping to No. 9 from No. 38.

There is no lack of K-pop on the Japan Hot 100 this week either. Kara, who landed their first No. 1 on the Japan chart with "Electric Boy" last year, end up at No. 2 on the chart with their new single "Bye Bye Happy Days!" Popular K-pop boy band Boyfriend see their third Japanese single "Hitomi No Melody" at No. 5 while rock-pop outfit FT Island begins just behind at No. 6 with "You Are My Life." Controversial girl group T-ara slide to No. 28 after their first original Japanese single "Banisuta!" (or "Bunny Style!") peaked at No. 3 last week.