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Little Movement on K-Pop Hot 100 As Industry Grieves Sewol Ferry Disaster

Billboard chart highlights from the K-Pop Hot 100 and beyond featuring PSY, Akdong Musician, HIGH4, Girls' Generation, IU, 15& and more.

South Korea’s entertainment industry has been on a complete hold with artists halting promotions, as well as canceling forthcoming concerts and events in respect to the recent Sewol ferry disaster that took place in Korea on April 16. On the way to Jeju island, the 6,825-ton ferry capsized and sank while carrying 476 passengers — mostly students from Danwon High School. As of late Thursday, the death toll has surpassed 150 passengers as divers recovered bodies from the submerged ship. More than 140 passengers remain missing, while 174 have been rescued. 


As the entire nation is mourning the loss of the tragic accident, all major music chart TV programs, as well as variety programs have been canceled for its second consecutive week. K-pop stars including EXO, Block B, G.NA, Junggigo, Lena Park, Fiestar and T-ara’s Jiyeon — who were slated to make a comeback or release new material — have postponed their schedules indefinitely to pay respect and condolences to the victims of one of the most heartbreaking catastrophes in the country. As a result, there hasn’t been any big chart change on K-pop Hot 100 this week.

Celebrities have taken to their social media accounts (or SNS) to share their thoughts and prayers, joining the Yellow Ribbon Campaign by posting an image of a yellow ribbon. A slew of top stars and fans alike have been donating relief goods as well as money to the cause. Some celebrities made a visit to the harbor of Jindo island where family and friends are gathered as they desperately wait for the return of their loved ones. 



The exhausting search has entered its second week and with a series of funerals being held and ongoing investigations, K-pop artists, actors and entertainers continue to put off concerts and events. It is still undetermined when TV programs will start airing on schedule.

But as we do every week, let’s take a deeper look at the chart numbers.

Brother-sister duo Akdong Musician (aka AKMU) remain atop the K-Pop Hot 100 with their official debut single “200%” While all 11 tracks on AKMU’s “Play” performed well on the K-Pop Hot 100 last week, every track except “200%” shifts down the chart a few spots this week.

Following second single “Melted” (aT No. 10 this week, down from No. 8), the group’s record label YG Entertainment announced that a music video for a third single “Melted” (No. 6, down from No. 3) will be released eventually. 

HIGH4’s “Not Spring, Love or Cherry Blossoms” featuring IU spends another week at No. 2. Both “200%” and “Not” were top sellers before the ferry incident. The video for “200%” has earned nearly 3.5 million views on YouTube while “Not” has 3.2 million.

One of the most notable chart moves comes from female duo 15& with their new digital single “Can’t Hide It,” which zooms up to No. 3 from No. 11. The teenage duo performed on K-pop reality singing competition “K-pop Star 3” to debut the track. 15& member Jimin won the first season of “K-pop Star” which led her to sign with JYP Entertainment (home to Wonder Girls, 2PM, miss A, 2AM) and eventually debuted as a duo with Yerin.

The smoky R&B duet showcases the girls’ mature vocals, letting their talents take front and center. “Can’t Hide It” is 15&’s highest-charting single to date and first appearance in the K-Pop chart Top 5. Watch their live performance below:

K-Pop on Other Billboard Charts:
Streaming Songs: PSY’s “Gangnam Style” stays put at No. 8 in its 56th week on the chart.
Dance/Electronic Streaming Songs: PSY’s “Gangnam Style” stays strong at No. 2 in its 46th week on the chart.
World Digital Songs (Highlights – Full Chart Available to Subscribers): Akdong Musician’s “Melted” (below) is the highest debut at No. 21, likely influenced by the official video release. Girls’ Generation’s “Mr.Mr.” re-enters the chart at No. 25 for its seventh non-consecutive week on the chart.

Go to the K-Pop Hot 100 here.