While the rest of the world took its time recovering from the pandemic-induced nightmare that was 2020, K-pop came out swinging with milestones, achievements, and record-breaking feats. This was a year for the ages for K-Pop, from BTS' 11-week reign atop the Hot 100 to everything in between.
These South Korean artists continued to push the genre's boundaries by incorporating global elements such as Latin and R&B and rock and electropop.
Have a look at some of the best and most popular K-pop songs from 2021-
'Butter' by BTS
Butter, BTS's second English-language single, was named song of the year. After hearing the K-pop boy band's song, everyone was dancing and craving butter. It dominated radio stations around the world, including the UAE and social media platforms.
The dance-pop track has received 649 million views on YouTube and has topped the charts in South Korea's K-pop 100 and peaking at No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100.
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The song was named "Song of the Year" at the Asia Artist Awards, Melon Music Awards, and Mnet Asian Music Awards.
'House Party by Super Junior
With over 15 years of experience in the music industry, the group visited the UAE in October to perform at The Palm Fountain in Dubai as part of the Korean Festival. During their performance, they debuted their newest song, House Party.
The song, which has over 27 million views on YouTube, is the second from the band's most recent album, The Renaissance.
Its music video has gotten positive feedback for its pandemic and social distancing-friendly theme, which many people found creative and easily relatable.
LaLisa' and 'Money' by Lisa
Lisa from Blackpink broke out of her shell this year when she debuted as a solo artist. Her project LaLisa, named after her full first name, comprises two songs: LaLisa and Money. The single album has broken Spotify records, and LaLisa has 383 million views on YouTube.
Meanwhile, Money, a contemporary American rap music style, will be familiar to anyone who scrolls through TikTok. This song has also received over 360 million views on YouTube. Lisa was named one of Spotify's top 30 K-pop artists to watch in 2021.
Chung Ha – 'Bicycle'
Bicycle, a song about progress, is from Chungha's debut studio album, Querencia. The song features R&B, trap, and dance-pop beats ideal for getting hyped up or getting through an intense workout at the gym.
The music video has over 38 million views on YouTube and debuted at No. 11 on the Billboard World Digital Song Sales chart.
TWICE – 'The Feels'
TWICE's first English-language single demonstrated to the rest of the world what ONCE already knew: a girl group powered by the power of bright, upbeat pop and a knack for concocting bubbly dream worlds through their songs. The unapologetically giddy 'The Feels' hits you right in the feels, as the group depicts the fizzing sensation of someone else taking over your heart.
Next Level' by Aespa
Aespa is one of the newest, but also one of the fastest, groups to make a name for themselves in the K-pop industry worldwide. The group stands out in every way, from their dance moves to their lyrics.
They were nominated for TikTok's Song of the Year and won Best Dance Performance at its MNet Asian Music Awards. Next Level was also named the best K-pop song of 2021 by Spotify.