The latest K-pop news in June 2023 from EXO, Ateez and more

In the world of K-pop


By Marissa Chin

IMAGES: BeLift Lab | SM Entertainment
The latest K-pop news in June 2023 from EXO, Ateez and more

The K-pop industry moves fast. With the plethora of song releases, music video drops—the occasional lawsuit—and industry moves happening every week, it can be a lot to catch up on if you’re not on top of your game. Thankfully, we’re here to get you up to speed on what has been going down in the realm of K-pop in June 2023 so far.


EXO gets fans excited with Let Me In amidst lawsuit drama

As one of K-pop’s biggest boy groups, fans have been eagerly anticipating EXO’s comeback since their last release back in 2021. On 12 June, the fandom (known as EXO-Ls) finally saw their favourites together again for their pre-release song Let Me In. The track and music video comes ahead of their full-length studio album release in July titled Exist

However, EXO’s long-awaited comeback is bittersweet for many fans as it comes in the midst of a lawsuit by members Baekhyun, Chen and Xiumin. The three vocalists (who have also been promoted as a subunit known as EXO-CBX) sought to terminate their contracts with SM Entertainment on 1 June as it was revealed their new contracts would bind them for as long as 17 years. They have also cited a lack of transparency on payments. As the lawsuit is ongoing, the three members will continue to promote with the rest of the group until a conclusion is reached.


Blackpink’s Jennie personally updates fans on her recovery

Last weekend, Blackpink’s Jennie raised concern for fans after she unexpectedly left the stage in the middle of her Melbourne concert due to her deteriorating health condition. On June 13, the singer and actress took to her Instagram Stories to update Blinks on her current status and apologise for not being able to finish the concert. In her message, she wrote, “Dear Melbourne Blinks, I’m so sorry I wasn’t able to finish the show on Sunday. I’m doing my best to recover at the moment. Your understanding and support mean the world to me. Thank you to everyone who came out to our Melbourne show. Love you guys.” Here’s to a speedy recovery, Jennie!


Ateez gets Bouncy in spicy title track 

Today, popular boy group Ateez fires up our screens with the spicy drop of their title track Bouncy (K-Hot Chilli Peppers) for their latest EP The World EP.2: Outlaw. The eight-member ensemble is known for its hard-hitting hip-hop sound with a strong emphasis on conveying a message of personal freedom. It’s no different in Bouncy, except the song also revolves around the theme of Korean Cheongyang chilli peppers (native chilli peppers with an intensity of 10,000 Scoville heat units) to convey Ateez’s explosive passion and choreography.


Seventeen’s Hoshi releases Stay on his birthday

Instead of being on the receiving end of gifts on his birthday, Hoshi of Seventeen decided to gift his fans a self-composed and self-written track! Titled Stay, the sweet song was unveiled together with a music video on 15 June. It reflects Hoshi’s gratitude towards his fans and implores them to keep staying by his side forever. Part of the 13-membered group, Hoshi is the leader of the performance unit and is known for his fluid and powerful dancing—we can add singing too from the sound of Stay


Dara is gearing up for her solo debut! 


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A post shared by Sandara Park (@daraxxi)

Legendary girl group 2NE1 will always have a special place in the hearts of K-pop fans all around the world. After the group went their separate ways in 2016, CL, Minzy and Park Bom have gone on to establish their solo music careers. Now, Sandara Park (known as Dara) will finally be making her highly anticipated solo debut which comes 14 years after her debut in 2NE1! The singer teased her mini-album release on Instagram and said, “Finally, Singer Dara is back with a solo special mini album for my fans. Thank you so much for waiting. Nolza~!!!” With her opening her official TikTok account just yesterday, fans are only getting more excited for her solo drop!


BeLift Lab’s newest survival show R U Next? teases female contestants

BeLift Lab’s first survival show I-Land, which debuted in 2020, was hugely successful in producing the now immensely popular boy group Enhypen. Now, the agency is seeking to recreate that magic with the debut of its first-ever girl group in the upcoming survival reality program R U Next? The show’s theme song, R.U.N, is sung by popular idol-turned-actress Bae Suzy.

Today, BeLift Lab—a joint venture between CJ Entertainment and Hybe Labels—introduced its 22 female contestants in individual profile films so audiences can get acquainted and choose their early favourites. The show will see Girls’ Generation’s Sooyoung as the host and the K-pop idol hopefuls battling each other in seven rounds of missions for a coveted spot in the final lineup. The show will premiere on 30 June on JTBC.


BTS celebrates their 10-year anniversary with ARMYs

13 June is a special day for ARMYs all around the world as it marks the date K-pop icons BTS made their debut back in 2013. The members and fans celebrated the group’s 10th year in the industry with a week-long countdown called Festa, in which never-before-seen clips and performances are released. As a special gift to ARMYs, BTS released a new song titled Take Two with all seven members and Jin (who is currently serving his military service) even made an appearance on Suga’s talk show. Further, major landmarks in Seoul such as Namsan Tower and Banpo Bridge were illuminated in purple, the representative colour of the fandom to congratulate BTS on hitting the 10-year milestone.


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