In 2021, despite the pandemic, K-Pop fans have been treated to so many amazing and unforgettable performances from idols. Whether it is on music shows, online concerts, and more platforms, idols have continued to put their blood, sweat, and tears into every performance to ensure that fans enjoy themselves no matter where they are in the world.
Here is a look at the 15 K-Pop performances picked by Genius Korea as the best of the year!
15. “River” – ITZY’s Yeji – Studio Choom
2021 was definitely the year where idols and performers got to showcase their skills for Studio Choom. In particular, ITZY’s Yeji stole the hearts of fans as the Artist of the Month with her performance of “River.” There is no denying Yeji’s performance skills and this sexy performance proved why she is so iconic.
Yeji showcased her sophisticated and sultry side in this classic track during this performance. From her effortless moves to enticing expressions, it was an unforgettable performance that captured the hearts of fans and had everyone talking.
14. “Growl” – Ailee and Gummy – Immortal Songs
Over the years, so many idols and artists have covered EXO’s “Growl,” and added their own stamp to it. Yet, Ailee and Gummy really showcased why they are so unique and talented by turning the track into a rock anthem.
There is no doubt just how talented they both are with vocals that very few can rival. The chemistry between the two and the power of the rendition caught fans’ attention, along with Gummy surprising fans by doing the rap. It was a truly iconic performance.
13. “Eyes, Nose, Lips” – WOODZ – KCON:TACT HI 5
BIGBANG Taeyang’s track “Eyes, Nose, Lips” is one track that every K-Pop fan knows and has been covered so many times. Yet, WOODZ’s version at KCON:TACT stood out to fans for its uniqueness and also showcasing just how talented he is.
With the romantic setting of Paris combined with WOODZ’s honey vocals, it was the perfect performance for fans. Netizens worldwide couldn’t stop praising the cover, which is rare considering just how iconic the song is. Yet, it proves how talented WOODZ is and well-deserved praise.
12. “libidO” – OnlyOneOf – Guilty Pleasure Version
OnlyOneOf caught the attention of fans earlier in the year with the release of their track “libidO” with its unique and risque concept. If the group was affected by the comments by some netizens, they didn’t show it and excited fans even more with the “Guilty Pleasure” version.
All of the members really showcased their sultry and sexy side in the song, and fans couldn’t get enough of how many risks they’d taken with the concept. As a group seen as underrated to many, this track gave them the platform they deserved to gain more attention worldwide.
11. “Butter” – BTS – The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
BTS’s track “Butter” was definitely the perfect summer track and the performances always oozed style and class. In particular, their performance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert stole the hearts of fans with its sophisticated concept and the fact the members were looking very dapper.
However, visuals aside, the members proved why they are so iconic with a pitch-perfect and flawless performance that showcased each members’ talent and personality. With its high-tempo beat, it isn’t surprising that fans worldwide can’t help but dance along.
10. “The Feels” – TWICE – The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
When it comes to feel-good songs of 2021, TWICE’s “The Feels” is definitely on everyone’s playlist. From the bright concept to amazing outfits, their performance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon definitely cemented how iconic it is.
All of the members had their chance to shine, showcasing their singing and dancing talent but also allowing their personalities to shine. As soon as the song started, they were full of energy and it was definitely a performance that got everyone on their feet and dancing.
9. “2 MINUS 1” (Open Mic Performance) – SEVENTEEN – Genius
It seems as if any lists talking about the best of 2021 can’t be truly right without an appearance from SEVENTEEN! Last month, Joshua and Vernon performed a live version of their B-Side track “2 MINUS 1” which showcased both idols’ versatility.
Although there was no dancing, the performance was still captivating as Joshua and Vernon used their body language and facial expressions to tell a story through their track. Both idols looked so comfortable in this setting and hopefully, fans can see more performances like this in the future.
8. Bruno Mars Mix – HOOK – Studio Choom
2021 also saw the rise of reality shows. In particular, Street Woman Fighter gained the attention of fans and created a platform for professional dancers. One team that fans loved was HOOK, and they appeared on Studio Choom’s channel for a performance of Bruno Mars songs.
As expected from the group, their performance was sassy, dynamic, and full of power. Each dancer showcased their own personality, and it isn’t surprising why the world fell in love with all the contestants on the show as they are so talented.
7. “LO$ER=LO♡ER” (Office Attack Ver.) – TXT
Earlier in the year, TXT clowned MOAs by making them watch footage of an elevator for an hour. Luckily, they made it up to fans with an epic “Office Attack” version of their track “LO$ER=LO♡ER.” As expected, the members caused some chaos at HYBE in the performance and it was full of charisma and personality.
The group also proved why they are the “4th generation IT boys,” with their live vocals and flawless dancing in a technically quite difficult song. Considering that they kept fans waiting, it was definitely worth it to see such a badass performance.
6. “The Stealer” (The Scene) – SF9 – Kingdom: The Legendary War
SF9 reminded netizens worldwide that, despite their stunning good looks, that they are a force to be reckoned with during Kingdom. In particular, they caught attention for their sexy and dynamic cover of THE BOYZ’ track “The Stealer.” The group put on a performance worthy of the Oscars, taking the concept literally.
Even with all of the theatrics, SF9 continued to emphasize their talent with vocals by the likes of Inseong shining and main dancer Taeyang, showcasing just why the group is loved by FANTASYs worldwide. It definitely caught the eye of netizens and proved why they deserved to compete.
5. Lili’s Film (The Movie) – BLACKPINK’s Lisa – Lilifilm Official
Before treating the world to her solo debut “LALISA,” BLACKPINK’s Lisa won the hearts of fans with her performance on her YouTube channel. In this unique performance, Lisa showcased her more sophisticated and sultry side with something that looked like a movie.
In particular, Lisa balanced her amazing dancing and performance skills with captivating facial expressions. As always, Lisa proved why she is the “Queen of Performances,” in a video that caught the attention of fans.
4. “Fix You” (Coldplay cover) – BTS – MTV Unplugged
Since debuting, BTS have shown their love and respect for the British band Coldplay. Although Coldplay never let other groups cover their tracks, they made an exception for BTS and ARMYs were treated to an amazing rendition of the track “Fix You.”
Filled with emotion from the start, BTS showcased their stunning vocals, putting their own stamp on an iconic song and keeping the track’s meaningful message. Each member had a chance to shine and means even more after the group collaborated with Coldplay for the track “My Universe.”
3. Intro+Spider (Special Stage) – SEVENTEEN’s Hoshi – M Countdown
SEVENTEEN’s Hoshi is known for his amazing performance skills as the leader of the group’s performance team. Yet, after releasing his debut solo track “Spider” earlier in the year, Hoshi’s proved that he is literally good at everything with a track that pushed the boundaries of performance for an extremely unique choreography.
During his stage on M Countdown, Hoshi started the performance with an intense and creative intro where he was in a spider’s web formed by his dancers. Throughout the intro and the main performance, Hoshi used every part of his performance to tell a story.
2. “Tail” – Sunmi – Studio Choom
Sunmi is always iconic whenever she steps on stage and performs any of her songs. Yet, it was her Studio Choom rendition of her track “Tail” that caught the attention of fans. Wearing a sexy black outfit, Sunmi radiates girl crush vibes in a powerful anthem.
Yet, Sunmi’s visuals shouldn’t overshadow her talent. Throughout the video, Sunmi has this unrivaled presence and uses her years of experience to work with her dancers to create something effortlessly stylish.
1. “Symphony No.9 ‘From The Wonderland'” – ATEEZ – Kingdom: The Legendary War
ATEEZ has taken the top spot on the list with another performance from Kingdom. As always, the group proved why they have taken the world by storm this year by putting a unique twist on their classic track “Wonderland.” Playing on the pirate and nautical theme of the group, everything was amazing from the costumes, set, and choreography.
In particular, despite the theatrical set, it never drew away from the core performance, from maknae Jongho‘s amazing voice to acting skills of Seonghwa and dancing of Wooyoung! Although the group didn’t win the competition, they won the hearts of netizens worldwide with their truly epic performance.