With 2021 coming to an end, some K-Pop fans on Reddit have been looking back at predictions that they made for the year and seeing how many of them were right. While many, of course, didn’t come true, several of them actually did, and some were less likely than others! Here are 9 predictions that fans made for 2021 that ended up becoming reality.
1. SHINee would make a long-awaited comeback, and Taemin would enlist.
Prior to this year, SHINee’s last comeback as a full group was in September 2018, when they released the compilation album The Story of Light Epilogue. Between then and now, the three oldest members of SHINee completed their military enlistments, with Taemin’s set to happen this year or the next. Because of this, fans speculated that the group would have a comeback with all four members this year, and they were right! Don’t Call Me came out on February 22, with the repackaged Atlantis released on April 12.
2. A second BLACKPINK member would have a solo debut.
Not only did a second BLACKPINK member have a solo debut, but a third one did as well! After Jennie debuted as a soloist in 2018, BLINKs have been waiting for the other members to get their time to shine as individuals as well. Fortunately, both Rosé and Lisa got their chance this year, with Rosé releasing R on March 12, and Lisa’s LALISA released on September 10.
3. LOONA’s Haseul would return from hiatus.
LOONA’s vocal queen, Haseul, has been on hiatus since January of 2020, in order for her to rest and work on her mental health. The group had a couple of comebacks without her, making fans worry that she might end up leaving the group completely, but they were relieved when she made her official return to the group in June this year with their “PTT (Paint The Town)” comeback!
4. ATEEZ’s Mingi would return from hiatus.
Mingi was also on a hiatus to work on his mental health at the beginning of 2021, after announcing his break from ATEEZ’s activities in November of 2020. Though he participated on the group’s first album of this year, ZERO: FEVER Part.2, he wasn’t actively part of promotions again until later in the year. Thankfully, he felt fully recovered by the time that ZERO: FEVER Part.3 was released in September, after making his official comeback to the group in July!
5. Wendy would return from hiatus, and Red Velvet would have a full group comeback.
Wendy was yet another idol who had been on an extended hiatus from her group, after her tragic and terrifying accident during a rehearsal in December 2019. Fans were extremely worried about her for some time after hearing that she required extensive hospital care. Thankfully, however, after about a year and a half of much-needed rest, Wendy made a solo debut in April this year with Like Water, and also returned to Red Velvet for their full-group comeback, Queendom, in August!
6. An older, lesser-known K-Pop group would have a sudden and huge success.
This was a bit vaguer of a prediction, but some fans speculated that a “nugu” group, or one that is relatively unknown to mainstream K-Pop fans, would finally make their break in the industry in 2021. Much to many fans’ delight, Brave Girls did exactly that! Their song “Rollin'” finally had its time to shine about four years after its original release in 2017, and its virality led the girls to having another successful comeback with “Chi Mat Ba Ram” later in the year.
7. EXO would have a long-awaited comeback after D.O. returned from military enlistment.
EXO is another group that fans have been patiently waiting for a full-group comeback for, since their last release as a whole unit was in November 2019 with Obsession. With D.O. set to finish his military enlistment this year while others were planning on starting theirs, fans thought that 2021 would be a good year for a comeback for the group, and they were right! EXO released Don’t Fight The Feeling on June 7, and D.O. also made his solo debut with Empathy on July 26.
8. ENHYPEN would break records as a rookie group.
ENHYPEN has certainly proven they’re a rookie group to be reckoned with in 2021! Both of their album releases this year — Border: Carnival and Dimension: Dilemma — made record sales for a rookie group, and the latter of them is the best-selling album by a fourth generation K-Pop artist (as well as the 16th best-selling album by a K-Pop group in the first week, surpassed only by third generation groups). They’ve also won several awards, including the “Best New Male Artist” award at the 2021 MAMAs and the “Rookie Artist of the Year” award at the 2021 Golden Disc Awards!
9. Aespa’s popularity would massively grow.
Finally, fans also speculated that aespa’s popularity and success would see a huge increase in 2021, and they were right on several levels. Their music videos have reached the hundreds of millions of views in short periods of time; their first EP, Savage, sold over half a million copies; and, like ENHYPEN, they’ve won several music show awards already, including “Best Group — Female”, “New Artist of the Year — Female”, and “Record of the Year (Daesang)” at the 2021 Melon Music Awards, and “Best Dance Performance” and “Best New Female Artist” at the 2021 MAMAs!