We know that you know it’s been a crazy year for just about everyone. But one group making it through the madness in style and bringing some sparkle to our 2020 is ITZY. As they only debuted last year, we would have understood if Yeji, Lia, Ryujin, Chaeryeong, and Yuna had decided to take it slow during a global pandemic. But being the K-pop super rookies they are, these girls weren’t shy in the face of a challenge. They took the opportunity to release two mini-albums, put on stunning performances, show off their creative sides, and communicate with their fans, MIDZY. They really said, “we’re going to make 2020 our year” and we are so glad they did!
ITZY kicked off 2020 in the best possible way: with the recognition they deserved for their unbelievable debut year. They received the New Artist Award at the Seoul Music Awards and the Rookie of the Year Award at the prestigious Golden Disk Awards, where they were also awarded a Digital Bonsang for ‘Dalla Dalla.’ On top of all that, they won the Soribada New K-Wave Artist Award for representing the 4th generation to a global audience. Deserved.
January also saw the girls continuing their first showcase tour ITZY Premiere Showcase Tour “ITZY? ITZY!” in the USA. The second leg of their tour kicked off in Los Angeles and visited Minneapolis, Houston, and Washington D.C. before ending with a bang in New York City. During the show, they treated us to high energy performances of their hits, jaw-dropping covers of their label-mates’ songs, and plenty of fun games. Considering all the canceled plans and restrictions this year, we feel truly blessed that ITZY were able to perform for their international fans.
In the first of their stunning comebacks of 2020, ITZY released mini-album It’z Me in March and left us all speechless. The record debuted at No. 1 on the Gaon Album Chart, making it their first to top the chart in South Korea. It is also their highest-charting entry on Billboard’s World Albums Chart, reaching No. 5. With perfectly synchronized dance moves, a catchy hook, and gorgeous visuals, their lead single ‘WANNABE’ was always set for success. They won an impressive eight times on domestic music shows, continuing to prove their support from the general public, as well as their loyal fans.
Just five months later, our queens of self-love were back again, this time with their confident take on romance. Their third mini-album Not Shy brought us six new tracks to keep us dancing through the summer months. The EP followed their previous release’s footsteps to claim the top spot on the Gaon Album Chart with over 200,000 sales. Title track ‘Not Shy’ also received excellent critical reception in South Korea and overseas, achieving five wins on music shows. It was also named as one of TIME‘s 10 songs that “defined K-pop’s monumental year in 2020,” thanks to the members’ sassy delivery!
Streaming is becoming ever more important in K-pop culture, and MIDZY really showed their charting power this year! Luckily, ITZY keeps coming out with bops, which makes listening to their music on repeat a lot of fun. According to Spotify, ‘Wannabe’ was the 10th most-streamed K-pop song globally in 2020, beating many other popular groups to claim a place on the list. The official MV was also the sixth most popular music video in South Korea for the entire year. Given how addictive both the song and video are, this doesn’t surprise us one bit!
We were very excited to hear that ITZY had teamed up with Line Friends to bring us their very own characters called WDZY. The adorable creations Hatt, Lya, Tuk, Chung-ee, and Cabbit, represent each of the members and were specially designed during their online series Creative Academy. These five cuties are available in the form of everything from cuddly plushies to cool phone cases and even stickers for your favorite messaging app! And that wasn’t the only brand collaboration ITZY had in 2020; they also teamed up with popular app Zepeto to create their own virtual clothing line. Believe us when we say we need them all.
YouTube FanFest 2020
Due to restrictions, this year, YouTube’s annual FanFest had to be held online without a physical audience. But that didn’t stop ITZY from taking to the stage to entertain fans worldwide as the closing performers of the event! They joined international artists such as Eric, Ranz, and Niana & Natalia as the only Korean act to take part in this year’s festival. Naturally, the members lit up the room with their sharp dance moves and powerful stage presence as they performed their 2020 anthems ‘Not Shy’ and ‘WANNABE.’
Possibly the best thing to come out of 2020 for fans was being able to communicate more closely with their favorite idols. Like many of us, K-pop stars have been spending more time at home these days, which means more opportunities to connect with the people we don’t usually get to see. In fact, just a few days ago, ITZY made our year by joining the bubble for JYPnation app. This is a paid-for platform where fans can send and receive messages from their favorite stars in a cozy setting. And true to form, the girls have already been very active on the chat, sharing details from their day and talking about the food they want to eat with MIDZY.
End Of Year Awards
ITZY continued their 2020 rule at the end of year awards and were honored with some special titles. The group won both the Hot Issue Award and the Best Choice Award at the Asia Artist Awards. While they were, quite frankly, robbed by a certain broadcasting network (have they not seen Ryujin’s shoulder dance?), they still served us some killer stages at EOY shows. At The Fact Music Awards, they received the Best Performer Prize and graced us with performances of ‘Not Shy’ and ‘WANNABE,’ complete with a dramatic dance break from Yeji and Chaeryeong, to show us exactly why they deserved it.
Chae Sisters Collaboration
Finally, the collaboration we’ve all been waiting for! Having seen Chaeryeong and her sister Chaeyeon (from IZ*ONE) on K-Pop Star 3 and then Sixteen, everyone has been hoping to see “Chaesis” on stage together again. We finally got our wish at the SBS Gayo Daejeon, where the siblings performed their unique choreography for Lady Gaga’s ‘Rain On Me.’ Chaeryeong also expertly performed Chungha’s ‘Rollercoaster’ while Chaeyeon gave us her own take on Taemin’s ‘Criminal.’ There are no words to describe our love for this performance, so we’ve included the video for you to experience it first hand!
So what’s your favorite ITZY memory of 2020? What are you hoping for from them next year? Either let us know down in the comments below or by tweeting us @TheHoneyPOP!
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Image featured source: JYP Entertainment