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21 KPOP Songs That Defined 2021

21 KPOP Songs That Defined 2021

Another year has ended and what a year it has been! KPOP is thriving more than ever and we are getting bombarded with top-quality music almost daily. 2021 is the second year of this global pandemic, while the way music works has changed greatly during this time, the quality has not been affected. It has also not slowed down from KPOP spreading around the globe and dominating the charts.

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We here at THP HQ are huge fans of KPOP and you will agree with us that many songs this year became instant hits. Some of these songs stayed with us all year round, became huge TikTok hits, or just left an incredible impression on us. But without further ado, here are our top 21 KPOP songs that defined 2021.

‘Don’t Call Me’ – SHINee

SHINee finally made their comeback this year after a long hiatus and they did not come to play. ‘Don’t Call Me‘ was the 4th gen KPOP sound but done by the one and only SHINee and it works absolutely fantastic.

‘Butter’ – BTS

There is no way we aren’t including this banger! BTS dominated the charts and our hearts this year as smooth as ‘Butter.‘ It’s hard to believe but we are yet to get sick of this absolute jam! BTS really owns the world.

‘0X1=LOVESONG (I Know I Love You)’ – Tomorrow X Together Ft Seori

TXT stole our hearts this year with their incredible rock-influenced music. ‘LOVESONG‘ has been keeping us company for the better part of this year and the follow-up ‘LOSER=LOVER’ was just as good. TXT do not miss.

‘Money’ – LISA

It was hard not to love LISA’s solo debut ‘LALISA‘ this year but the actual star of her debut was the incredibly catchy ‘Money’ that became a huge TikTok trend. We agree that this song is one for the books. That charisma is hard to escape!

‘I’M NOT COOL’ – HyunA

It’s hard not to enjoy a song by such a legendary artist. HyunA is known for her bold concepts and unique sound. It did not help that ‘I’M NOT COOL’ is such a fun and catchy song at that. The TikTok challenges we got with it were amazing.

‘After School’ – Weeekly

Weeekly are well on their way to becoming a household name in the KPOP world and their song ‘After School’ becoming a mega-hit did not hurt them in the slightest. But who can we blame? The song is just too good!

‘ASAP’ – StayC

After making us fall in love with them with their debut ‘So Bad’ last year, StayC offered us ‘ASAP’ which instantly became a fan favorite and hit among the GP. StayC just do not know how to make a bad song and we truly respect that.

‘Fever’ – ENHYPEN

This song was hard not to know or hear about this year. ENHYPEN have an incredible albums and title tracks. Who would have thought though that a b-side would become their most streamed song to date? ‘Fever’ truly had us hot and burning for it.

‘Next Level’ – aespa

With just a handful of songs under their name at the time, aespa already dropped their breakout hit. It is hard to think about 2021 and not hear ‘Next Level’ playing in the background. We will admit we did maybe dislocate our shoulder once or twice trying to do the iconic dance move.

‘Advice’ – Taemin

Even if this comeback came with the news of Taemin’s enlistment the impact ‘Advice‘ left behind wasn’t small. Bringing always something new to the table and having his very recognizable sound – ‘Advice’ blew us away and it aged like the finest of wines.

‘The Feels’ – Twice

Okay but even the local down the street who hasn’t heard about KPOP knows this song. Twice absolutely snapped with their first-ever English single ‘The Feels.‘ The song was all over the internet and the choreography is iconic.

‘Bad Love’ – Key

Talk about a cultural reset. The retro trend has been going on for a while in the music world but we had to wait for Key to actually understand the full assignment. ‘Bad Love‘ has to be one of our favorite songs of the year and that with good reason. Just listen and watch.

‘Gambler’ – Monsta X

In what world could we forget the iconic Monsta X from this list. ‘Gambler‘ was another stand-out single from the veteran group and their unique tones really shined in this one. Yes, ‘Gambler’ was on loop for months on end. No regrets.


Did anyone call for the queens of girl crush? ITZY did it again this year delivering straight bops left and right. ‘LOCO‘ was the summer smash we had been waiting for and it made 2021 just even more unforgettable music-wise.

‘QUEENDOM’ – Red Velvet

It felt like we had to wait ages for a Red Velvet comeback but boy when it came it hit hard. ‘QUEENDOM‘ is the confidence anthem only RV could bring to us. We missed these queens so much and hope they bring us even more music next year.

See Also

‘Dumb Dumb’ – Jeon Somi

Somi knows how to make a catchy song with an even catchier and cooler choreography. ‘Dumb Dumb’ was the ear worm we could not get rid of but we are not complaining. That’s some queen stuff she pulls of every comeback.

‘Lilac’ – IU

Do we even have to explain? It’s IU after all! The queen of the charts and getting all kills while giving us the top notch pop music we are missing from our playlists. ‘Lilac’ was the refreshing city pop spring song we needed.

‘Ready to love’ – SEVENTEEN

SEVENTEEN had a more than busy 2021 but that did not influence their musical output. This was one of their strongest years to date and we never knew we needed them to also take some rock influence into their music. ‘Ready to love‘ is making us crave for an angsty love story in our lives.

‘Dun Dun Dance’ – Oh My Girl

Coming off of their 2020 wave of popularity Oh My Girl served us a new summer treat with ‘Dun Dun Dance.’ The song goes right into the ear and stays there. Oh My Girl know how to make our summer fun and refreshing and we can’t wait to see what 2022 has in store for them.

‘Fireworks (I’m The One)’ – ATEEZ

Starting off 2021 with a bang ATEEZ gave us the catchy ‘Fireworks’ that has become a stable on our workout playlists. They had such a busy year giving us a tone of new music and honestly any song could have been included on this list from them. Kings.

‘Thunderous’ – Stray Kids

It feels like there was a new SKZ release every week this year and we are not the slightest bit mad about that. Stray Kids own every single one of their eras and ‘Thunderous’ just blew our minds and has become iconic at this point.

Overall, 2021 was a good year for KPOP music, and these 21 songs really defined this year for us. What’s your top KPOP song of 2021? Which song did we miss? Let us know by commenting down below or by tweeting us @TheHoneyPOP! We are also on Facebook and Instagram!

Featured Image Source: Selina Kuhn for The Honey POP!

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