Many active performers attend music shows to promote their releases. But in 2021, we were surprised to see eight K-pop acts and groups return to these stages to promote their songs. For at least two years, all acts mentioned here did not attend a music show, though some may have continued to release music. Due to COVID-19, no live audiences were present for the stages.
Let’s take a look at their stages!
Highlight – Not The End
Highlight marked a return in spring with a flowery showcase of their first stage for Not The End on M Countdown, their first in three years and seven months. On the same broadcast, they also performed Sorry, an album cut from their third mini album, The Blowing.
2AM – Should’ve Known + No Good in Good-bye
2AM made an unexpected comeback to the stage in November with a double title release for their fourth EP, Ballad 21 F/W, their first release in just over seven years. They performed their double title tracks, Should’ve Known and No good in good-bye, fitting for a seasonal transition.
2PM – Make It
2PM announced a sizzling return with the release of their seventh full album, Must, their first Korean release in just over five years. In what could be described as one of the “hottest” displays of summer, they returned to music shows to complete promotions for their title track, Make it.
IU – Lilac
In March 2021, IU released her fifth studio album, Lilac. Subsequently, she made a special appearance on Music Bank, where she performed Lilac and one of her album tracks, Epilogue. Her last attendance on the show was four years ago with Palette, released alongside her fourth album of the same name. To celebrate her return, KBS decorated her stage and the set of Music Bank in purple.
Taeyeon – Weekend
Taeyeon joined the summer comeback rush with a refreshing showcase of her digital single, Weekend. This was not only her first performance on a music show in just over four years but also her first on M Countdown since her debut as a soloist six years ago.
Ailee – Don’t Teach Me
Ailee brought swing in an upfront display of her stage for Don’t Teach Me, the title from the release of her third full album, Amy. This first performance on M Countdown marked a return to music shows, her last appearance recorded five years ago.
CL – Spicy
In a lead-up to the release of her first full album, Alpha, CL promoted Spicy, an energetically-driven production. This first pre-release marked her return to stage in seven years. She subsequently promoted Spicy, Tie A Cherry (with the release of Alpha) and another side track, Let It, from the same album, on M Countdown and at other music shows.
SHINee – Don’t Call Me
“SHINee is Back!” Definitely in 2021. Together, their first comeback in almost three years to music and the stage marked the return of three of their members, Onew, Key and Minho, after completing their mandatory military service in 2020. On their first performance broadcast of M Countdown, they performed Don’t Call Me, their title track from their seventh studio album of the same name, and one of their album tracks, Heart Attack.
Did you miss any of these stages? Be sure to watch them again if you did!