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    EXO's Baekhyun Releases "Bambi," And 5 Other K-Pop Stories You Need To Read

    ☔🦌You're my only Bambi, Bambi~ 🦌☔

    1. BTS condemned racial discrimination, released a new single, and were nominated for a BRIT Award this week.

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    It's been a busy, yet important week for BTS. Let's break down this week's news in chronological order:

    * On Mar. 29, the group took to Twitter to share the racial discrimination they've personally faced in a powerful statement condemning Anti-Asian racism. Written in both Korean and English, the statement shares that the group feels "grief and anger" over the increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders over the course of the last year.

    “We recall moments when we faced discrimination as Asians. We have endured expletives without reason and were mocked for the way we look. We were even asked why Asians spoke in English,” they wrote. “We stand against racial discrimination. We condemn violence. You, I and we all deserve the right to be respected. We will stand together.”

    You can read the group's full statement here.

    * Then, on Mar. 31, BTS was nominated for their first BRIT Award!

    The group is nominated in the International Group category alongside Fontaines D.C., Foo Fighters, Haim, and Run The Jewels. Not only is this BTS's first BRIT Award nomination, but it's also the first time a Korean artist has ever been nominated for a BRIT Award. Congratulations to BTS on their nomination and on making history once again! 💜

    * And last, but certainly not least, the group released an awe-inspiring music video for their Japanese single "Film Out" on Apr. 1. The video sees Jin trapped in an upside-down world separate from the rest of the group, and utilizes mirrors and doors as portals that all work to keep Jin from reuniting with his fellow members. Does he make it in the end? You'll have to watch to find out!

    2. EXO's Baekhyun released his third mini-album Bambi and its single is ~deer~ to all of our hearts.

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    SMTOWN / YouTube / Via

    Even before its release on Mar. 30, Baekhyun's latest soulful mini-album was already smashing sales records. The album broke the record for most album pre-orders for a male solo artist with over 830,000+ pre-orders. Who held the previous record for most album pre-orders, you might ask? Well, it was none other than Baekhyun himself!

    Baekhyun explained in a press conference on Mar. 30 that the album's title track, "Bambi," is "an R&B track that tells of a matured love using fairytale-like expressions."

    The song's title is not only a reference to the adorable deer, but also translates to 'night rain' in Korean. "I wanted to make sure that even though it’s the same word, the pronunciation and tone gives off a completely different vibe for each meaning," he said. He shared that you'll be able to feel the difference between the song's double meanings when listening to it.

    Baekhyun, who shared via Instagram Live that he will be enlisting in the military soon, revealed that he worked tirelessly on this album as he knew it would be a parting gift for his fans. "I wanted to work hard and show how big my heart is before I leave [for military enlistment]," he said. "I tried to provide as much as possible so that people will also look forward to when I come back as well."

    This week also saw the release of T1419's "EXIT," Winner's Kang Seung-yoon's "IYAH," Kim Sejeong's "Warning (Feat. lIlBOI)," INFINITE's Kim Sung Kyu's "Hush," DKB's "All In," NTX's "Kiss The World," Park Bom's "Do Re Mi Fa Sol La (Feat. Changmo)," WJSN's "Unnatural," so be sure to check those out too! 🦌

    3. Over 4 million K-pop fans watched their favorite artists perform online at KCON:TACT!

    4. ITZY became global ambassadors for makeup brand Maybelline this week!

    [ #Maybelline ] Introducing #ITZY as the first K-pop band to become a NEW #GlobalAmbassador of the No.1 global make-up brand Maybelline New York 🗽 Fall in love with the five members of ITZY❤️ Here’s the first #MaybellineXITZY video🔥 @Maybelline #MaybellineITZY #Maybelline

    @ITZYOfficial / Twitter / Via Twitter: @ITZYofficial

    With the announcement on Mar. 30, ITZY made history as the first K-pop group to become global ambassadors for Maybelline. They join the brand's star-studded roster of ambassadors which includes Gigi Hadid, Jourdan Dunn, Adriana Lima, and more.

    As a group, ITZY is known for championing the importance of self-love, body positivity, and confidence throughout their music, so we can't think of a more perfect fit for this role!

    According to Teen Vogue, the group will be featured in Maybelline's promotional campaigns throughout Asia starting this spring for popular products including the Ultimatte Lipstick, SuperStay Foundation, and Hypersharp Liner.

    Congratulations, ITZY!

    5. The first episode of the K-pop competition program Kingdom aired this week.

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    MNET K-Pop / YouTube / Via

    The first episode of the long-awaited K-Pop reality competition program Kingdom aired on Apr. 1, and it was jam-packed with stunning performances from its six competitors: Stray Kids, The Boyz, BTOB, Ateez, Ikon, and SF9.

    For the first round, the groups were tasked with putting on a performance of one of their songs that won on a music show. Stray Kids performed the mysterious, bombastic "Miroh," while Ateez gave a swashbuckling performance of their single "Wave." Ikon brought their unstoppable energy with the iconic "Rhythm Ta," and BTOB wowed everyone with their flawless vocals in "Beautiful Pain." Finally, SF9 were extra suave in their performance of "Good Guy," and The Boyz stole everyone's heart with "The Stealer."

    Voting in the Kingdom is divided into four categories — the panel of experts votes are worth 25%, while votes from other competitors make up 25%, video view counts online are worth 10%, and global fan votes are 40%. Unlike the show's predecessor Road to Kingdom, none of the six groups participating will be eliminated according to Soompi, but only one group will be crowned the winner in the end.

    Be sure to tell us who you're rooting for in the comments below!

    6. And NCT Dream, SHINee, and Day6 all revealed that new music is on the way!

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    SMTOWN / YouTube / Via

    * NCT Dream released an adorable video teaser this week (see above!) ahead of their comeback later this month. The video features the seven members of NCT Dream working together in various roles at Cafe 7 Dream, with youngest member Jisung working to develop the perfect recipe for a love potion.

    * Super Junior's Kyuhyun has released some very aesthetic and pretty image teasers for his upcoming spring single, "Coffee," which will be released on Apr. 13.

    * Kang Daniel shared a highlight medley of his third mini-album, Yellow, which will be released on Apr. 13.

    * Blackpink's Rosé shared a photo teaser confirming that the music video for her single "Gone" will be released on Apr. 5.

    * According to Soompi, SHINee will release a repackage of their seventh album, titled Atlantis, on Apr. 12.

    * Mamamoo's Wheein revealed via Twitter that her first solo mini-album, Redd, will be released on Apr. 13.

    * P1Harmony revealed the title poster and schedule for their upcoming 2nd album, Disharmony: Break Out, which is set for release on Apr. 20. The album's title track is called "Scared."

    * Day6 released a trailer film and epilogue film for their upcoming album The Book of Us: Negentropy, which will be released on Apr. 19. The group also revealed the track list for the upcoming record as well!

    * According to Soompi, ONF will release a repackaged album at "the end of April."

    That's it for this week! Hope you enjoy SHINee's Beyond Live concert if you're watching, and be sure to catch up on last week's news if you missed it! ✨