​A Recap: Top Hallyu Newsmakers of 2017

We’re just a few hours shy from the New Year, and we can’t all wait for the new K-Drama adventures that 2018 has in store for us! But before we bid adieu to the year that was, let’s first look back at the most unforgettable happenings of 2017 that reverberated in the four corners of the Korean entertainment industry. In chronological order we have:

1. BiKim wedding

We were greeted by the lovely news of Rain and Kim Tae-hee’s wedding in January. The two Hallyu stars tied the knot in a simple Catholic ceremony at the Gahoe-dong Cathedral in Jongno, Seoul on the 19th. On October 25, the couple delivered yet another happy news when they welcomed their precious daughter to the world!

2. Kim Woo-bin’s Big C diagnosis

On May 24, we were all shocked by the confirmation of Kim Woo-bin’s agency, Sidus HQ, that the top actor was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer. On December 29, Kim took to his official fan cafe to thank his fans and give updates on his condition. He said that he has safely gone through chemotherapy three times and radiation therapy 35 times, and currently undergoes regular follow-up tests as he recovers.

3. Big Bang T.O.P’s marijuana scandal

In June, the news about T.O.P testing positive for Marijuana rocked the K-pop world. It is revealed that he smoked weed on different occasions with female trainee Han Seo-hee, who leaked the info to the police during a prior questioning. This whole issue prompted the military to expel T.O.P from his mandatory service. Days after, the Big Bang star was rushed to the hospital due to a suspected drug overdose, which he fortunately overcame. On July 20, T.O.P received a 10-month suspended jail sentence for drug use after he pleaded guilty and sought leniency.

4. Tiffany, Seohyun, & Sooyoung’s SNSD departure

In early October, SM Entertainment announced that Tiffany, Seohyun, and Sooyoung have decided not to renew their contracts with the agency to pursue individual endeavors just two months after Girls’ Generation marked their 10th anniversary. The five remaining members, meanwhile, have renewed their contracts with the label.

5. Deadly dog-bite case involving Siwon’s dog

Choi Siwon wrote an apology on his personal Instagram on October 21 in connection with the death of their elderly female neighbor, who got bitten by their family dog on September 30. The victim was the CEO of an upscale restaurant, who passed away due to sepsis six days later. The Choi family was charged with a civil fine amounting to approximately 50,000 KRW by the Gangnam District Office over the incident. The victim’s family, meanwhile, didn’t file legal charges against the Chois.

6. Kim Joo-hyuk’s fatal car crash

On October 30, veteran actor Kim Joo-hyuk met his untimely death when his Mercedes crashed into an apartment wall and flipped over in Seoul. The autopsy revealed that Kim died from a traumatic head injury. He was 45.

7. SongSong wedding

The Descendants of the Sun co-stars marry in a lavish ceremony at the Yeongbin Hall of the Shilla Hotel in Seoul on October 31. Around 250 guests, who are mostly top Korean stars, were invited. The couple then flew to Europe for their honeymoon.

8. BTS’ 45th AMAs performance

BTS made history on November 20 as the first ever Korean boyband to perform on a major American award show. Their performance of DNA got the audience wild, and caught the attention of several Hollywood stars such as The Chainsmokers, Ansel Elgort, Jared Leto, and Rachel Platten, among others.

9. SHINee Jonghyun’s shocking death

On December 18, the news about SHINee Jonghyun’s death in an apparent suicide didn’t only make headlines in Korea but also across the globe. His sister alerted the police after she received troubling text messages from the K-pop star. The police then found him unconscious at his room in a residential hotel in Cheongdam-dong, Seoul with burned coal briquettes in a frying pan. He was rushed to a nearby hospital but was declared dead. A note, which Jonghyun supposedly wrote before his death, was posted by his friend, singer Nain9, on the internet. It read, “I am broken from inside. The depression that gnawed on me slowly has finally engulfed me entirely. I couldn’t defeat it anymore … I was so alone … The act of ending is difficult. I’ve lived until now because of that difficulty.” Jonghyun was 27.

Sources: (1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7)(8)(9)(10)(11)(12)(13)(14)(15)

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