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K-Pop Hot 100: Lee Seung Gi Makes Chart History

The Associated Press, Friday, January 4, 2013, 4:31pm (PST)

Billboard -- Lee Seung Gi makes K-Pop Hot 100 history this week as he becomes the first artist to earn six weeks at No. 1, a first for the chart since its creation 17 months ago. The likeable singer's "Return" ballad surpasses efforts from super-popular acts like PSY and IU who both held the record with five weeks at the top spot with their monster singles. How was Lee able to make chart history? We take a deeper look.

Like IU's single, "Return" was released during the holiday season where, as in the U.S., there are few new releases. In South Korea, there are many year-end events that see the year's active artists coming together to perform. The ultra-popular Girls' Generation waited until after this time period to release their comeback single and instead opted for a pre-release track, "Dancing Queen" (still, No. 2 this week). Simply put, the lack of competition allowed for the already popular "Return" to stay at the top.

Additionally, Lee is a very popular artist to use in commercials and is a presence in the Korean media. A recent poll by the Korea Advertisers Association ranked Lee as the No. 1 "most likeable" star for a commercial. He is currently promoting a huge array of brands ranging from Pizza Hut to Activia to even a commercial for Samsung co-starring PSY (who was ranked No. 2 on the list). While PSY is an equally popular commercial star, "Gangnam Style" was released during a competitive summer when many top names were competing for No. 1 giving indication why the monster hit couldn't earn more than five weeks. Get a sense of their likeability in their Samsung refrigerator promo below:

With stars like K. Will and Naul earning No. 1 singles, it feels like the flavor of the moment is male ballad singers. Lee had already nabbed a chart topper with the No. 1 "Era Of Love" so he was undoubtedly a favorite in K-pop.

Last week, Billboard.com asked readers which single from "The Color Of K-Pop" year-end SBS Gayo Dajeun special would chart highest on the K-Pop Hot 100. The answer ws revealed to be the tantalizing ladies of Dazzling Red landed the highest-charting single with "This Person" at No. 7.

The sensual track was brought to life with the popular singers likened to be as beautiful as paintings in a pre-performance video to coincide with the performance. Each girl wore a sexy red dress with a revealing slit in the middle where they teased what was underneath. Dazzling Red is made up of members from popular K-pop girl groups: 4minute's HyunA (PSY's "Gangnam Style" co-star), After School's Nana, KARA's Nicole, SISTAR's Hyorin, and Secret's Hyosung. With a Brave Brothers production and the girls' seductive charm, it becomes clear the girls worked hard to make sure their single was successful - with the best part being all the proceeds going to charity! Watch their performance below:

The other female group, Mystic White, was the second most-successful "Red" production with their "Mermaid Princess" track at No. 12. The male groups trailed close behind as Dramatic Blue's "Tearfully Beautiful" and Dynamic Black's "Yesterday" placed at Nos. 14 and 17 respectfully.

Will Lee Seung Gi continue his reign or will Girls' Generation's comeback track "I Got A Boy" earn them their second K-Pop Hot 100 No. 1? Check back on Thursday when all of the charts are refreshed on Billboard.com.

Related article on Billboard.com:

K-Pop Hot 100: Lee Seung Gi Ties All-Time Record, Girls' Generation Returns

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Find more online: Billboard.com

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