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The return of K-pop and a cartoon cameo dot this year’s ‘Kohaku’ lineup

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Public broadcaster NHK announced the lineup for its annual New Year’s music show “Kohaku Uta Gassen” on Wednesday. This year’s list includes returning South Korean pop artists as well as new domestic faces – real and animated.

Two K-pop groups represent a new era for the South Korean music industry. Groups Le Sserafim and Ive (both stylized in all caps) debuted in the first half of 2022, both gaining worldwide attention for their uptempo dance-pop songs. Each project also includes a Japanese member, including Sakura Miyawaki, formerly of HKT48, in The Sserafim.

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