Across the globe, K-pop has a huge teen audience.
Although K-pop idol culture has helped South Korean boy bands break onto international shores with chart-topping success, girls have not experienced the same idol success in international music markets.
We know for a fact that the all-female idol groups are super-talented, so it’s mystifying that not as many K-pop girl groups have had major success internationally. Although these groups are promoted and managed well by their respective management companies, it still takes K-pop bands awhile to establish a firm foothold in international music markets.
K-pop , short for Korean popular music, is a genre of music originating in South Korea as part of South Korean culture.
(Korean: 케이팝; RR: keipap)
It is influenced by styles and genres from around the world, such as pop, experimental, rock, jazz, gospel, hip hop, R&B, reggae, electronic dance, folk, country, and classical on top of its traditional Korean music roots.
The more modern form of the genre emerged with the formation of one of the earliest K-pop groups, the boy band Seo Taiji and Boys, in 1992.
Their experimentation with different styles and genres of music and integration of foreign musical elements helped reshape and modernize South Korea’s contemporary music scene.
The term “K-pop” became popular in the 2000s. Previously, South Korean pop music was called gayo (Korean: 가요; Hanja: 歌謠).
While “K-pop” is a general term for popular music in South Korea, it is often used in a narrower sense for the genre described here.
In 2018, K-pop experienced significant growth and became a ‘power player,’ marking a 17.9% increase in revenue growth. As of 2019, K-pop is ranked at number six among the top ten music markets worldwide according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry’s “Global Music Report 2019,” with BTS cited as artists leading the market growth.
In 2020, K-pop experienced a record-breaking year when it experienced a 44.8% growth and positioned itself as the fastest-growing major market of the year.
As of 2019, several other K-pop groups have made their debut in the Japanese market including Exo, BTS, Got7, Seventeen, iKon, GFriend, Astro, Pentagon, Twice, Monsta X, FT Island, NCT 127 and Blackpink.
Many of these groups debut with Japanese versions of their recent Korean releases, then later release original Japanese songs. Many groups such as NCT 127, Twice, and Pentagon also include Japanese members that auditioned in Japan and were brought to Korea, or came to Korea in order to become a K-pop singer.
Most Exciting K-Pop Girl Groups
- Girls Generation
- Cherry Bullet
- Red Velvet
- High School
- Girl’s Day
- Purple Beck
- Rocket Punch
- PinkFantasy SHY
- Rockit Girl
- Black Bunny
- Girl Crush
- The Pink Lady
- Grow. B
- Melody Pink
- Red Square
- Refund Sisters
- Purple Kiss
The list below showcases a diverse number of K-pop girl groups who have pushed the genre to new heights while remaining true to the roots of the genre.
K-pop girl groups
- Girls’ Generation
- Baby Vox
- Girl’s Day
- Red Velvet
- Miss A
- Brown Eyed Girls
- Cosmic Girls
- Wonder Girls
- Oh My Girl
- After School
- Nine Muses
- We Girls
- Dal Shabet
- Orange Caramel
- Hello Venus
- Fromis 9
- Crayon Pop
- Berry Good
- Weki Meki
- Iz One
- Brave Girls
- Ladies’ Code
- Hot Place
- The Grace
- (G) I-dle
- Big Mama
- See Ya
- As One
- Gavy NJ
- F-ve Dolls
- . Papaya
- A Train To Autumn
- Bob Girls
- Neon Punch
- Hi Suhyun
- Sunny Hill
- Melody Day
- Black Pearl
Debuted in August 2016, BLACKPINK is one of the most popular all-girl K-pop groups. The four-member South Korean pop group made history with the most first-day views of their 2018 single “Ddu-Du Ddu-Du” from their mini-album Square Up under the label YG Entertainment.
The members of the quartet, Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé and Lisa, are also popular for their style and have been dubbed as fashion icons. While all of them can sing, Jennie and Lisa are rappers lending a unique edge to the band’s overall upbeat vibe. The fans of this K-pop group are known as Blinks.
The South Korean all-girl ensemble debuted in 2015 and comprises nine members — Sana, Jihyo, Mina, Nayeon, Jeongyeon, Momo, Dahyun, Chaeyoung and Tzuyu. The group was originally formed from a survival reality show named Sixteen and had seven members. Tzuyu and Momo joined later.
TWICE gained popularity with their 2016 hit single “Cheer Up” from their mini-album Page Two, which also won Best Female Group and Song of the Year awards at the 2016 Mnet Asian Music Awards.
The eight-member all-girl K-pop group was launched in August 2007 under the label SM Entertainment. Also known as SNSD, the members include Taeyeon, Sunny, Tiffany, Hyoyeon, Yuri, Sooyoung, YoonA and Seohyun.
Girls’ Generation has been credited for the Hallyu wave long before bands like BLACKPINK came into existence. The group’s catchy singles “Gee”, “The Boys” and “Oh!” have over 100 million views on YouTube.
Consisting of four members — Solar, Moonbyul, Wheein and Hwasa — the all-girl group came into existence in 2014 under the label RWB.
The K-pop quartet is known for its expertise in different genres — jazz, R&B, ballad and pop, apart from their playful fashion statements.
Red Velvet started as a four-member K-pop girl band in 2014 which now has five members with Wendy, Irene, Seulgi, Joy and Yeri. The band gained traction for outstanding vocals, vibrant outfits, upbeat and edgy concepts.
The group is managed by SM Entertainment and has released two studio albums so far. The official name of their fan club is ReVeLuv.
Pronounced as ‘idle’ or ‘idol’, this all-girl K-pop group started with six members in 2018 by Cube Entertainment. The five members of the troupe — Miyeon, Minnie, Soyeon, Yuqi and Shuhua — made it big with their debut track “Latata”.
The song enjoyed a No. 4 spot on Billboard’s World Digital Song Sales and was No. 5 on World Albums, making them the sixth all-girl K-pop band to dominate Billboard World Charts in the first go.
The five-member K-pop girl troupe debuted on Billboard 200 Chart and Rolling Stone’s Top 200 with their latest release “Guess Who” in April 2021.
Launched in February 2019 by JYP Entertainment, the group includes Yeji, Lia, Ryujin, Chaeryeong and Yuna.
The six-member South Korean girl band was launched in April 2011 by Play M Entertainment. Apink received the Best New Female Artist Award at the Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) the same year.
They are one of the top all-girl groups of K-pop who gained popularity for their upbeat bubblegum pop style and carefree choreography.
Dreamcatcher has a huge international fandom. They are the first all-girl K-pop group to lead Billboard’s Next Big Sound Chart in February 2021.
One of the best K-pop girl groups, the group is known for telling ‘dystopian’ stories through impactful visuals and uniquely stylised choreography.
Oh My Girl
WM Entertainment’s Oh My Girl originally debuted with eight members in October 2017. The now-seven-member all-girl K-pop group consists of Hyojung, Mimi, YooA, Seunghee, Jiho, Binnie and Arin, with Hyojung as the lead vocalist.
The versatile K-pop septet is the most popular for its videos with well-timed transitions and experimental hair as well as makeup styles.
The newest phenomenon in K-pop acts is the seven-member all-girl group which made its explosive debut in February 2021 with the album TRI.BE Da Loca and released two singles “Doom Doom Ta” and “Loca”.
Formerly known as LIONGIRLS and TRI.ANGLE, TRI.BE’s members are SongSun, Kelly, JinHa, HyunBin, Jia, SoEun and MiRe. The group is managed by Sinsadong Tiger and Universal Music Group, Korea.
Jewelry. One of the longest-running girl groups in K-pop, Jewelry went through several lineup changes, but they always strived to keep four members. Some of their biggest hits include, “Tonight,” “Again,” “Superstar,” and “I Really Like You,” which all have gone down as K-Pop favorites.
While some groups, like GFriend and (G)I-DLE, have always featured a six-member lineup, others went through several lineup changes, but have released music as six, like Fiestar and Momoland.
Momoland (Korean: 모모랜드) is a South Korean girl group formed by MLD Entertainment (formerly known as Duble Kick Company) through the 2016 reality show Finding Momoland.
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