Who are your favorite K-pop boy groups?
You might think you know a thing or two about KPop if you’ve seen the video for “Gangham Style,” but K Pop is so much more than this one tune.
K-pop, short for Korean popular music, is a genre of music originating in South Korea as part of South Korean culture.
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.
Why is K-pop so popular?
Ingenious approaches to music videos, what it means to be talented, and pure hard work set K Pop axpart from any other genre. Here are the reasons which make K pop so uniquely popular.
Costumes And Color Theory
One of the things K Pop does so well is creative use of costumes and color in music videos. Hundreds of years ago, when North America was barely being industrialized, Asia already had a burgeoning art and graphics scene.
Another way that K Pop keeps amassing fans is by utilizing strong storytelling in many songs and music videos. A perfect example is this song by Kim Wan-Sun.
K Pop is also well known for its unique, extravagant, and eye-popping personalities.
K Pop stars, or “idols” as they are usually known in Asia, have a knack for truly standing out from the crowd and taking self expression to a new level.
Top 10 leading Korean boy bands
Here’s a list of the most popular K-pop boy groups now. Most of these groups had their debut on and after the year 2013. They are considered to be the 3rd generation South Korean K-pop groups.
The first K-pop group to perform at the American Music Awards and win a Billboard Music Award, and the first South Korean act to reach 10 million followers on Twitter, BTS, also known as Bangtan Boys and Beyond the Scene, has put the world under the K-pop spell!
South Korean boy band formed through the reality survival program No.Mercy by Starship Entertainment.
The group is composed of six members: Shownu, Minhyuk, Kihyun, Hyungwon, Joohoney, and I.M. Monsta X won and was nominated to many Korean and international awards. In 2018, their Japanese single Spotlight received an official gold certification by the Recording Industry Association of Japan.
South Korean–Chinese boy band formed by SM Entertainment. The group is composed of nine members: Xiumin, Suho, Lay, Baekhyun, Chen, Chanyeol, D.O., Kai, and Sehun. The band ranked as one of the top five most influential celebrities on the Forbes Korea each year from 2014 to 2018, and have been named “the biggest boy band in the world”.
South Korean boy group formed by Pledis Entertainment in 2015. The group consists of 13 members divided into three sub-units, each with a different area of specialization: a ‘Hip-Hop Unit’, ‘Vocal Unit’, and ‘Performance Unit’. Seventeen has released three studio albums and six extended plays. Seventeen have also gained several awards for choreography and dance performance.
Wanna One has been formed by CJ E&M, and it’s the second group in this list that was formed through the 2017 series Produce 101 Season 2! Wanna One has been chosen as the Best New K-Pop Act of 2017 (Billboard). With their electro-pop tracks and highly-stylized choreography garnering a lot of attention, the boy band became a top act in Korea from its very formation on Produce 101 in 2017.
NCT is a highly popular k-pop boy group, an interesting concept with an unlimited number of members. NCT stands for “Neo Culture Technology”. It consists of 21 members (!) now. One more interesting fact is that the band is divided into many sub-units that are based in many various cities of the world! NCT U was the first group’s unit to debut (in April 2016) and was introduced as the main group of NCT.
iKon is a K-pop boy group with seven members formed through a survival competition called WIN. As soon as the group debuted, their 1st studio album topped the charts in South Korea.
Got7 is another South Korean boy band with seven members made from JYP Entertainment. The group made its debut in January 2014 and became known for its choreography that often has martial arts and street dancing elements.
Stray Kids (스트레이 키즈)
Stray Kids is one of the South Korean boy groups under JYP Entertainment. This K-pop band with eight members had one former member, Woojin, who left the group in October 2019. Stray Kids was created through the survival program with the same name, Stray Kids, and the South Korean boy group made their debut on March 25, 2018.
SuperM is the latest K-pop super group, formed only last year, and features some of the genre’s most iconic performers. The seven members are from four hugely successful – and still active – K-pop bands: EXO, WayV, NCT 127 and SHINee.
Big Bang was formed in 2016 and fast became one of the biggest-selling and most popular boy bands in the world. In March 2019, member Seungri announced his retirement from the industry due to sex scandals surrounding the Burning Sun nightclub, which saw the singer charged with arranging prostitution, illicit gambling and embezzlement.
Known as one of the pioneers of Korean hip-hop, Drunken Tiger formed in 1999 and won several music awards for their numerous albums. Their first album, Year of the Tiger, was controversial at the time given its explicit lyrics and diversion from pop-culture norms.
Super Junior or SJ shot to fame with the release of their best-selling single Sorry, Sorry in 2009, from their most successful album of the same name. Their popularity has seen them dubbed the ‘King of Hallyu Wave’.
ONF is one of K-pop’s hottest rising acts, whose new repackaged album ‘City of ONF’ will be released on 28th April 2021. The album contains the 11 tracks from ONF: MY NAME as well as three new tracks. You’ve likely heard their track ‘Beautiful Beautiful’, the music for which has garnered over 16 million views in just over one month. ONF are one to have on your radar, as we predict they’ll rise from success to success.
South Korean boy band, 2PM formed by JYP Entertainment. The group consist of 6 members including Jun. K (formerly known as Junsu), Nichkhun, Taecyeon, Wooyoung, Junho and Chansung. One of the best Kpop boy groups ever.
South Korean boy band, Winner consists of 4 members including Jinwoo, Seunghoon, Mino and Seungyoon. One of the best Kpop boy groups ever.
Astro(South Korean boy band) formed in 2016 by Fantagio. The group consists of six members: MJ, Jinjin, Cha Eun-woo, Moon Bin, Rocky and Yoon San-ha.
Modern K-pop “idol” culture began in the 1990s, as K-pop idol music grew into a subculture that amassed enormous fandoms of teenagers and young adults.
After a slump in early idol music, from 2003, TVXQ and BoA started a new generation of K-pop idols that broke the music genre into the neighboring Japanese market and continue to popularize K-pop internationally today.
With the advent of online social networking services and South Korean TV shows, the current spread of K-pop and South Korean entertainment, known as the Korean Wave, is seen not only in East Asia and Southeast Asia, but also in Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Latin America, North Africa, Southern Africa and East Africa, the Middle East and throughout the Western world, gaining an international audience.
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 and Blackpink 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.
There are around 300 kpop bands in South Korea, and while many new bands emerge each year, only a small number of them gain international recognition.
The boy bands and artists below have played their music all over the world, but they all were formed in Korea. This list includes newer K-pop boy groups like Bangtan Boys (BTS), EXO, and Got7 as well as the older yet still popular bands like Big Bang, Super Junior, and SHINee.
BTS. This seven-member boy band has taken the world by storm and are definitely the biggest name in K-pop.
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