report

10 K-Pop Korean Boy Bands You Should Know

The members of Big Bang, an immensely popular Korean boy band.
The members of Big Bang, an immensely popular Korean boy band. | Source

What is K-Pop?

K-Pop refers to a genre of popular music produced in South Korea. The contemporary K-Pop style emerged in the 1990s and was heavily influenced by American popular music, particularly genres such as rap, R&B, and techno. It's easy to see the influence of American pop icons such as Madonna and Michael Jackson in the sounds and visual styles of many K-Pop artists.

But K-Pop performers are much more than Western wannabes. They've sampled diverse musical styles and created something totally new, unique, and awesome. K-Pop is wildly popular in the Asian world for its signature swagger, class, and catchiness, and it's rapidly becoming a worldwide phenomenon.

K-Pop Idols

One of the unique aspects of K-Pop is the creation of idols and idol groups. Korean idols are typically young, extremely good-looking, highly-skilled performers. Unlike Western musicians and stars, K-Pop idols undergo rigorous training in dance, choreography, voice training, musical theory, and other entertainment-related subjects to qualify for long-term contracts. Some begin training as early as 9 or 10 years old to pass the auditions.

The candidates who pass both the grueling training programs and competitive auditions often have the opportunity to become idols. In essence, K-Pop idols are incredibly hard-working, dedicated professional entertainers and media personalities.

K-Pop Idol Groups

Boy and girl bands (like 'N Sync and the Spice Girls) have gone out of fashion in the Western world, but they're a huge deal in K-Pop. Some idols who pass the auditions are contracted to perform in idol groups which are typically organized with all-boy or all-girl members.

Members of idol groups occasionally work on collaborative projects with other idols and groups outside of their own, and members of particularly successful groups sometimes develop flourishing solo careers as well (Like G-Dragon of Big Bang and Hyun-Ah of 4Minute).

If you're just learning about K-Pop (or if you're already a fan), these are 10 popular boy bands you should hear.

#10: F.T. Island

The members of F.T. Island.
The members of F.T. Island. | Source

Debut: 2007

Entertainment Label: Mnet Media

Number of Members: 5

Members: Choi Jong-hoon, Lee Hongki, Lee Jae jin, Song Seung-hyun, and Choi Min-hwan.

Studio Albums: 6 Korean, 7 Japanese

Fun Fact: "F.T. Island" is short for "Five Treasure Island."

F.T. Island, "I Hope"

#9: SS501

The members of U-KISS.
The members of U-KISS. | Source

Debut: 2005

Entertainment Label: DSP Entertainment

Number of Members: 5

Members: Kim Hyun-joong, Heo Young-saeng, Kim Kyu-jong, Park Jung-min, and Kim Hyung-jun.

Studio Albums: 1 Korean, 2 Japanese

Fun Fact: The band's name is pronounced "Double S 5-oh-1." They have been on hiatus since 2010.

SS501, "Love Ya"

#8: U-KISS

The members of U-KISS.
The members of U-KISS. | Source

Debut: 2008

Entertainment Label: NH Media

Number of Members: 7

Members: Shin Soohyun, Kiseop, Hoon, Eli, AJ, Kevin Woo, and Shin Dongho.

Studio Albums: 3 Korean, 4 Japanese

Fun Fact: U-Kiss stands for "Ubiquitous Korean International idol Super Star."

U-Kiss, "Tick Tack"

#7: B2ST (or Beast)

The members of B2ST.
The members of B2ST. | Source

Debut: 2009

Entertainment Label: Cube Entertainment

Number of Members: 6

Members: Yoon Doo-joon, Jang Hyun-seung, Yong Jun-hyung, Yang Yo-seob, Lee Gi-kwang, and Son Dong-woon.

Studio Albums: 2 Korean, 1 Japanese

Fun Fact: BEAST was subjected to a lot of criticism on their debut for being underwhelming and relatively unpopular as a supergroup, but they rose to popularity by 2011, matching and exceeding expectations of their success.

B2ST, "Shock"

#6: MBLAQ

The members of MBLAQ.
The members of MBLAQ. | Source

Debut: 2009

Entertainment Label: J. Tune Entertainment

Number of Members: 5

Members: Seungho, G.O, and Mir

Studio Albums: 1 Korean

Fun Fact: MBLAQ stands for "Music Boys Live in Absolute Quality."

MBLAQ - "Stay"

#5: TVXQ!

The members of TVXQ!.
The members of TVXQ!. | Source

Debut: 2003

Entertainment Label: S.M. Entertainment

Number of Members: 2

Members: U-Know Yunho and Max Changmin.

Studio Albums: 8 Korean, 8 Japanese

Fun Fact: The group's Japanese name is Tohoshinki, which means "Rising Gods of the East."

TVXQ, "Catch Me"

#4: 2PM

The members of 2PM.
The members of 2PM. | Source

Debut: 2008

Entertainment Label: JYP Entertainment

Number of Members: 6

Members: Jun. K, Nichkhun, Taecyeon, Wooyoung, Junho, and Chansung

Studio Albums: 5 Korean, 4 Japanese

Fun Fact: American musician Jay Park is the former bandleader. He left the group in 2010 to work on a solo career.

2PM, "I'm Your Man"

#3: SHINee

The members of SHINee.
The members of SHINee. | Source

Debut: 2008

Entertainment Label: S.M. Entertainment

Number of Members: 5

Members: Onew, Jonghyun, Key, Minho, and Taemin

Studio Albums: 6 Korean, 3 Japanese

Fun Fact: The entire band has been in four Korean reality TV shows including two dating shows, a parenting competition, and a variety series.

SHINee, "Lucifer"

#2: Super Junior

Some of the members of Super Junior.
Some of the members of Super Junior. | Source

Debut: 2005

Entertainment Label: S.M. Entertainment

Number of Members: 12

Members: Leeteuk, Heechul, Yesung, Kangin, Shingdong, Sungmin, Eunhyuk, Donghae, Siwon, Ryeowook, Kibum, Kyuhyun

Studio Albums: 8 Korean, 1 Japanese

Fun Fact: Super Junior was one of the first K-Pop groups to achieve a high level of international success.

Super Junior, "Sexy, Free & Single"

#1: Big Bang

Debut: 2006

Entertainment Label: YG Entertainment

Number of Members: 5

Members: Kwon Ji-yong, Choi Seung-hyun, Dong Young-bae, Kang Dae-sung, and Lee Seung-hyun.

Studio Albums: 2 Korean, 4 Japanese

Fun Fact: Every single member of Big Bang has released at least one solo album.

The members of Big Bang.
The members of Big Bang. | Source

Big Bang - "Fantastic Baby"

K-Pop Boy Band Quick Reference Table

 
Band
Members
Since
Label
#1
Big Bang
5
2006
YG Entertainment
#2
Super Junior
12
2005
S.M. Entertainment
#3
SHINee
5
2008
S.M. Entertainment
#4
2PM
6
2008
JYP Entertainment
#5
TVXQ!
2
2003
S.M. Entertainment
#6
MBLAQ
5
2009
J. Tune Entertainment
#7
B2ST
6
2009
Cube Entertainment
#8
U-KISS
7
2008
NH Media
#9
SS501
5
2005
DSP Entertainment
#10
F.T. Island
5
2007
Mnet Media

More by this Author


Comments 86 comments

My Cook Book profile image

My Cook Book 3 years ago from India

Hello Christy Kirwan, i must say i never heard of any one of them. The songs are pretty cool. In fact i don't know any Korean singers before the the launch of the sensational hit Gangnam Style by Psy, a South Korean singer. Thank for the hub. Voted UP


Christy Kirwan profile image

Christy Kirwan 3 years ago from San Francisco Author

Glad you enjoyed it, My Cook Book!


Tashun 3 years ago

What about B.A.P , EXO or BTOP ??


Christy Kirwan profile image

Christy Kirwan 3 years ago from San Francisco Author

Hey Tashun, I was only doing a Top 10 list, so I did miss out on a bunch of good ones. :( I hope if people like what they see that they'll look up more bands on their own! :D


matt_elmore profile image

matt_elmore 3 years ago from San Diego

This hub is awesome! Thanks for putting this together.


1_emily 3 years ago

there's a small mistake FT Island is under FNC Entertainment!


Christy Kirwan profile image

Christy Kirwan 3 years ago from San Francisco Author

Hi 1_emily, Mnet Media and FNC Entertainment are the same company, which has recently changed its name again and currently goes by CJ E&M Music and Live.


Zero 3 years ago

SS501's debut date in the table should be 2005 not 2008


Christy Kirwan profile image

Christy Kirwan 3 years ago from San Francisco Author

Oops, you're right Zero, thanks for the correction. Fixing it now. :)


Suzy 3 years ago

And U-KISS should be 2008 ^^


Christy Kirwan profile image

Christy Kirwan 3 years ago from San Francisco Author

Oh my, it looks like I got those two mixed up. Thanks Suzy. :)


itwilllooklikethis 3 years ago

You forgot shinhwa


Amaze_me 3 years ago

Dongho-kun has actually left Ukiss because he had bronchitis so he's out of the band....


Christy Kirwan profile image

Christy Kirwan 3 years ago from San Francisco Author

@Amaze_me I'm so sorry to hear that! Thanks for letting me know. I'll be updating the article soon.


AvineshP profile image

AvineshP 2 years ago from Chandigarh

I think they are only famous in Korea and they are not recognized, as a band, across the world.


Christy Kirwan profile image

Christy Kirwan 2 years ago from San Francisco Author

Which band to you mean, Avinesh? K-Pop in general is growing in popularity worldwide, and especially with Americans.


klidstone1970 profile image

klidstone1970 2 years ago from Niagara Region, Canada

The only one I've ever heard of is the K-Pop girl band, Girls Generation. My one daughter is a huge fan...posters...cd's...books, you name it. I'll have to ask her if she's familiar with the boy bands. Thanks for sharing.


eccentric 2 years ago

im a VIP and very glad Bigbang is no1. they really deserved it.


zanariah 2 years ago

well...super junior now just a 11 member because kim ki bum now focusing in acting..sorry for my bad english..im asian..


haru haru 2 years ago

how about infinite?


Anna 2 years ago

Yeah bigbang no.1 they are the best


syungie 2 years ago

You forgot the legend! shinhwa rules among male idol groups!! As they are the longest running idol group in korea! Shinhwa san!


wiki 2 years ago

Ok.... Redarding TVXQ.... Could you please add the former member? Or change the debut date to 2009! The biggest success they had as FIVE. Not as two and not as three! DBSK will always be five members. Please change i :)


angry elf 2 years ago

this not right super junior should be #1


ashley claie 2 years ago

where is EXO they should be in here


Technogala profile image

Technogala 2 years ago

i really love the Korean pop band


Toni 2 years ago

You left out 2 main ones INFINITE and EXO. Like SS501 no linger exist and it's still there? Common.....


Christy Kirwan profile image

Christy Kirwan 2 years ago from San Francisco Author

I haven't had a chance to update this list in a while. I will do so soon. Thanks for all the suggestions!


saka 2 years ago

Exo? Wheris exo ? I expected exo in #1


ann 2 years ago

wheree is EXO????????????????


Chiaki 2 years ago

Where is CNBLUE?


anji 2 years ago

c;mon where is exo?


precious 2 years ago

I m glad bigbang is no. 1.... i m huge fan of bigbang....


vipbigbang 2 years ago

Bigbang really deserved the No #1 place . Don't compare them w/ exo . Exo and Bigbang are two different groups . They have their own speciality . Exo is doing well , but i don't like them lol . No offence ;)


Hhhhh 2 years ago

Exo n1 in the world


EXO_Fan 2 years ago

Why isn't EXO on the list?????


k ughh 2 years ago

Ss501 is the best 4 ever.love them.


ExoStan88 2 years ago

Where's Exo ? They should be in the list..


Jessica Allen 2 years ago

I love 2pm! Yea, even though they aren't number one I'm still glad that they are fourth! I love Nichkhun! I love Jun. K! I love Wooyoung! I love Junho! I love Taecyeon! I love Chansung! And I will always love and miss jay park


EXO_EXO 2 years ago

What?! Why is EXO not included?! I understand that EXO is losing memebers specifically Kris and Luhan but I really think that they should be included at least on the Top 5 because they really deserve it.


BelleJulz profile image

BelleJulz 2 years ago from New York

Love KPop; great song selections of these awesome bands!


ashley 2 years ago

SS501 is the best boy band forever. Thanks for putting them.


Lovelle Paglinawan Xi 2 years ago

Exo is no 1,,, they really deserves to be no.1


Exo 2 years ago

EXO Fighting


Lajaina 2 years ago

Yay! Beast! ^_^


ywaiimfh 2 years ago

why exo is not included..they deserve a slot..


kpoplover 2 years ago

where's JYJ, Infinite , Shinhwa, EXO, and CNBlue????Ohmygod...... you sure missed quite a few!!! please update.....saranghaeyo anyway bcuz you included my boys in mblaq right there.:)


China Abarquez 24 months ago

Where's JYJ? It breaks my heart. Huhuhu. They are also good and popular. And members don't just sing or dance but also have the ability to act. Anyway, Big Bang is still no. 1 especially T.O.P. and GD.


kalden bhutia 23 months ago

im a pure vip,love u big bang.


jbg 23 months ago

Ss501 no 1 korean group.


alis 23 months ago

seriously stop complaining about exo. These groups are just as good or even better than exo.


Hash 23 months ago

Everyone complaining about Exo needs to just calm down for a moment, and fangirl - like I am - over how SHINee's in there. That is all. Peace out.


Diana 22 months ago

It's hard to accept the placing of other groups as higher than TVXQ... (which should indeed include Jaejoong, Junsu and Yoochun). They were the ones who started everything in many ways :] They are legends, recognized and admired by all of the groups in this list. Anyway, thanks for the post!


iamnotyou 22 months ago

where's EXO? i keep coming back to see it in your list, but it seems, you don't like them. it's dissapointing. anyway, thanks for this!


Christy Kirwan profile image

Christy Kirwan 22 months ago from San Francisco Author

I like them a lot! I just haven't had time to update my list in a while. Lot of other things going on. I'll get to it in the next couple months. Thanks for reading! :)


hannah 22 months ago

Where's BTS AND EXO? :( but im still happy Suju and 2pm is in the list


LUffy 21 months ago

best list ever m glad.........bigbang is awesome


TOP jjang 21 months ago

off course BIGBANG is no 1.....boom shaka laka


maria 21 months ago

Infinite?


V.I.P 20 months ago

LOVE YOU !!! BIG BANG... ;)


Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 19 months ago from Northeast Ohio

This was an interesting, Christy, since I never heard of these K-Pop Korean boy bands. Thanks for sharing. Voted up for interesting!


hons 19 months ago

K-pop works in india too we like Korean pop star saport will be their always.....we had a great influce of k-pop in North East India too.....


Miharu 18 months ago

I think JYJ is way better than them. Even though they can't promote on television because of... the love them because of their talents.

Though I still miss the time when they are five TVXQ/DBSK. They are legends.


Miharu 18 months ago

JYJ is still the best kpop group for me.. I love kpop because of them.

Though I would like it if they will reunite with TVXQ and form DBSK again.. the legendary king of KPOP


ML Tortoise 18 months ago

-Fangirl Alert YO Walk Past Say Hi-

Oh as I have predicted ZE:A is not going to be in there... They are so un derrated... TT I mean, popularity doesn't mean everything... Some groups are underrated *sighs* and by the way people should seriously stop commenting on EXO. They are talented, they don't mean everything. CHILL GUYS *fangirling on ZE:A CNBLUE INFINITE U-KISS BTS...* LOL I'm such a slut. *cries over My cutiepie DongJunie's blank IG account TT*


KPOPlover 18 months ago

EXO-L calm down. Obviously the author of this blog is a VIP.lol

EXO popularity is quickly rising but SUJU are still the King of Hallyu so they should be in #1.


exo_lover 17 months ago

Please update soon, EXO should be on the list :)

but thanks


ZN 17 months ago

where infinite???


Exo-L 16 months ago

I hope exo will be in the list


inspirit 14 months ago

what about infinite and exo?


tabita 14 months ago

Beast iz best forever


ELF 12 months ago

well no one ever said that super junor are 12 ..they are still 13 and u should say 13 -_-


EXO- XO 10 months ago

Where is EXO?????? EXO deserve to be in TOP 5


Anonymous 8 months ago

Yay my babe BIGBANG is the first!! Thx Christy Kirwan!


BTS 8 months ago

da uck, there is no EXO OR INFINITE. are you serious


Oohsehun 6 months ago

Lol this is totally wrong have you forgot exo, bts and got7??


Stefanie 6 months ago

What about EXO and BTS ?

They are also popular and deserve to be in top 5


Garrett 6 months ago

WHAT THE HECK, NO BTS, YOUR CRAZY. YOU SHOULD OF PUT BTS AS #1


KpopFan 5 months ago

I expected BTS or EXO to be in this list but I guess not :/


Dazzy 4 months ago

Where BTS and EXO?


Bros 3 months ago

Guys omfg chill. This article was published 3 years ago - a time when BTS and Exo weren't as big as they are ow.


camscasil 3 months ago

why doesnt have BTS


MAYEEE 2 months ago

EXOOOOO? WHERE IS EXO? THEY ARE DESERVE TO BE IN TOP #1


CrazyKiRInX 8 weeks ago

What about SEVENTEEN and SHINHWA!?


lavyaJiminBTS 5 weeks ago

Well fine. But i think they should change now and i think its better to present BTS as no.#1 Well i do know some of them though


we 2 weeks ago

where is INFINITE ????????????

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article