What Is K-Pop?
K-Pop is a genre of South Korean pop music. Hang on. I know what you're thinking: I saw that Gangnam Style video and it was pretty funny, but I wouldn't want to listen to that stuff all the time. Well, for better or worse (depending on how much of a Psy fan you are) a lot of Korean pop music is nothing like Gangnam Style. In fact, the look and sound of K-Pop is heavily influenced by American pop music, so many Korean girl groups are actually much more likely to sound similar to artists like Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, and Rihanna.
What Are K-Pop Idols and Idol Groups?
Most K-Pop artists are trained performers rather than discovered musicians. They are usually recruited from talent scouting competitions and awarded long-term contracts that include years of training in music, dance, and choreography. Many start training for talent contests on their own when they are as young as 9 or 10 years old. Therefore, it is more accurate to consider K-pop idols professional entertainers and media personalities rather than simply musicians.
Other K-Pop Artists
- 10 K-Pop Korean Boy Bands You Should Know
If you like what you see, don't forget to check out the boys.
- 5 K-Pop Korean Solo Artists You Should Know
There are also tons of talented K-Pop solo artists.
Idol groups are girl and boy bands composed of trained idols who perform together to create a particular image and style. Though boy and girl bands (think Backstreet Boys and the Spice Girls) have waned in popularity among Western audiences, they are still hugely popular in many Asian countries like South Korea and Japan.
K-Pop music already has an immense following in Asia and it's rapidly gaining popularity worldwide. Here are 10 K-Pop girl groups you should know about to stay on top of the growing trend.
Jewelry was formed in 2001 by Star Empire Entertainment company and is currently the longest-running Korean girl group ever. It consists of four members: Eunjung, Baby J, Ye-won, and Semi. To date, Jewelry has 8 studio albums as well as tons of singles.
Jewelry - "Look at Me"
#9: After School
Formed by the Pledis Entertainment music label in 2009, After School was the first K-Pop band to introduce the graduation system for fluctuating band members. Originally, it had 5 members, but several original members have "graduated" and new members have been admitted. Currently After School has 8 members: Jungah, Jooyeon, Uee, Raina, Nana, Lizzy, E-Young and Kaeun. After school has released 2 studio albums (one Korean and one Japanese) and 21 music videos to date as well as a number of singles, collaborations, soundtrack appearances, etc.
After School - "Flashback"
F(x) is a girl group formed by the SM Entertainment record label in 2009. It consists of 5 members: Victoria, Amber, Luna, Sulli, and Krystal. They have produced one full studio album and 11 music videos to date, as well as several EPs and Single albums.
F(x) - "Hot Summer"
#7: Brown Eyed Girls
Brown Eyed Girls, aka B.I.G. was formed by the Nega Network record label in 2006. The group has 4 members: JeA, Miryo, Narsha, and Gain. They have produced 4 studio albums and a number of singles and EPs.
Brown Eyed Girls - "Abracadabra"
Sistar was formed in 2010 by the Starship Entertainment record label. The group consists of 4 members: Hyorin, Bora, Soyou, and Dasom. To date, they have produced one studio album and 13 music videos as well as many single albums and EPs.
Sistar - "Alone"
T-ARA was formed in 2009 by the Core Contents Media entertainment label. The group consists of 7 members: Boram, Qri, Soyeon, Eunjung, Hyomin, Jiyeon, and Areum. They have produced 2 studio albums and a number of singles and EPs.
T-ARA - "Cry Cry"
Rania was created in 2011 by DR Music and consists of 6 members: Saem, Riko, Jooyi, Di, T-ae, and Xia. They have released one studio album and several singles.
Rania - "Dr. Feel Good"
4Minute was formed in 2009 by the Cube Entertainment record label. The group has 5 members: Nam Ji-hyun, Heo Ga-yoon, Jeon Ji-yoon, Kim Hyun-a, and Kwon So-hyun. They have 2 studio albums, 25 music videos, and tons of compilations and singles.
4Minute - "Huh"
2NE1 was formed by the YG Entertainment record label in 2009. The group consists of 4 members: CL, Minzy, Dara, and Bom. 2NE1 has released 2 studio albums and 27 music videos as well as many singles and several collaborations.
2NE1 - "I Am The Best"
#1: Girls' Generation
Girls' Generation, aka SNSD, was formed by the S.M. Entertainment record label in 2007. The group consists of 9 members: Taeyeon, Jessica, Sunny, Tiffany, Hyoyeon, Yuri, Sooyoung, Yoona, and Seohyun. Girls' Generation is one of the most popular K-Pop groups of all time. They have released 6 studio albums and a number of singles and EPs and many of the members have enjoyed careers in film and TV as well.
Girls' Generation - "The Boys"
jungkookie on March 28, 2018:
snsd...go yoona the best!!
limjimin on January 19, 2017:
SNSD is really the best! Jigeumeun So Nyeo Shi Dae!
Dino forever on December 31, 2016:
Juliana Pagayunan on December 22, 2016:
2NE1 is the best ever! SNSD may have many awards earned, but 2NE1 has its originality. I love them both, fan of theirs but I think 2NE1 should be in the first place, anyway.
Sang Nguyen Feria on June 11, 2016:
my favorites is a SNSD and T ara
Krystal on September 28, 2015:
One day fx will be the one. No matter what fx is my no1.
danella on September 13, 2015:
snsd will always be number 1 no matter what. i know 2ne1 fans got mad but look snsd have done so much that 2en1 haven't even got there.weather u like it or not snsd is 1. if u don't believe me go see facts and every they have done. they were the 1st to get 100m veiws on youtube, i dont think 2en1 did duh, also they won the best music of the year for youtube in america witch it beat chris brown and others
sama on June 25, 2015:
snsd is always one in my heart.I love them and 2ne1 too
Yoon Love Bomi on June 21, 2015:
Yuri on February 01, 2015:
Snsd/girls' generation is always the first indifferent website
Mei Rong on January 29, 2015:
where is Girl's Day????????? 2ne1 fighting!
Aya on January 08, 2015:
I think miss A too ...
lina on December 11, 2014:
F(x) always no.3 and my Girl's Generation no.1............love F(x) and Girl's Generation
Tania on December 09, 2014:
SNSD is The Most Popular,and The One of The Legend in Kpop Industry, and most in demand. Their song is good, good to hear, and always changing genres, and very catchy.
Their appearance is not boring, and they have many fashionable and different costumes, and their style is very nice, and classy. SNSD members are very talented in any field:
1) .Taeyeon:-member girl group that has a golden voice and a very powerful, one of the DJs that are reliable, and one of the most beautiful Asian women.
2.Jessica: One member of K-pop girl group that has the voice of angels, and The Barbie of Korea, And Very Good in Fashion Industry.
3).Sunny : The Queen of Aegyeo,Very Good Artist in TV Show,Good in Singing,Her voice is very cute and soft.She is very good in MC and DJ Radio too.
4).Hyoyeon : The Dancing Queen.Her Dancing is not boring,very goodshe can dance in many image and genres music.She can dance with Hiphop Image,Glamour image,Sexy Image,and Girly Image.She is The Queen of Dorky with YoonA,and The One Of The Best Rapper.
5).Tiffany : The EYESMILE PRINCESS,Very Good in Singing,She is very good English Speaker.The Good DJ.And very Good in English Rapping.She is a Good Presenter and MC.,and Very Good in Playing Flute.
6).Yuri : Very good in Dancing,THE SEXIEST KOREAN IMAGE,Very Good in Acting.
7). Sooyoung : Good in Dancing,The Good TV Presenter,and very good in Acting.
8).YoonA : The Goddess of Asia,The Most Preetiest Asia Women.The Best Visual and Center of The Group.Very Good in Dancing and Pole Dance,Very Good in Modelling.ONE OF THE QUEEN OF CF.VERY GOOD IN PLAYING PIANO,AND Very Good In Acting.
9).Seohyun : The Kind Maknae and The Polite Maknae.Very Smart,and Very Good in Playing Piano,Guitar,and Violin.And Very Good Musical Artist.
VERY POPULAR DRAMA AND MOVIE PLAYED BY YOONA,YURI,AND SOOYOUNG :
- Love Rain (KBS2, 2012)
- Cinderella Man (MBC, 2009)
- You Are My Destiny (KBS1, 2008)
- Woman of Matchless Beauty, Park Jung Kum (MBC, 2008) cameo
- Unstoppable Marriage (KBS2, 2007) cameo
- 9 End 2 Outs (MBC, 2007).
-Prime Minister & I (2014).
-GOODBYE ANI (Coming Soon Movie in 2015).
- Dating Agency: Cyrano (tvN, 2013)
- The 3rd Hospital (tvN, 2012)
- A Gentleman's Dignity (SBS, 2012) cameo
- Paradise Ranch (SBS, 2011) cameo
- Oh! My Lady (SBS, 2010) cameo
- Unstoppable Marriage (KBS2, 2007)
-- Soonjeonh manhwa / Hello Schoolgirl (2008) MOVIE.
-MY SPRING DAY (2014)
- Fashion King (SBS, 2012)
- Unstoppable Marriage (KBS2, 2007)
- Soonjeonh manhwa / Hello Schoolgirl (2008) MOVIE
SHE IS VERY MULTITALENT AND POPULAR IN ANY FIELD,SHE IS THE BEST FEMALE GROUP EVER!!SNSD IS THE NUMBER 1.
Tania on December 09, 2014:
Even though this group was born since 2007, Girl Generation or SNSD has always been a popular girl band which earns more than millions of fans all over the world. The song that brings SNSD a significant popularity is “Gee” which was ranked as the most popular song of the decade in South Korea by the online music store MelOn. This single hit of SNSD also made this girl band become the first girl group to have music video viewed more than 100 million on YouTube. Because of the nine gorgeous, talented members, SNSD always remains as one of the most popular Korean Kpop female band. SNSD IS THE BEST EVER!!
david rizki on September 26, 2014:
You should put 1.snsd, 2. 2ne1 3.T-ara because t-ara so popular in asia and world, especially china, southeast asia, like vietnam, malay, indo, thailand, ect. T-ara Go!!
Nick Deal from Earth on August 16, 2014:
I think you'll need to add Girl's Day at this point. And goodbye Rania.
megu_mi on July 16, 2014:
Kim, you are right! SNSD doesn't the most popular group. 2ne1 is it.
poetryman6969 on June 30, 2014:
They do look young, fresh and cute!
JypNationStan on May 11, 2014:
Miss A Should be here miss A are The best i think U might Forget Them
kim on March 02, 2014:
there is no way snsd is no.1 cuz 2ne1 is the first korean girl group to go on a world tour and snsd never been to one and there is no way snsd can beat CL, her unbeatable rapping and her sexiness.BOM,her unbeatable unique voice,her sexiness,her baby doll face,and her sexy legs,and her dorkness.DARA,her cuteness,no one can rock a side haircut and her blonde hair like dara.MINZY,no one can beat her power dancing and no one can rock the stage like her when she is dancing and no one i mean no one can rock the stage like CL when she is rapping that's why her nickname is, BADDEST FEMALE IN SEOUL CITY.and snsd can't beat 2ne1's chrisma, unique voice,can't sing like bom,can't rap like CL,can't dance likeminzy and can't rock dara's hairstyle and 2ne1 is way better cuz they have different color and unique outfits on and snsd has only one color outfit and they only wear short jeans and short skirt thar all snsd can wear and 2ne1 can rock.there outfit and snsd can't beat 2ne1 and snsd are princesses of kpop and 2ne1 is the queen of kpop so queens are.way much better than princesses and snsd sucks like helll 2ne1 fighting i know u can beat snsd!!!!!
azim alfiey on January 16, 2014:
Yeah . 4minute is top 3 .
peachy from Home Sweet Home on December 28, 2013:
i love SNSD, they sing cool and hip hop songs. The others such as sistar, miss a and brown eye girls are cool too.
HF.FaTaLiiTy on December 11, 2013:
No Miss A ? :3
Christy Kirwan (author) from San Francisco on November 11, 2013:
Adrian Cloute from Cedartown, GA on August 28, 2013:
These are some good Korean pop girl. Thanks for the hub! It was amazing! Voted up!
Christy Kirwan (author) from San Francisco on May 29, 2013:
Wow, I knew plastic surgery was common among the idols, but I didn't realize it could be quite so brutal! I'd never even consider plastic surgery on myself, but I think it's indicative of the idol "persona" and how those young men and women are trained to play the part of media personalities that are basically constructs.
Fawntia Fowler from Portland on May 29, 2013:
I was just checking out your profile, and this Hub stood out to me because of a recent Atlantic article I read about K-Pop and plastic surgery. It is morbidly fascinating if you haven't read it: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/05/...
I can't imagine getting my jaw broken on purpose!
Christy Kirwan (author) from San Francisco on April 11, 2013:
Haha, I guess so! There were a couple more I wanted to include too, but I didn't want to make my Hub a million pages long. Also, Jewelry is really good! I really like a few of their songs. :D
Edward Zhang from Bay Area, CA on April 11, 2013:
I think you might have forgotten to mention Wonder Girls (especially the song Nobody). And also, I've actually never even heard of Jewelry before! Great hub :)
Christy Kirwan (author) from San Francisco on March 27, 2013:
Thanks, TheKatsMeow, it's always great to find other fans!
Katee Shew from Canada on March 26, 2013:
As a fan of K-Pop, this article was a lot of fun to read! Thanks for posting these videos!