Top 20 Most Successful and Best-Selling KPOP Groups Ever
Kpop music is extremely popular nowadays. A lot of music lovers had discovered the wonder of listening to it because of their trendy songs, catchy music, colorful styles, iconic fashion, and unique dance moves like no other. The popularity of Kpop dominates the world. But who are the kings and queens of this trendy music? Who are the best K-pop groups?
Let's find it out in this list of top 20 most successful and best-selling Kpop groups ever. This is not just about who's most popular, most handsome, most beautiful, or most iconic. This list is a combination of first top 10 female groups and first top 10 male groups, and is based on their album sales alone.
Every year, the competition is tight when it comes to being the best K-pop group of the year. But no other girl group has accomplished the same achievements as Twice (트와이스) in 2016. Their rise into popularity was fast, with the fact that they have only debuted in the late 2015. The music video of their song, "Like OOH-AHH" hit 50 million views within five months of their debut and became the most-viewed debut music video for any K-pop group. The group is composed of nine members: Nayeon, Jeongyeon, Momo, Sana, Jihyo, Mina, Dahyun, Chaeyoung, and Tzuyu.
In 2015, their album was confirmed to have sold 0.49 million, which is a bombastic thing for a newly-formed group. They are under JYP Entertainment.
Since 2011, Apink (에이핑크) has been popular for their very innocent and girlish image, which is often compared to first-generation idol girl groups S.E.S. and Fin.K.L.Unlike the other girl groups, Apink focuses on their music more than their sexy image as idols. Though they have shown a much matured side with their 2014 releases, they are still recognized as one of the cutest K-pop girl groups. The group consists of six members: Park Cho-rong, Yoon Bo-mi, Jung Eun-ji, Son Na-eun, Kim Nam-joo and Oh Ha-young.
Despite being a rookie group, their best-selling release, Seven Springs of Apink has sold 0.53 million in 2011. They are formed by Plan A Entertainment (formerly A Cube Entertainment).
Known for their catchy EDM and electro-pop music, the girl group f(x) (에프엑스) is one of the most recognized K-pop groups internationally. Their acclaimed second album, Pink Tape, was the only K-pop album on US music channel Fuse's '41 Best Albums of 2013'. They have also received several prestigious awards at the Golden Disk Awards and Seoul Music Awards. In March 2013, they became the first K-pop artists to perform at SXSW in Austin, Texas. The group is composed of four members: Victoria, Amber, Luna, and Krystal.
f(x) became one of the best-selling K-pop groups after they had reportedly sold 0.65 million in 2009 The group was formed under S.M. Entertainment.
Another popular girl group is 2NE1 (투애니원). They became extremely known for their debut song, "Fire" which was released on May 6, 2009. Within the first 24 hours of release, the two versions of the song's music videos have received over one million views. Following their immense debut success, the hit song, "I Don't Care" was released as the group's second single became the most downloaded song of July 2009. At the end of 2010, 2NE1 was awarded the two grand awards: Artist of the Year and Album of the Year. The group was originally composed of CL, Bom, Minzy and Dara.
2NE1 had became so successful after hitting 0.83 million in 2009. They are formed by YG Entertainment.
Formed in 2009, T-ara (티아라) has made their success record of being one of the best-selling girl groups. Their debut studio album, Absolute First Album, was released in December 2009 and made several hit singles including "TTL (Time to Love)", "Bo Peep Bo Peep", and "You Drive Me Crazy". Their second extended play, John Travolta Wannabe (2011) includes "Roly-Poly", which was nominated for several awards and went on to become the Gaon chart's number one single of the year. Because of their huge success, they became popular in other countries. T-ara is regarded as the most popular K-pop girl group in China. The group is composed of six-members: Boram, Qri, Soyeon, Eunjung, Hyomin and Jiyeon.
The group has sold 0.97 million in 2009. It was formed by MBK Entertainment.
One of the most popular boy band of today's generation is Infinite (인피니트). Their first album Over The Top was released on July 21, 2011 along with the music video of their title track Be Mine. The track received a "Double Crown" for winning two consecutive #1 places at M! Countdown. When they had their first and second concert, their tickets were immediately sold online minutes after being released. Their mini-album New Challenge sold over 160,000 copies in South Korea alone and was one of the best-selling albums of 2013. The group has seven members, namely Sungkyu, Dongwoo, Woohyun, Hoya, Sungyeol, L, and Sungjong.
Infinite became one of the most successful boy groups and has reportedly sold 1.81 m in 2010. They are formed by Woollim Entertainment
They are regarded as the best Kpop group of 2016. BTS, also called as Bangtan Boys, had phenomenally gained popularity since they debuted on June 13, 2013. Known for their large social media presence, BTS were named by Forbes as the most re-tweeted artist on Twitter in March 2016. After their debut. they became even more popular as the rise into widespread prominence with their Most Beautiful Moment in Life trilogy and charted at number one on the Billboard World Albums Chart. It remained in the spot for multiple weeks, making BTS the first K-Pop act to achieve that feat. The seven members of BTS are: Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Rap Monster, Jimin, V, and Jungkook.
BTS had reportedly sold 2.2 million in 2013. They are under Big Hit Entertainment.
Part of the 'early originals', Fin.K.L (핑클) is a very popular K-pop girl group since their debut in 1998 and before they disband in 2002. They are one of the first groups who introduced the art of R&B and ballad in Kpop music. The trend of late 1990s K-pop was to have groups sing cute and catchy music but Fin.K.L is not as typical as the other groups. Some of their best songs are Blue Rain, To My Boyfriend, and Sad Tears, which was a ballad about a lost love, and giving that love up for the sake of everyone else. They have also won numerous music awards along with the other famous girl group, SES. Fin.K.L has four members: Lee Hyori, Ock Joo-hyun, Lee Jin and Sung Yuri.
Up to this day, their record-breaking hit of selling over 2.380 million in 1998 is truly remarkable.
12. Baby V.O.X
Another golden group of their generation, Baby V.O.X (베이비복스) was a five-member female dance group active from 1997 to 2006. The group's first members are Cha Yu-Mi, Jung Shi Woon, Jang Hyun Jung, Lee Hee Jin and Kim E-Z. But after the first album, both Jung and Jang left the group and were replaced with Shim Eun Jin, Kan Mi Youn, and Lee Gai. In 1999, Yoon Eun Hye replaced Lee Gai. Their single "Get Up" was released and reached the number one spot on the Korean music pop charts, while "Killer" earned the 'Top Excellency Award' in Seoul Music Award in 1999.
The group was a total success and reportedly sold 2.381 million in 1997.
11. Big Bang
Labeled as the "Kings of K-pop" and "Nation's Boy Band", Big Bang (빅뱅) is considered by The Washington Post as the 'biggest band in Asia' because of their terrific popularity in the world. Big Bang were the first Korean hip-hop mainstream idols, being credited for the genre spreading throughout the world as a representative of the Hallyu Wave. Conquering the globe with their pop and hip hop music, they are one of the most promising bands that inspired many other boy bands. The group is also a very popular icon in Japan, knowing for their strong influence on J-pop. Since their debut in 2006, the group has been awarded in recognition of their masterpieces in music. The five members of Big Bang are T.O.P, Taeyang, G-Dragon, Daesung and Seungri.
Their worldwide influence brought success as they sold 2.4 million in 2006. The group is formed by YG Entertainment.
A premier dance group behind the best songs of the 90's, Turbo (터보) is originally a duo consisted of Kim Jong-kook and Kim Jung-nam. When Jung-nam left, Mikey was replaced and they continued to become one of the biggest K-pop stars from 1995-2000. In 1995, they made a blast in the dance world with their debut song, My Childhood Dream. Their hit songs, 'Twist King' and 'Black Cat' was a total success and extremely popular, and still remains as an all-time favorite dance songs up to date. The music video for their song "Tonight" garnered much popularity and was regarded as one of the best music videos of 2000. In 2015, they made a comeback as a trio after 15 years with "Again", releasing a single of the same name featuring the Nation's MC, Yoo Jae-suk.
Turbo's legendary fame left a mark in history after selling 2.77 million in 1995.
Called as the 'Asia's Stars' and dubbed by Billboard as 'K-pop royalty', TVXQ (Tong Vfang Xien Qi) have become one of Asia's most successful music acts of their generation after selling over 10 million records in the first 10 years of their career. Their Time Tour, one of the highest-grossing concert tours of 2013, is the highest-attended concert tour held by a foreign music act in Japan. The group originally began as a five-member boy band composed of members U-Know Yunho, Max Changmin, Hero Jaejoong, Micky Yoochun, and Xiah Junsu. In 2011, the group returned as a duo with Yunho and Changmin. Their intense, powerful, and passionate songs and dance moves brought them groundbreaking success.
During their debut year, TVXQ sold 3.1 million in 2003. They are formed by S.M. Entertainment.
A girl group known for their sweet image and melody is Kara (카라). The group originally started off as a quartet and made their debut with the song "Break It" while showing a strong feminine image and a mature R&B sound. Formed by DSP Media, the expectations for the group were big because they were considered as successors to their senior label mate, Fin.K.L. Overall, the group managed to sell over one million physical singles within two years, making them one of the fastest-selling South Korean acts in Japan. The group's final lineup was composed of Park Gyuri, Han Seungyeon, Goo Hara and Heo Youngji.
Upon their debut, the group sold 3.21 million in 2007.
The success, fame, trust, and loyalty of Shinhwa (신화) as a group is definitely a great friendship goal. Throughout its 18 years of existence, the group has achieved many successes and has been awarded many honors. Shinhwa became the longest-running Korean boy band in existence. They also hold the record for the only boy band to stay together for a decade and not lose members along the way nor add another one in. Also in 2011, they became the first K-pop group to own their own entertainment company, when they established the 'Shinhwa Company'. The members of the group are Eric Mun, Lee Min-woo, Kim Dong-wan, Shin Hye-sung, Jun Jin, and Andy Lee.
They have sold 3.31 million in 1998. They are formed by SM Entertainment but later moved to Good Entertainment.
6. Super Junior
Super Junior (슈퍼주니어), also known as SuJu, is the best-selling K-pop artist for four years in a row. The group launched into international recognition following the release of their best-selling single "Sorry, Sorry" in 2009. Due to their overwhelming success, they have already earned thirteen music awards from the Mnet Asian Music Awards, sixteen from the Golden Disk Awards, and are the second singing group to win Favorite Artist Korea at the 2008 MTV Asia Awards. The group has thirteen members in total, originally debuted with twelve members, consisting of leader Leeteuk, Heechul, Hangeng, Yesung, Kangin, Shindong, Sungmin, Eunhyuk, Siwon, Donghae, Ryeowook and Kibum. Kyuhyun joined the group in 2006.
The group was able to sold 3.39 million in 2005. They are formed by SM Entertainment.
5. Girls' Generation
Undeniably the best Kpop girl group and the most popular in our era is the Girls' Generation (소녀시대) also called SNSD. The group is originally composed of nine members: Taeyeon, Sunny, Tiffany, Hyoyeon, Yuri, Sooyoung, Yoona, Seohyun, and Jessica (who left the group in 2014). The group rose to fame with their single "Gee", which claimed the top spot on KBS's Music Bank for a record-breaking nine consecutive weeks and was named the most popular song of the 2000s in South Korea by Melon. SNSD is also popular for their iconic fashion, being the model for today's trend. The members are often seen as sisters, role models, and icons which many people love, because of their cute, feminine and happy style.
Upon debut, they sold 3.46 million in 2007. They are formed under SM Entertainment.
The best girl group of the earlier generation is SES (에스.이.에스), which is also dubbed as the female counterpart of the best boy band, H.O.T. The group raised phenomenal popularity, becoming K-pop's first highly successful girl group. They released their first album, I'm Your Girl, in 1997 under SM Entertainment, and had their public debut in November 1997. Their look at the time was very innocent, with their songs being cute love songs. At the end of 1999, their third album, Love was released. It was their best-selling album, selling over 762,000 copies. This is currently the holder of the record for best-selling album in Korea by a female group. The trio of the group are Bada, Eugene and Shoo,
SES successfully sold 3.55 million in 1997.
One of the most successful boy bands ever is g.o.d (지오디). The name is an acronym for Groove Over Dose. They were one of the few groups to have an album become a "million seller" in K-pop. As one of the most recent million album selling groups in South Korea, they are often referred to as "the Nation's idol", and considered as the "Legends of K-Pop". After winning the Daesang from the three major broadcasting systems in Korea for their multi-million selling 4th album, they began a "100-day Human Concert" where all the shows were sold out and each day had a different theme. The members of this legendary group are Park Joon-hyung, Yoon Kye-sang, Danny Ahn, Son Ho-young, and Kim Tae-woo.
They have sold 5.1 million in 1999.
They have been named "the biggest boy band in the world" after dominating the K-pop world with their massive success upon debut. EXO (엑소) were ranked as the most influential celebrity by Forbes Korea for the year 2014 and 2015, after their first album XOXO (2013), which contained the breakthrough hit "Growl", was a critical and commercial success. With this, they won both Disk Daesang at the 28th Golden Disk Awards and Album of the Year at the 15th Mnet Asian Music Awards. It sold over one million copies, making Exo the best-selling Korean artist in twelve years. The group had twelve members: Xiumin, Suho, Lay, Baekhyun, Chen, Chanyeol, D.O., Kai, Sehun (present members), with Luhan, Kris, and Tao as past members.
Their record-breaking act sold 6.1 million in 2012. They are formed by SM Entertainment.
H.O.T (에이치오티) was the best K-pop group of its generation before it disbanded in 2001. They are credited as the first K-pop boy band and the forerunners of the "idol group" trend in the Korean music industry. They successfully turned mainstream Korean music into music for the younger generation, as their name suggests, "High-five Of Teenagers". Not only the group was popular in their country, H.O.T was also popular in Taiwan, China, and Korean and Asian communities in the Americas. It was the first group to have an album become a "million seller" in K-pop, despite there being a financial crisis in South Korea at the time. The members of the band were Moon Hee-joon, Jang Woo-hyuk, Tony An, Kangta and Lee Jae-won.
Upon their debut they have sold 7.6 million in 1996, which remains unbeatable up to this date. They were formed by SM Entertainment.
Best-selling Kpop group according to overall sales (albums, singles, DVDs)
After knowing the top 20 list of the best-selling K-pop groups based on their album sales alone, we're still curious as to who's the King and Queen of all media. For the overall sales, which includes all types of physical album - CDs and DVDs of their albums and singles, here's the list of our top 13. Take note: TVXQ is the leading male K-pop group, while SNSD is the leading female K-pop group.