I am pretty sure that if you have access to the Internet, you must have heard of the word “K-POP” at least once before. After all, ever since the record-breaking performance of BTS, Blackpink, TWICE, and Big Bang, the world has become even more aware of this worldwide phenomenon. While what we know as the modern “K-POP” form was initialized back in the early 90s, this term has only become popular since the early days of the 2000s, replacing the previously used term “Gayo” to refer to pop music domestically in South Korea. As we all know, after gaining an early peak with the success of H.O.T., the growth of this industry temporarily slumped before going back on track and peaking ever since.
Due to the incredible success that this genre was able to achieve in a relatively short time frame, you can bet that K-pop has grown up to become quite an enormous subculture that attracts mainly young adults and teenagers. After the slump in the early days of the 2000s era, K-pop has been experiencing quite a great and continuous growth spurt. Groups after groups are created, most failed to capture the “IT” factor, but some did manage to do so. Thus, after some time there are quite a big number of K-pop groups available. This is why I would like to introduce you all to the world of K-pop through this list of the 5 Most Popular K-pop Groups As Of 2019 + Their Origin Story.
There is no way that I can start things off with any group other than the legendary BTS, comprising of 7 members: Jin, J-Hope, Suga, RM, V, Jimin, Jungkook, this group has been active since the early days of 2013. Most of us know of them due to their incredible feat of performing in the American Music Awards and then winning an award from the Billboard Music Award. In addition, they are also the very first South Korean act to have 10 million Twitter followers. This group is undeniably one of the biggest reasons that made the world attracted to the spell of “K-POP”.
Widely recognized as the most tweeted about celeb of all 2017, this group has managed to do the impossible feat of winning over the Western celebs in their own game. However, this does not mean that the group is only strong in the Western World. After all, they had just managed to set the record of the highest selling artist since the 2000s.
In the second place is no other than EXO, the golden boys of SM Entertainment. Formed back in 2011, the group started out as two subgroups. One of them is EXO-M and the other is EXO-K, catering to two different markets that are South Korea and China. Initially, the group has 12 members in total. However, after some years of operation, the group has lost some of its members and is currently having 9 members. They are Xiumin, Lay, Suho, Baekhyun, Chanyeol, Chen, D.O., Sehun, Kai. Back in both 2014 as well as 2015, the group was considered to be the most influential of all celebrities by the Power Celebrity segment of the Forbes Korea magazine.
The very first album of the group, containing their breakout hit “Growl” was both a critical as well as commercial success, making them the highest-selling Korean artist in 12 years until that point. Subsequent albums also enjoy high sales with the latest one being their highest-selling one yet.
Born from the 2015 reality show named Sixteen, TWICE is the South Korean entertainment giant JYP’s greatest masterpiece. Having nine members: Nayeon, Momo, Jeongyeon, Sana, Mina, Jihyo, Dahyun, Tzuyu, and Chaeyoung, this group became one of the most popular girl groups of 2015 right after they had released their debut extended play The Story Begins. However, their real rise to fame began one year later in 2016 with the single Cheer Up. The song charted for a long time on the number 1 spot of Gaon Digital Chart and then went on to become the undisputed best-performing song of that year. Then, the song also won for the group two Daesangs in two of the most prestigious music award show in South Korea: the Melon Music Award as well as the Mnet Asian Music Award.
Of course, with the success that the group was enjoying, there was no way that JYP will restrict them in the tiny country that is South Korea. On June 28, 2017, TWICE officially made their debut in Japan, the second biggest music market in the whole world, under the banner of Warner Music Japan.
Formed by the undisputed second biggest entertainment company of South Korea, BlackPink consists of four members: Jennie, Jisoo, Lisa, and Rosé. Debuting on the 8th of August, 2016, this group took the world by storm with their hip-hoppy and attention gathering music style. Their very first single album named Square One has two songs: Whistle and Boombayah. Whistle became their very first ever song to win number one in South Korea while Boombayah went on to become the first no.1 hit on the World Digital Song of Billboard for the group. In addition, the music video of Boombayah also set the most-viewed debut MV for a South Korean act. With this kind of unprecedented success, the group was officially hailed as New Artists of The Year in the Golden Disk Award, the undeniably most prestigious music award show of South Korea.
5. Wanna One
Formed from the hands of CJ E&M, this group is relatively new when compared to the other ones on this list, as they debuted in 2017. Consisting of 11 members: Yoon Ji-sung, Hwang Min-Hyun, Ha Sung-Woon, Ong Seong-wu, Kang Daniel, Kim Jae-hwan, Park Ji-hoon, Bae Jin-young, Park Woo-jin, Lai Guan-lin, and Lee Dae-Hwi. Just like TWICE, the group is formed after a reality show called Produce 101. With their highly-stylized choreography as well as electro-pop style tracks, the group quickly made a name for themselves. One of their most impressive success is the fact that they were chosen by Billboard to be the Best New K-pop Act of 2017.
Ilgan Sports, a respected journal in South Korea, placed them as the second in their list of 30 “Power People” in 2017. In addition, they were also ranked as the second in the list of Power Celebrity from Forbes Korea in 2018.