K-pop stands for Korean Pop music, a popular music genre that gained traction in just a few years. Many listeners have discovered the wonder of listening to this unique genre of music, hailing from South Korea.
The unforgettable chorus, catchy lyrics, colorful styles, trendy fashion, and unique dance choreography make this newly-found genre a heavy lifter in international music.
In fact, one of K-pop’s most successful bands, BTS, has sold 16 million albums (Map of the Soul is the best-selling album in Korean history) and was the best-selling artist to debut in the 2010s.
Here’s a list of some popular Kpop groups. These groups had their debut on and after the year 2005.
10 most popular K-Pop groups (January 2023)
BTS is undoubtedly the most popular K-pop group around the globe, and for good reasons. The group generates hip-hop, pop, some EDM, and rap into their body of work, addressing love and mental health issues with their music.
Their songs have reached the Billboard Hot 100 and their album Love Yourself: Tear debuted at number one, making them the first Korean group to reach the top of the U.S album charts.
They have broken many records that other Kpop groups may never even break, if at all. The seven members are rappers Suga, RM, J-hope, and vocalists Jimin, V, Jin, and Jungkook.
In August 2020, BTS released the track ‘Dynamite,’ their first song entirely in English, which topped the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and stayed there for three whole weeks.
One factor that separates BTS from most K-Pop groups and the reason they are popular is that they produce their own songs.
- Year Formed: 2013
- Members: Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, Jungkook
SM Entertainment wanted to win over the Chinese market, so EXO became the first Korean-Chinese all-male group. EXO is one of the most energetic boys’ K-pop bands with an international appeal.
EXO was ranked as the most influential celebrity by Forbes Korea for the years 2014 and 2015 after their first album XOXO (2013), which contained the breakthrough hit “Growl,” was a critical and commercial success.
For 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.
EXO was split into two subgroups, one performing mainly in Korea and one mainly in China. Each EXO’s song is performed with unique and powerful choreography so that it is incredibly fascinating and amazing; this is the reason why the 6-year-old Korean group is named in this most popular Kpop group list.
- Year Formed: 2012
- Members: Xiumin, Suho, Lay, Baekhyun, Chen, Chanyeol, D.O., Kai, Sehun
Blackpink is one of the biggest girl bands in the world, with members Jennie, Jisoo, Rosé, and Lisa continuing to smash new records.
BLACKPINK is the highest-charting female K-pop band formed by YG Entertainment. Their single “Boombayah” became their first number-one hit on the Billboard World Digital Songs chart.
They were the first K-pop girl group to play at Coachella and reach 1 billion YouTube views — now they’re the most-subscribed-to music group on the platform — and are the first girl group from any country to feature on Forbes Asia’s 30 Under 30 list.
In 2019, they broke three Guinness World Records with the single “Kill This Love”, which has had more than 312 million plays on Spotify and over 824 million YouTube views. This is the reason why Blackpink is the best girl Kpop group in the world
- Year Formed:: 2016
- Members: Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, Lisa
Year formed: 2014Members: JB, Mark, Jackson, Jinyoung, Youngjae, BamBam, and Yugyeom
K-Pop music is slowly but surely becoming wildly popular in the United States, giving groups like BTS, GOT7, and EXO global networks of fans.
GOT7 is one of South Korea’s most popular K-Pop groups. Like BTS (made pretty obvious by their group name), the group debuted with seven members.
The group debuted in the year 2014 with their first mini-album ‘GOT It’ JYP entertainment discovered each member and trained them to be vocalists, rappers, and dancers
- Year Formed:: 2014
- Members: Jay B, Mark, Jackson, Jinyoung, Youngjae, BamBam, and Yugyeom
Super Junior, also known as SuJu, has been the best-selling Kpop 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 immense popularity, they have already earned thirteen music awards from the Mnet Asian Music Awards and sixteen from the Golden Disk Awards.
They are the second singing group to win Favourite Artist Korea at the 2008 MTV Asia Awards.
- Year Formed: 2005
- Members: Leeteuk, Heechul, Yesung, Kangin, Shindong, Sungmin, Eunhyuk, Siwon, Donghae, Ryeowook, Kyuhyun
Twice is the first K-Pop girl group that earn Platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of Japan for both an album and CD single in the same year.TWICE’s music is coined as “color pop” and inspired by hip-hop and jazz.
JYP Entertainment formed the 9-member group through the competition reality show SIXTEEN; the girl band debuted in 2015 with their mini-album.
After releasing their new mini-album, Yes or Yes, they took number one on the iTunes albums charts of 17 different countries, including Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
The music video for 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 Kpop group.
- Year Formed: 2015
- Members: Nayeon, Jeongyeon, Momo, Sana, Jihyo, Mina, Dahyun, Chaeyoung, Tzuyu
Red Velvet is a five-member girl group under SM Entertainment. On August 1, 2014, they debuted as four with the single “Happiness.” Yeri was added to the group in March 2015. The ‘Red’ side is quirky, delicate, and feminine; the ‘Velvet’ is sensual, dark, and unforgiving in its transactions.
The group has represented an unstoppable force of girl power, positivity, and pop magic for the past four years.
The group has been shaking up the charts worldwide for the past years, always surprising their fans with unexpected new sounds, concepts, and even English versions of their hits.
- Year formed: 2014
- Members: Irene, Seulgi, Wendy, Joy, and Yeri
2NE1 debuted in 2009 with a strong image that broke the cutesy clean-cut look typical of girl groups. 2NE1 is another popular girl Kpop group. They became extremely well known for their debut song, “Fire”, which was released on May 6, 2009.
Within the first 24 hours of its release, the two versions of the song’s music videos received over one million views. At the end of 2010, 2NE1 was awarded two grand awards: Artist of the Year and Album of the Year.
2NE1 became successful after selling 0.83 million albums in 2009. YG Entertainment also forms them.
- Year Formed: 2009
- Members: Bom, Dara, CL, Minzy
SHINee is a boy group under S.M. Entertainment with four members: Key, Onew, Taemin, and Minho. Originally a five-piece group, it has been left with only four members after the death of vocalist Jonghyun in December 2017.
The boy band debuted in 2008 with their song “Replay.”Even within their first few months of debuting, the group already received several awards and was internationally recognized.
At the end of the year, Gaon Charts revealed that SHINee was only one of four male groups to make it into the top 100 download and streaming charts for 2015.
- Year formed:: 2008
- Members: Onew, Key, Minho, Taemin
This group, marked as the “Kings of Kpop” and “Nation’s Boy Band,” Big Bang is considered, by The Washington Post, the “biggest band in Asia.”
The five-member group started in 2006 and is signed under YG Entertainment. In 2007, with their song ‘Lies,’ Big Bang opened up what many have described as the “golden age of K-Pop.” The group now has 4.8 billion views on its Youtube channel.
This group is marked as the “Kings of Kpop” and “Nation’s Boy Band.” Big Bang is considered, by The Washington Post, the “biggest band in Asia.”
Big Bang was the first Korean hip-hop mainstream idol credited for the genre spreading throughout the world. Since its debut in 2006, the group is also a very popular icon in Japan, known for its strong influence on J-pop.
- Year Formed: 2006
- Members: T.O.P, Taeyang, G-Dragon, Daesung, Seungri
So that was our take on the 10 most popular K-Pop groups with International fans. Please follow us if you want to read more anime or pop-culture-related content.
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This article was first written and published by Noreen