In this era of YouTube and Spotify, one of the fastest-growing culture in the world is Korean pop music, better known as K-pop. Most of the people who aren’t well acquainted with K-pop, tend to assume that it’s bizarre to listen to them since they won’t understand a word they are singing. Well, they are indeed correct, but partly. Only when we start listening to them, we realise how catchy their songs are, and the upbeat music is something that gets stuck in our heads for a while enough to force us to listen to the songs again. The artists experiment with various genres of music including pop, rock, R&B, hip-hop and electronic.
Not only this, the amount of hard work and time they give into their works are evident in their music videos, which are refreshing and full of creativity. Not to mention the visual appeal they make while performing on the stage, involving colourful costumes, along with some solid dance moves. If you just entered the world of K-pop and want to explore the most popular idol groups, we welcome you here. Here is a list of the top ten most popular K-Pop idol groups in the world in 2021.
A supergroup formed by SM Entertainment and Capitol Music Group, SuperM made their debut in the year 2019 with their self-titled EP, and are composed of seven members belonging to different active boybands of SM Entertainment, including Taemin from Shinee, Mark and Taeyong from NCT 127, Kai and Baekhyun from EXO, and Lucas and Ten from WayV. With their first mini-album, the band managed to reach No. 1 on the album charts of Billboard 200, selling 168,000 copies and creating the record to be the first K-pop group to do so.
Each member of the group holds so much individuality, that it won’t be shocking to say they can be the next big boyband. All three of them— Ten, Kai and Taemin are amazing dancers while Baekhyun’s singing skills are no joke. Moreover, the other members of the group have established their image in the K-pop industry. ‘Jopping’ and ‘Tiger Inside’ are some of the songs of them that you can check out.
9. Super Junior
Originally known as ‘Syupeo Junieo,’ Super Junior is a popular boyband that debuted back in 2005, and are known as the ‘King of Hallyu Wave’ owing to their contributions in making the Korean culture get a boost internationally. The group consists of a total of thirteen members, and while Leeteuk, Heechul, Han Geng, Eunhyuk, Donghae, Siwon, Kangin, Shindong, Sungmin, Kibum, Yesung, and Ryeowook are the original members of the band, Kyuhyun is the only member who joined the group a year later. They excel in a variety of genres including K-pop, dance-pop, R&B, hip-hop, reggaeton, jazz-pop, and electronic.
Super Junior has delivered a total of ten Korean albums over the years, while their next album titled, ‘The Renaissance’ is due in 2021. They have been awarded many Mnet Asian Music Awards, Teen Choice Awards and Golden Disc Awards, and have been nominated in a lot more categories as well. Their singles, ‘Sorry, Sorry,’ ‘No Other’ and ‘Mr. Simple’ are among the top hits of the discography of the band. The fact that they are this big a name even after years of their debut proves the point why they hold this spot in the list.
8. MONSTA X
Known primarily for their aggressive style, the music made by Monsta X combines elements of hip-hop, EDM and hop, and therefore sounds a lot different than other K-pop bands out there. After debuting in the year 2015, the group has delivered a total of seven studio albums, that includes four Korean albums, two Japanese albums and one English album. Three of the four Korean albums of the group have been certified platinum in Korea. The group currently has six members in it, which includes Shownu, Minhyuk, Hyungwon, Kihyun, I.M, and Joohoney, with the latter two known for their rapping skills. Wonho, who was one of the vocalists of the group, left Monsta X in October 2019.
The band has received a total of 47 award wins with 125 nominations to date including 8 Mnet Asian Music Awards, 6 Golden Disc Awards, and 2 Melon Music Awards. You can check out their singles ‘Hero,’ ‘Shoot Out,’ and ‘Dramarama’ which are a few of their most popular works.
7. NCT 127
NCT 127 is a sub-unit of another South-Korean boy band named NCT, which debuted back in 2016, with seven original members, including Yuta, Taeil, Taeyong (leader), Jaehyun, Mark, Winwin, and Haechan. Later, three other members, Doyoung, Johnny and Jungwoo also joined the group making it the first fixed sub-unit of NCT. Over the years, the group has managed to attract a lot of fans owing to the presence of a few international members in it, songs featuring several collabs along with their hard work and talent. The group specializes in genres like k-pop, dance-pop, hip hop and R&B, with Taeil, Doyoung, Jaehyun as the main vocalists and Haechan, Jungwoo as the lead vocalists. Mark, Taeyong are the main rappers of the band, with Haechan, Yuta, and Johnny as the lead dancers.
The group has delivered a self-titled extended play, two full-length music albums, and two repackage releases as well since the year they debuted. With songs like ‘Cherry Bomb,’ ‘Regular,’ and ‘Limitless,’ the band has definitely set a solid foundation in the K-pop industry. They have received the awards for the ‘Best Newcomer,’ from Seoul Music Awards, Golden Disk Awards and Mnet Asian Music Awards.
6. BIG BANG
One of the most influential things to ever happen in the history of K-pop is Big Bang, who have made their debut in the year 2006 with the album titled, ‘Bigbang Vol.1’. The group comprised of five members— T.O.P, Daesung, Taeyang, G-Dragon, and Seungri before Seungri retired from the entertainment industry owing to some scandals. Together, the group has delivered some of the best albums whose songs range between K-pop, J-pop, electronic, hip hop and R&B. They have given us a total of eight studio albums— out of which five are Japanese and three are Korean, along with numerous world tours. They have earned several awards over the course of fifteen years, including the Korean Music Awards, Seoul Music Awards, and Melon Music Awards for their contribution to the K-pop industry.
While G-Dragon and T.O.P are amazing rappers, Daesung and Taeyang have amazing singing skills. Unlike other boybands, the members of Big Bang don’t dance while performing, which signifies how great their stage presence is. There is a reason why even the biggest groups of South Korea are die-heart fans of Big Bang!
One of the best-known girl group of South Korea, Twice was formed in 2015, under the television program named, ‘Sixteen’ and made their debut in the same year. The nine members of the group consist of Nayeon, Jeongyeon, Sana, Momo, Jihyo, Mina, Chaeyoung, Dahyun, and Tzuyu, whose fanbase is not just limited to Korea, but has expanded around the globe as well including Japan, and the U.S. In terms of album sales, Twice is currently in the first position among all other girl groups, surpassing even BlackPink.
Till now, Twice has delivered two Korean and two Japanese albums, and has been awarded multiple Golden Disc Awards, Asia Artist Awards, Mnet Asian Music Awards, and many more. They are not just visually appealing but are talented as well. ‘I Can’t Stop Me,’ ‘What is Love,’ ‘Likely’ and ‘TT’ are a few of their popular hits.
EXO has remained one of the most popular Korean boy bands boybands for a long time, with a huge as well as a loyal fan base. Composed of nine members in all, including Xiumin, Suho, Baekhyun, Chanyeol, Lay, D.O., Kai, Chen and Sehun, the group was first found in 2011, while they debuted in 2012 with their album, ‘XOXO’. They have delivered a total of seven albums till now, in various languages, including Korean, Mandarin, and Japanese, covering several genres including pop, hip-hop, and R&B. Along with performing in a group, the members of EXO focus on their solo careers as well. While Chen, Baekhyun and D.O form the main vocalists’ group of the band, Xiumin and Suho are the lead vocalists. On the other hand, Kai and Lay are among the best dancers in the band. As for the rapping, Chanyeol and Sehun specialise in this category.
The band originally had eleven members in all, along with Kris, Luhan, and Tao, but three of the members quitted between 2014 and 2015. EXO has received several awards throughout their music career, including Mnet Asian Music Awards, Golden Disc Awards, and holds many world records as well. They had been labelled as ‘Kings of K-pop’ during their golden era, ranging from 2014 to 2018. Although EXO has faced a little drop in their popularity because of the new boybands coming into the picture, they still have the wonderful support of their fans. ‘Love Shot,’ ‘Monster,’ ‘Call Me Baby’ and ‘Obsession’ are a few of their most loved songs.
This South Korean group, formed in the year 2015 by Pledis Entertainment, is one of the most popular and successful K-Pop groups currently, owing to their high album sales, big concerts, and large fandom. It is composed of thirteen members in all, which includes Joshua, Jun, S.Coups, Jeonghan, The8, Seungkwan, Hoshi, Wonwoo, Woozi, Dino, DK, Mingyu and Vernon. The thirteen members have been further divided into three subgroups, specialising in different fields namely— the Hip-hop unit, the Performance unit and the Vocal unit.
Seventeen is one of the few groups whose members are actively engaged in different areas of producing music and performing, including— choreographing, songwriting, and other such aspects. They have released three albums within five years, accompanied by multiple Asian and world tours. They have been acknowledged for their work, with many Gaon Chart Music Awards, Golden Disc Awards, Mnet Asian Music Awards, and Asia Artist Awards. ‘Don’t Wanna Cry,’ ‘Very Nice’ and ‘Left And Right’ are some of the hit singles delivered by the boy group.
It is surprising how this female Korean group has achieved so much success and has amassed such a huge fan base in a short period of time, not only nationally, but also globally. The band debuted back in 2016, with their single album titled, ‘Square One’ and is composed of four members— Jisoo, Rosé, Jennie and Lisa, from different nationalities. Rose and Lisa are the lead dancers, while the latter is also a rapper with Jennie. Although they have very few musical contents and need to improve a lot on their singing and performing skills, their charming personalities and hard work are some of the factors that have given them so many opportunities to shine and believe me, they are utilising it well.
As for their achievements, BlackPink has delivered two studio albums, one is Korean (The Album) and the other in Japanese (Blackpink in Your Area). On the Billboard Hot 100, Blackpink has remained the highest-charting female Korean group, with their single, ‘Ice-cream’ which is a collaboration with Selena Gomez. The group has been awarded a Teen Choice Award, nine Gaon Chart Music Awards, three People’s Choice Awards, five Melon Music Awards, eight Mnet Asian Music Awards, and holds five Guinness World Records.
Well-deserved, isn’t it? It is not shocking at all why BTS has grabbed the first position in this list. Also known as the Bangtan Boys globally, Bangtan Sonyeondan or BTS is a seven-member band from South Korea that has amassed a huge fan base in the last couple of years. The band comprising of RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jungkook, Jimin, and V was formed back in 2010, but it was only in 2013 when they launched their debut with a single album titled, ‘2 Cool 4 Skool’. The band has progressed a lot since then, with prominent growth in their singing and songwriting skills which spread over a wide range of genres. Their songs highlight several themes associated with individualism, problems that one faces in school-age youth, mental health, and the journey towards knowing the importance of self-love.
Each member of the group specializes in their own parts, with Jin, Jimin, Jungkook, and V as the lead vocalists, while Suga, RM, J-Hope are the main rappers. The group has released a total of seven albums till now and has sold millions of copies for the same. They have won numerous and various awards for their contribution to the music industry, including the Golden Disc Awards, Korean Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, MTV Music Videos Awards, and American Music Awards. ‘Boy With Luv,’ ‘DNA,’ ‘Fake Love,’ ‘Dynamite’ are a few of their most popular singles.