K-pop (an abbreviation of Korean pop; Korean: 가요 gayo) is a musical genre originating in South Korea that is characterized by a wide variety of audiovisual elements. Although it comprises all genres of “popular music” within South Korea, the term is more often used in a narrower sense to describe a modern form of South Korean pop music covering mostly dance-pop, pop ballad, electronic, rock, hip-hop, R&B, etc.
In 1992, modern K-pop was ushered in with the formation of Seo Taiji & Boys, whose successful experimentation with different music styles had sparked a paradigm shift in the music industry of South Korea. As a result, the integration of foreign musical elements has now become a common practice in the K-pop industry.
By tapping into social networking services and the video sharing platform YouTube, the K-pop industry’s ability to secure a sizable overseas audience has facilitated a noticeable rise in the global proliferation of the genre. Since the mid-2000s, the K-pop music market has experienced double digit growth rates. In the first half of 2012, it grossed nearly US$3.4 billion, and was recognized by Time magazine as “South Korea’s Greatest Export”.
First gaining popularity in East Asia in the late 1990s, K-pop entered the Japanese music market towards the turn of the 21st century. In the late 2000s, it grew from a musical genre into a subculture among teenagers and young adults of East and Southeast Asia, Currently, the spread of K-pop to other regions of the world, via the Korean wave, is seen in parts of Latin America, Northeast India,North Africa, the Middle East,Eastern Europe and immigrant enclaves of the Western world.
K-pop also influences fashion, especially in Asia, where clothes and accessories worn by K-pop stars, as well as their hairstyles and the cosmetic brands they use are sought after by young listeners. Fashion brands release copies of clothing worn by idols. Some K-pop idols including G-Dragon from Big Bang have established themselves as a fashion icon by attracting the attention of Western fashion designers, most notably Jeremy Scott, who expressed his interest in working with singer CL from 2NE1.
In January 2012, Korean artists held a fashion show in Japan, which was attended by 33,000 people. In Thailand authorities worry over the fashion items popularized by Korean pop, as Thai teenagers are willing to wear items unfit for local weather conditions (e.g. leggings) and also use skin whitening products to look like Korean celebrities. In North Korea, despite strong governmental regulations, South Korean fashion is a topic of interest. K-pop popularized high-heel shoes, sleeveless tops and fashionable accessories, although such attire is forbidden in the country
some k-pop group & artist
Big Bang (Korean: 빅뱅; often stylized as BIGBANG) is a South Korean boy band formed by YG Entertainment. Leader G-Dragon, T.O.P, Taeyang, Daesung, and Seungri officially debuted as a five-member group on August 19, 2006.
Labeled as the “Nation’s Boy Band,” the members’ involvement in composing and producing their own music, most notably G-Dragon’s, has earned the group respect and praise from the music industry. They currently hold the record for being the all-time best-selling artist in Cyworld.
Predominantly a hip hop group, Big Bang found success with their breakthrough hit “Lies,” which stayed at number one on major Korean music charts for a record-breaking seven consecutive weeks. The group received the Song of the Year award at the 2007 Mnet Korean Music Festival.
Big Bang’s follow up releases furthered their success and popularity, spawning chart-topping hits “Last Farewell” and “Haru Haru.” After receiving the Artist of the Year award from the 2008 Mnet Korean Music Festival, the group expanded their endeavors to Japan, winning three awards at the 9th MTV Video Music Awards Japan.
Amidst their Japanese promotions, the members branched out to do solo activities; Taeyang and G-Dragon released solo albums, G-Dragon and T.O.P formed a sub-unit, Seungri and Daesung acted in musicals and hosted variety shows, and T.O.P became a highly acclaimed film star.
After a two-year hiatus in South Korea, Big Bang reunited in 2011 with their album Tonight. Promotions, however, were cut short when multiple members encountered legal issues. By the end of the year, Big Bang emerged as the inaugural Best Worldwide Act winner at the 2011 MTV Europe Music Awards.
Three months after their win in Europe, Big Bang released their most successful physical album, Alive, the first Korean album to chart on Billboard 200, before embarking on their first ever world tour which concluded in early 2013.
Park Jae-sang (born December 31, 1977), better known by his stage name Psy (Korean: 싸이, IPA: [s͈ai]; /ˈsaɪ/ sy), stylized PSY, is a South Korean singer, songwriter, rapper, dancer, record producer and television personality. Psy is known domestically for his humorous videos and stage performances, and internationally for his hit single “Gangnam Style”. The song’s refrain “Oppan Gangnam Style” (translated as “Big brother (to a female) is Gangnam style”, with Psy referring to himself) was entered into The Yale Book of Quotations as one of the most famous quotations of 2012.
On October 23, 2012, Psy met UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the United Nations Headquarters where Ban expressed his desire to work with the singer because of his “unlimited global reach”. On December 21, 2012, his music video for “Gangnam Style” exceeded one billion views on YouTube, becoming the first video to do so in the website’s history. Psy was subsequently recognized by the media as the “King of YouTube”. On May 31, 2014, the video for PSY’s Gangnam Style hit two billion views.
In December 2012, MTV noted Psy’s rise from little-known outside of South Korea to “global superstar”, and, for being first in the YouTube-era to secure a place in pop-culture history, hailed the singer as the “Viral Star of 2012”. On December 31, 2012, Psy performed in a globally televised New Year’s Eve celebration with American rapper MC Hammer on-stage in front of a live audience of over a million people in Times Square, New York City.
2NE1 is a four-member South Korean girl group formed by YG Entertainment in 2009. The name, pronounced to anyone or twenty one, combines the phrases “21st century” and “new evolution. The band consists of CL, Minzy, Dara, and Bom.
First appearing in “Lollipop”, a commercial campaign with Big Bang for LG Electronics, 2NE1’s debut single “Fire” was released on May 6, 2009. Since then, the group has released two eponymous extended plays, 2NE1 (2009) and 2NE1 (2011), and one studio album, To Anyone. Their first EP spawned the number-one single “I Don’t Care”, which won them the “Song of the Year” award at the 2009 Mnet Asian Music Awards. Their follow-up singles, such as “Go Away”, “Lonely” and “I Am the Best” were similarly successful, with “I Am the Best” winning 2NE1 their second “Song of the Year” award in 2011.
2NE1 officially debuted in Japan in September 2011 with a Japanese version of their second extended play as Nolza. Since then, the group has released one studio album, Collection, and two physical singles in Japan. In 2012, The New York Times named 2NE1’s performance at the Prudential Center in New Jersey as one of the “Best Concerts of 2012”. In October 2012, Zack Greenburg of Forbes Magazine noted that 2NE1 has sold 27 million digital downloads.
Girls’ Generation (Hangul: 소녀 시대; Japanese: 少女時代, also known as SNSD or So Nyeo Shi Dae) is a South Korean girl group formed by S.M. Entertainment in 2007. The nine-member group consists of Taeyeon, Jessica, Sunny, Tiffany, Hyoyeon, Yuri, Sooyoung, Yoona and Seohyun.
The group gained attention at the beginning of their career with songs such as “Into the New World” and “Kissing You” but it was not until 2009 when they gained significant popularity with their hit single “Gee”, which was classified by the online music store MelOn as the most popular song of the decade in South Korea (ranking based on chart performance). The group solidified their place in the Korean music industry with follow-up singles “Tell Me Your Wish”, “Run Devil Run”, and “Oh!” from late 2009 to early 2010. In 2011, after a series of activities in Japan, the group returned to the Korean music scene with “The Boys”, which was released in three languages: Korean, Japanese, and for the first time, English. In 2010 alone, the group sold more than 11,730,000 digital albums and singles collectively. The group’s immense popularity in their native South Korea has earned them titles “The Nation’s Singers” and “The Nation’s Girl Group”. The Sisa Journal named the group as the most influential entertainers for the years 2011 and 2012, making them the first female idol group in history to make the list.They have also been listed as #1 on the Top Female Singer’s list for four consecutive years on the Leespiar Popularity Survey in Korea. Asia Today placed the group at forty-four on the 50 Korean Power Leaders list in 2011. The group also topped Forbes’s Korea Power Celebrity 40 list for the years of 2010, 2011 and 2013.
The group began a foray into the Japanese music scene in late 2010 under Nayutawave Records, with Japanese remakes of their 2009 Korean hits “Genie” and “Gee”. The group’s debut Japanese album, Girls’ Generation, released in June 2011, is currently the highest selling album in Japan by a Korean group in Oricon history. It was certified “Million” by the Recording Industry Association of Japan, which made them the second Korean artist to earn such an achievement in Japan since label mate BoA’s “Best of Soul” in 2005. Girls’ Generation is also the first Korean girl group to have two albums place first on a weekly album ranking, surpassing Kara.
They have expanded their reach in the Korean industry through their first sub-unit, Girls’ Generation-TTS, composed of members Taeyeon, Tiffany, and Seohyun. The sub-unit debuted on 2012 with their mini album Twinkle which became the highest charting K-Pop act on the Billboard 200—at No. 126 on Billboard 200.
Jung Ji-Hoon (born June 25, 1982), better known by his stage name Rain, is a South Korean singer, actor, songwriter, dancer, model, producer and designer.
Rain’s musical career includes seven albums (six Korean, one Japanese), 28 singles and numerous concert tours around the world. His acting career began in 2003, when he won the KBS Best New Actor award for his role in the drama Sang Doo! Let’s Go To School. In 2004, Rain won the KBS Excellence in Acting award for his role in the drama Full House. After starring in A Love To Kill, he acted in his first Korean film, I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK (2006), which won the Alfred Bauer Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival. Rain has acted in the American films Speed Racer (2008) and Ninja Assassin (2009), the latter of which made him the first Korean to win an MTV award. Rain acted in another Korean film, R2B: Return to Base, that was released in August 2012.
In 2007, Rain left the management of JYP Entertainment and started his own company, J. Tune Entertainment but still retains collaborative relationship with Park Jin-young. In 2013, it was announced he will be discharged from the army on July 10, 2013 and Rain had signed a contract with Cube DC, a sub-label of Cube Entertainment whose CEO is the former President of JYP Entertainment. He was ranked at #46 on 100 Most Handsome Faces of 2013.
Kwon Ji Yong (Korean: 권지용;Chinese:權志龍/权志龙; born August 18, 1988), better known by his stage name G-Dragon (Korean: 지드래곤), is a South Korean rapper, songwriter, lyricist, producer, model, and fashion designer.
At the age of eight he was under contract at SM Entertainment, but he decided to change record labels. After 6 years as a trainee under the record label YG Entertainment, G-Dragon officially debuted as the leader and one of two rappers for the Korean group Big Bang. G-Dragon has been involved with writing, composing, and producing many of Big Bang’s hit tracks, including “Lies”, “Last Farewell”, and “Haru Haru”.
He released his debut solo album, Heartbreaker (2009), which yielded the number-one single of the same name. The album went on to become one of the most successful albums of the year, garnering sales of over 200,000 copies and winning the Mnet Asian Music Awards for Album of the Year. Heartbreaker also sparked major controversies for the artist, including accusations of plagiarism. After almost a year of hiatus, G-Dragon and bandmate, T.O.P collaborated to record and release the album GD & TOP (2010). The album saw the release of three singles: “High High”, “Oh Yeah”, and “Knock Out”, all of which have charted within the top three positions of the Gaon chart, with “High High” becoming a chart-topper. In 2012, G-Dragon released his second solo album, “One of a Kind”, with hit singles “One of a Kind”, “Crayon”, and “That XX”. Recently in 2013, he released his second full album in four years Coup D’Etat.
He is the only man selected as one of the “50 Reasons Why Seoul is the Best City” by CNN.
On April 2013, G-Dragon released a new song, “미치GO”, through messaging app LINE. G-Dragon became the second member of Big Bang to make a solo debut in Japan after his bandmate Daesung’s solo concert tour in February. G-Dragon embarked on his second worldwide tour as a solo artist(first Bi Rain ), which included a four-dome tour in Japan. As of September 2013, he is promoting his album Coup D’Etat.
Dong Young-bae (Korean: 동영배; born 18 May 1988), better known by his stage name Taeyang (Hangul: 태양, Hanja: 太陽, meaning Sun) or Sol, is a South Korean singer, dancer, songwriter, lyricist, recording artist, model and actor. After appearing in Jinusean’s music video “A-yo”, Taeyang began training under YG Entertainment at the age of 12 alongside fellow member and leader G-Dragon. After six years of vocal and dance training, he made his debut in 2006 as a member of popular Korean boy band, Big Bang,as main dancer of the same group.
His second studio album Rise peaked at #112 on the US Billboard 200 Chart, becoming the highest ranking album by a Korean soloist to enter the chart. The album’s title track “Eyes, Nose, Lips” peaked at #1 on Billboard K-pop Hot 100 Chart, giving him his first solo number one single on the chart.
AND MANY MORE