K-pop (Korean Popular Music) is a collective term for Korean-language pop music and refers to a broad musical genre that became established in the 1990s in the Korean music world as an analog to Japanese J-pop. In South Korea, the style is also often called Gayo (가요). K-Pop gained worldwide fame recently through the Korean Wave (also Hallyu, Hangeul: 한류).

Before the 1990s almost no one outside of South Korea new that there way any sort of pop culture alive. And it was nothing close to what most people mean by K-Pop these days. South Korea opened up to Western culture and influences rather late and slowly. By now it isn’t uncommon that European or US American musicians write songs for Korean artists. Also Dance and Hip Hop music styles had heavy impact on the Korean pop music. An attractive aspect of K-Pop is, that it uses the Korean language with a few exceptions. Korean lyrics have their own unique sound and quality and stand out in the worldwide English monotony.

South Korean pop music industry is different from what people might know from the US or the EU. A handful of powerful companies „own“ most artists and this is to be taken literally. Many artists begin training at a young age, learning to dance, sing, rap as well as showing good manners and handling public appearances. They are often pitched against other trainees in TV game shows to win a place in the next idol group. If they succeed they have to sign strict contracts, that even rule aspects of their personal life – often denying them to have any sort of relationship while under contract. Fame is rare and often short lived, payment does not compare to American celebrities‘ income by far. There are claims and cases of abuse and even prostitution and some other dark aspects that stand in stark contrast to the colorful and happy music (more info).

A good article on why K-Pop is so popular can be found here at Lifehack.

 

Female Idol Groups & Solo Singers

10x10 (2015-2016)
AiRiSU (2018-)
Bolbbalgan4 (2016-)
Red Velvet (2014-)
WJSN (2016-)
1PS (2014-2015)
AOA (2012-)
Girls Generation 2016
Girls' Generation (2007-)
S.E.S. (1997-2002)
(G)I-DLE (2018-)
2EYES (2013-)
Bambino (2015-)
Ladies' Code (2013-)
TWICE (2015-)
2NE1 (2009-2016)
Blackpink (2016-)
LOONA (2016-)
Wanna.B (2014-2017)

Best selling artist

Female groups (album sales Korea only)

last update (2017/03/01)

RankYear DebutedArtistTotal Sales
11997SES3.563 million
22007Girls‘ Generation2.282 million
31998Fin.K.L2.380 million
41997Baby V.O.X1.760 milion
52015TWICE0.96 million
62007KARA0.78 million
72009f(x)0.64 million
820092NE10.55 million
92009T-ara0.50 million
102011Apink0.49 million
 

Best selling singles

(since 2010)

„You and I“ by IU (über 6 Millionen)
„Good Day“ by IU (über 4.5 Millionen)
„Roly-Poly“ by T-ara (über 4 Millionen)
„Nagging“ by IU and Lim Seulong (über 4 Millionen)
„So Cool“ by Sistar (über 3.5 Millionen)
„Don’t Say Goodbye“ by Davichi (über 3.5 Millionen)
„Be My Baby“ by Wonder Girls (über 3.5 Millionen)
„Lovey-Dovey“ by T-ara (über 3.5 Millionen)
„Cry Cry“ by T-ara (über 3.5 Millionen)
„The Boys“ by Girls‘ Generation (über 3.5 Millionen)
„Good Bye Baby“ by Miss A (über 3.5 Millionen)
„I Am the Best“ by 2NE1 (über 3 Millionen)
„Loving U“ by Sistar (über 3 Millionen)
„Alone“ by Sistar (über 3 Millionen)
„Bad Girl Good Girl“ by Miss A (über 3 Millionen)
„Oh!“ by Girls‘ Generation (über 3 Millionen)
„Heaven“ by Ailee (über 3 Millionen)
„Every End of the Day“ by IU (über 3 Millionen)
„Ugly“ by 2NE1 (über 3 Millionen)
„Friday“ by IU (über 3 Millionen)
„Hot Summer“ by f(x) (über 3 Millionen)
„I Go Crazy Because of You“ by T-ara (über 3 Millionen)
„Lonely“ by 2NE1
„Back in Time“ by Lyn (über 3 Millionen)
„Starlight Moonlight“ by Secret (über 3 Millionen)
„Rough“ by GFriend (über 1.9 Millionen)

List of Female Idol Groups

  • 10×10
  • 1PS
  • 2EYES
  • 2NE1
  • 2Yoon
  • 4L
  • 4Minute
  • 4Some
  • 4TEN
  • 9Muses
  • ACE
  • A-Daily
  • a.de
  • After School
  • After School Blue
  • After School Red
  • Agirls
  • A.H.H.A.
  • A.Kor
  • A.Kor Black
  • A.N.D.S.
  • AOA
  • AOA Black
  • AOA Cream
  • Apink
  • Apple.B
  • April
  • ASHA
  • As One
  • ATT
  • Awe Some
  • Baba
  • Badkiz
  • Bambino
  • BBde Girl
  • Bebop
  • Berry Chu
  • Berry Good
  • BESTie
  • Billion
  • BinChaenHyunSeu
  • Blackpink
  • Blady
  • Blity
  • Bloomy
  • Bob Girls
  • Bonus Baby
  • BP POP
  • BP Rania
  • Brave Girls
  • Brown Eyed Girls
  • Bull-dok
  • Chi-Chi
  • Chocolat
  • CLC
  • Cosmic Girls
  • Crayon Pop
  • C-Real
  • Dasoni
  • Dal*Shabet
  • Delight
  • DIA
  • Dia Girls
  • Dice
  • Dorothy
  • Dream Catcher
  • D-Unit
  • EvoL
  • EXID
  • Fantastie
  • F(x)
  • Fiestar
  • Flashe
  • F-Ve Dolls
  • Gavy NJ
  • Gangkiz
  • Gfriend
  • Girl’s Day
  • Girls Generation
  • Girls Generation TTS
  • Girls Girls
  • GLAM
  • Global Icon
  • GP Basic
  • Gugudan
  • H2L
  • HADY
  • Hello Venus
  • Heart
  • HeyMiss
  • Highteen
  • Holics
  • Hotties
  • H.U.B
  • Hyomin
  • IBI
  • I.C.E.
  • ICIA
  • I.O.I.
  • Jewelry
  • JewelryS
  • Jolly-V
  • KARA
  • K-Girls
  • Kiss&Cry
  • Laboum
  • Ladies Code
  • Laysha
  • LipBubble
  • Live High
  • Loona
  • Lovelyz
  • Love Us
  • Lush
  • M&N
  • Mamamoo
  • Matilda
  • Melody Day
  • Miss A
  • MIXX
  • MOA
  • Momoland
  • MyB
  • N*White
  • New-A
  • Nine Muses
  • Nine Muses A
  • O21
  • OhBliss
  • Oh My Girl
  • Orange Caramel
  • Pink BnB
  • Playback
  • Pledis Girlz
  • PPL
  • Pocket Girls
  • P.O.P.
  • Pristin
  • Purfles
  • Queen B’Z
  • Rainbow
  • Rainbow Pixie
  • Rainbow Blaxx
  • Red Velvet
  • Rubber Soul
  • Scarlet
  • Secret
  • Seeart
  • Sistar
  • Sistar19
  • Six Bomb
  • Sixth Sense
  • Skarf
  • SOL-T
  • Sonamoo
  • Spica
  • Spica.S
  • Spinel X
  • Stellar
  • Strawberry Milk
  • Sunny Days
  • Sunny Days Real Vocal
  • Sunny Hill
  • Switch
  • Switch Berry
  • Tahiti
  • T-ara
  • T-ara N4
  • T-ara QBS
  • The Ark
  • The SeeYa
  • TINT
  • Tiny-G
  • Tiny-G M
  • Tren-D
  • Twice
  • Two X
  • Unicorn
  • Various
  • VIVIDIVA
  • Wanna.B
  • Wassup
  • Wonder Girls
  • Ye-A
  • Year 7 Class 1