With many groups debuting each year, the K-pop industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. There is no doubt that creating this list was a difficult task. The groups chosen were the ones who have been making headlines, who break records with hit songs and have the biggest fandoms. Are you ready to meet the top 10 groups which are dominating K-pop? Keep reading and discover who they are!
10) Stray Kids
This group debuted in 2018 with 'I Am Not' and its title track 'District 9'. On July 6 2021, the band scored its first No.1 on a Billboard chart, with 'Mixtape: Oh' debuting on the World Digital Song Sales chart. Stray Kids is also the most Googled 4th generation K-pop group as of June 2021. The band is one of the most popular current K-pop groups, with 14.2M million Instagram followers and over 4 million monthly listeners on Spotify!
(G)I-DLE was formed by Cube Entertainment in 2018 with their EP 'I am'. The girl group gradually became more popular as they released more songs and albums. With their debut song 'Latata' in May 2018, the group won several rookie awards from numerous year-end award shows in South Korea. Billboard Korea even placed them at No. 1 in their 'Best Rookie' list. (G)I-DLE is making great strides!
Another deserving name among the top 10 most famous K-pop idols in 2021 is Seventeen. Although their name suggests, Seventeen consists of 13 members assigned to a specific sub-unit: 'Hip-Hop Unit', 'Vocal Unit', and 'Performance Unit'. The group was nominated for Billboard Top Social Artist in 2021, and they landed second place with 11 million votes. This isn't all; they surpassed 2.5 billion streams on MelOn and became the 6th most-streamed act on MelOn overall in 2021.
Mamamoo is considered as the best debuts from the year 2014. The girl group collaborated with very well known artists in the industry before their debut. In 2019, the group was given the honor of the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Commendation, and they were placed on Forbe's 'Korea Power Celebrity' list. The girls have solidified their position in the K-Pop world with their funky pop songs like 'Um Oh Ah Yeh' and 'Paint Me'.
NCT is one of the most unique, if not the most unique, K-pop groups with their interesting concept and continuously growing members. The band made history as the first K-pop group to perform at RodeoHouston. In 2019, NCT 127 were awarded the title 'Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism'. NCT Dream's song 'Hot Sauce' was the first trilingual song with English, Korean, Chinese to debut on Billboard's Global 200 chart. According to Hanteo, NCT Dream were the most influential K-pop musician globally in the first half of 2021. This isn't the end of their achievements; the band's repackaged album set multiple records in South Korea, such as being the album with the greatest one-day sales sum and half a million units in a single day. Now these are impressive achievements!
5) Red Velvet
Red Velvet, without a doubt, is one of the most unique and versatile girl groups in K-pop. Their song "Dumb Dumb" was #70 on Billboard's list of "100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time, and Red Velvet was the first K-pop girl group to top the "World Albums" chart four times. On Youtube, the band has five music videos with over 100 million views. In April 2018, they made history as the first K-pop group to perform in North Korea as part of a special concert. That's awesome!
This K-pop group first made their debut in 2012, and it quickly attracted a dedicated fanbase which is still highly active today. Their latest album, 'Don't Fight The Feeling', dominated iTunes' album charts on 85 countries and topped major domestic charts such as Genie Music, Bugs Music, and ranked No. 1 on Hanteo's daily album sales chart! EXO has won countless awards both in Korea and the US. In total, they have 23 Daesang awards (Grand Prize). Also, they are a part of UNICEF, just like BTS. No doubt, they are one of the popular K-pop groups in 2021!
TWICE is one of the most addictive South Korean girlgroup, thanks to their melodic tunes and youthful style. The girl group is the first to ever earn the Platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of Japan for both album and CD single in the same year! They were also the first K-Pop girl group to surpass 5 million sales in Korea. In total, they have 15 Daesang Awards (Grand Prize). Looking at their popularity and achievements, Twice are called the 'Nation's Girl Group' for a reason!
With their catchy songs and incredible choreographies, Blackpink has captured the hearts of millions of people around the world. Blackpink is the highest-charting female K-pop band. Their album in 2020, 'The Album,' become the 1st ever album to sell more than one million copies by a Korean girl group. This album made them receive worldwide success. Also, Blackpink ranked first on Forbes' 'Korea Power Celebrity' list. On Youtube, they have a total of four music videos with over 1 billion views. Now that's a huge feat!
BTS is undoubtedly the most popular K-pop group of all time. They are the best-selling artists of all time in South Korean history, and in 2020 they were named the best-selling artists by the IFPI. Not only were they the first K-pop group to perform at the American Music Awards and win a Billboard Music Award, but they are the only group to ever hit #1 on Billboard Hot 100. In 2020, they were the most tweeted about celebrities in the US. The band has won 6 American Music Awards, 9 Billboard Music Awards, 26 Guinness World Records and 56 Daesang Awards (Grand Prize). They have made history in Korea by being the youngest ever recipients of the South Korean Order of Cultural Merit. That's huge!