10 of the Best KPop Groups of All Time

Crowd of people watching a performance with bright lights

Curious about K-Pop?

We’ve compiled a list of some of the best K-Pop groups of all time for you to get a taste for what the hype is all about. Check out some of the bands below, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments section!

Crowd of people watching a performance with bright lights

As you embark on your journey to learn to speak Korean, you’re probably going to become interested in exploring different aspects of Korean popular culture. That’s half the fun of learning a new language, right? KPop is undoubtedly going to be one of the first aspects of Korean popular culture that you run into – short for South Korean pop music, KPop has quickly become a worldwide phenomenon that is celebrated (and danced to) all over the world.

You don’t have to speak Korean to enjoy KPop, but learning Korean words and phrases makes listening to the songs that much more fun – all of a sudden you start to enjoy the music and understand what the songs are saying! That’s why we recommend learning Korean with KPop as a great way to make learning interesting. n.

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1. Girls’ Generation

Korean Kpop Girls Generation

Source: http://www.wikipedia.com

Girls’ Generation is an eight-member all-girl band backed by S.M. Entertainment. Taking Korea by storm since 2007, the group became mega-successful in 2009 with their song “Gee,” which was a chart-topper for over two months and was named the best song of the 2000s decade. Girls’ Generation is best known for their cross-cultural appeal (they signed with a Japanese label in 2010 to make their music more accessible to Japanese listeners) and their own special brand of bubblegum pop. Watch their music video for “I Got a Boy” to get a feel for this award-winning group that you won’t want to miss!

2. Super Junior

Korean Kpop SuperJunior

Source: http://sujureactions.tumblr.com

All-girl ensembles aren’t the only type of popular KPop group out there – Super Junior is a prime example of a Korean boy band that is making waves in the KPop scene. Fluctuating between twelve and thirteen members, Super Junior occasionally breaks into smaller subgroups in order to make music that is tailored to a variety of audiences. Check out their single “Sorry, Sorry” – the hit song is the band’s best-selling single, and definitely something that you can dance around to!

3. Wonder Girls

Korean Kpop WonderGirls

Source: http://wondernostalgia.wordpress.com

Wonder Girls are a four-piece girl group that had an interesting start to their music career – their first big performance feat was joining the Jonas Brothers on tour and performing a version of their first hit single “Nobody” in English. This song launched the girls into international markets as it rose on the Billboard Hot 100. Wonder Girls have also made an effort to appeal to Chinese and Japanese audiences so that even more listeners can join in on the fun! Listen to “Nobody” and you’ll quickly realize why Wonder Girls were the first South Korean group to skyrocket into the Billboard Hot 100.

4. 2NE1

Korean Kpop 2NE1

Source: http://www.soompi.com

2NE1 – pronounced twenty-one or to anyone, depending on who you ask – first made a splash in the KPop scene with a song that they wrote for an LG advertising campaign, making their music instantly accessible to millions. This all-girl quartet have already received multiple “Song of the Year” awards and have been very well-received by critics, making them one of the best Kpop groups performing today. Check out “I Am the Best” or “I Don’t Care” – these two songs are the award-winners that really began to gain the group critical acclaim, and they’re definitely fun to listen to!

5. Shinee

Korean Kpop Shinee

Source: http://www.soompi.com

Shinee is an all-boy group that has been releasing music in Korean and Japanese markets since 2008. Though their music is undeniably catchy, they are best known for being fashion pioneers and starting trends with their intricate performance outfits as well as their intense, rhythmic dance routines. Because they’re famous for multiple reasons – singing, dancing, and being all-around stylish – it’s no surprise that Shinee has created their own reality show and won a slew of impressive awards. I recommend listening to “Replay,” the single that began the Shinee craze. Be warned — I guarantee you’ll feel like listening to it more than once!

6. T-ara

Korean Kpop T-ara

Source: http://www.podust.com

You don’t make a great Kpop group overnight. T-ara is well-aware of this reality – the ladies of T-ara trained together for three years before they got their start! T-ara got their start releasing music for the soundtrack of the drama Cinderella Man, and they quickly progressed to producing award-winning singles like “Roly-Poly,” which became a top song on the 2001 charts. Give “Roly-Poly” a listen and you’ll hear what three years of perfecting the art of KPop sounds like!

7. Big Bang

Korean Kpop BigBang

Source: http://www.wattpad.com

Big Bang is best known for their unique blend of KPop and hip-hop. An all-boy group formed in 2006, Big Bang are veterans of the KPop scene and have won multiple awards at Japan’s MTV Video Awards and a popular Korean music festival called Mnet. Several of the members have branched out and released solo albums, allowing them to explore their own musical goals as well as releasing music with Big Bang. Checkout their breakout single “Lies” and you’ll understand why this group is known as Korea’s national boy band!

8. Kara

Korean Kpop Kara

Source: http://kpoplovely.wordpress.com

Kara is another Kpop group that has been around the block, so to speak – the band originally got together in 2007, and the all-girl group chose a name indicative of a Greek word that means “sweet melody.” Kara got off to a bit of a rocky start – their first album, The First Blooming, was not well-received by critics or fans. However, the group acquired some new members and released Rock U, an album with a much more polished R&B sound. Kara is now one of the best-known Kpop groups in Korea – get a feel for their unique blend of sounds by listening to their first number one single, “Honey”!

9. 2PM

Korean Kpop 2PM

Source: http://koreanpopaddict.blogspot.com

2PM is a critically-acclaimed boy band that split off from a larger group called One Day – another group, 2AM contains the remaining members of the original group. 2PM’s music is undeniably impressive, but even more impressive is their dance techniques that incorporate acrobatic moves that leave audience members shocked and begging for more. Check out the music video for their single “Go Crazy” and see for yourself how this band can move!

10. EXO

Korean Kpop Exo

Source: http://exogallery.minus.com

EXO is on a mission to make their music accessible to as many people as possible – they are so dedicated to this mission that the group splits into two subgroups, EXO-M and EXO-K, with the “m” and the “k” standing for Mandarin and Korean, respectively. This technique allows the group to focus on Chinese and Korean audience, which means speakers of Mandarin can be part of the KPop sensation as well! Check out EXO’s 2013 hit single “Growl” and you’ll see why this twelve-member group is not your average boy-band.

Is there a band that you believe should be considered one of the best KPop groups of all time that we’ve overlooked? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

    13 replies to "10 of the Best KPop Groups of All Time"

    • Ursa

      INFINITE should be on the list, they are legendary.

    • somegorlthatknowskpophistorh

      Yo people this list was created when exo was just starting to get mainstream popular and bts was obsolete and barely known at that time. Put two and two together. Also Big Bang should be #2 behind GG they are way more iconic in kpop and literally paved the way for bts to get their popularity in the states.

      • 90 Day Korean

        Thank you for the comment! We’ll update the article soon. ^^

    • Cerys walton

      I also think there should not be a best banb there all great and kind

    • Cerys walton

      I love bts exo and stray kids and blackpink ,twice…..lots more but I think we should like them all remember jimin you nice keep going

    • Cerys walton

      I think the best should be bts because of there angle voices and there beautiful looks and style and the amazing songs they make and of course the members skin they are also sweet and kind

    • Ashley Suhyun Kim

      I think you should rename this post, change the title to something similar to “The best 2nd generation groups of all time” and maybe, maybe make a new post about the best 3rd generation idols and title it “Most popular kpop groups of 0000” or something like that. I’m just making a suggestion, because although I am a debut fan of Bigbang and super junior, I think the groups written in this post don’t really match with the concept of “best groups of ALL TIME” If you edit this post and write all the trendy groups these days there are probably going to be complaints from older fans like me who believe more 2nd generation artists should be in the list, since they opened the door for kpop with the 1st generation in many ways. But if you don’t change it, armys, blinks, reveluvs, onces, etc would be upset that the 3rd gen. idols aren’t here, as they are technically more popular right now (especially BTS). Because both groups are great and are legends, and because “the best” really differs from person to person, I personally think this is the best way to write a good post that won’t cause disagreements.

      Whoever reads my post, if you have something to say or add, I would love to hear your opinion! (Also I try not to be biased, when I was young I was really immature and caused lots of fanwars, now that I look back I always regret what I said. I really hate those kind of people and I try to not be like them. So I’m really sorry if I sound biased to you…)

    • Ayşegül Şehla Apaydın

      İt includes just SMTown 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️😒

      • No one

        No it doesn’t, it includes more, like Yg

      • 90 Day Korean

        Thanks for the comment! We’ll update this article soon. ^^

    • levi hogwood

      How is this of all time when it’s only artist’s from the 2000’s? Like where is Seo Taiji and Boys or even BTS?

      • 90 Day Korean

        Hi levi! Thanks for the comment. This article is due for an update. ^^

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