Top KPop Groups – The Best Bands Now and Of All Time

Last Updated on November 16, 2020 by 90 Day Korean

Curious about the top Kpop groups?

If you know what Kpop is, then you probably have an idea of some of the popular groups out there. But which one is the top group these days?

We’ve compiled a list of the best Kpop groups that are around currently. In addition, we also have listed the top Kpop groups of all time.

Read on, and don’t be afraid to dance a little while you check out these sensational bands!

Fans at a concert with their hands up

One of the best parts about K-pop songs is when you start to understand what the song lyrics are about. That’s when it comes in handy to know a bit about the language.

In addition, learning Korean means being able to tap into an entirely new culture that you previously did not have full access to. Korean music and television can be fun for everyone — even for people who cannot speak the language.

As you begin to understand different words and phrases as you continue on your journey to learn to speak Korean, songs, movies, and TV shows take on a whole new level of meaning and become infinitely more enjoyable.

Top Kpop Groups Now

Here’s a list of the most popular Kpop groups now. Most of these groups had their debut on and after the year 2013. They are considered to be the 3rd generation Kpop groups.

BTS (방탄소년단)

BTS or Bangtan Sonyeon Dan has 7 members and is one of the most successful K-Pop groups of all time. Considering they came from a not so big entertainment agency, they were able to capture the attention of many overseas fans. The size of their fan-base is enormous and snagged them the win for Top Social Artist for 2 straight years in the Billboard Music Awards with more than 300 million votes.

bts

Source: https://www.allkpop.com/

Their songs have reached the Billboard Hot 100 and their album Love Yourself: Tear debuted at number one making them the first Korean group to reach the top of U.S album charts. One factor that separates BTS from most K-Pop groups and the reason they are popular is that they produce their own songs.

iKon (아이콘)

ikon

Source: https://www.allkpop.com

iKon is a 7 member group formed through a survival competition called WIN: Who Is Next and Mix & Match. As soon as the group debuted, their 1st studio album topped the charts in Korea. They are known for many popular singles since then. They are also known for writing and producing their own songs.

Their song entitled Love Scenario 사랑을 했다 (sarangeul haetda) was a hit early in 2018. It was so popular even elementary school students could be heard singing it even though when asked, they couldn’t explain the exact meaning of the song.

Seventeen (세븐틴)

Seventeen is, quite literally, one of the biggest boy groups that the K-Pop industry has ever seen with 13 members. This puts them on par with the group Super Junior in terms of size. The group is signed under Pledis Entertainment who originally planned to have 17 members. However, 4 of them left even before the group had their debut. They are made up of 3 sub-units performing according to their specialization; hip-hop, vocals, and entertainment. They are still living up to their name Seventeen with 13 members plus 3 units which makes them 1 group. 

Seventeen

Source: https://channel-korea.com

The group made a name for themselves in the industry for their hard work as they are writing, producing their songs and creating their own choreography all by themselves. This has earned them the moniker as the self-producing idol group.

Got7 (갓세븐)

Got7 is another boy group made up of 7 members from JYP Entertainment. The group made its debut in January 2014 and became known for their choreography that often has martial arts and street dancing elements.

Got7

Source: https://metro.co.uk

Their debut album called Got It? reached number 2 on Gaon Album Chart and number one on Billboard’s World Albums Chart. The group also entered the Japanese market with their single “Around the World”. From their debut until today, the group has always dominated music charts and sales whenever they make a “comeback”. They never fail to give their fans quality music which they compose and produce themselves.

Can't read Korean yet? Click here to learn for free in about 60 minutes!

Twice (트와이스)

The girl group Twice debuted in 2015 through a program called Sixteen. The group is made up of nine members with different nationalities coming from all over places like Japan and Taiwan.

twice

Source: https://www.allkpop.com

They rose to popularity with their single “Cheer Up” giving them awards such as Song of the Year and Best Performing Single. Since then, the group has been releasing singles and albums that always top the music charts and sales with their catchy lyrics and tunes.

Blackpink (블랙핑크)

Blackpink is not your ordinary girl group. They give off a different vibe from the rest of the girl groups. They are made up of 4 members, one coming from Thailand and all are good at speaking English. They were formed by YG Entertainment who also formed the legendary girl group 2ne1.  

blackpink

Source: https://www.kpopmap.com

Within two years of being active in the music industry, they have become the highest-charting K-Pop girl group on Billboard Hot 100. They are also the first K-Pop girl group to have 4 number one singles on Billboard’s World Digital Song Sales chart. Definitely, a group to keep an eye on!

Red Velvet (레드벨벳)

Red Velvet is a 5 member K-pop group made by SM Entertainment. They made their debut in August 2014 with 4 members and later in 2015 became 5 members. Since their debut, all their singles have dominated the music charts as soon as they’re released.

Red Velvet

Source: https://kpopping.com

They’re known for having songs that are catchy and for giving off a sensual, colorful, and sophisticated vibe. They’ve also won numerous awards from distinguished music awards in Korea. This is one factor they are considered as one of the most popular K-Pop groups by Time and Billboard.

You don’t have to speak Korean to enjoy K-Pop, but learning Korean words and phrases makes listening to the songs 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 K-Pop as a great way to make learning interesting.

Even learning a few phrases (like on this page) can make the songs feel more familiar.

Now that we’ve covered the current top K-Pop groups, let’s cover the best bands of all time.

Top Kpop Groups of All Time

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. These groups are called the 2nd generation K-Pop groups. Most of these groups are known to have begun the Hallyu wave (Korean wave), especially in Asia. Check out some of the bands below, and be sure to let us know what you think of these groups in the comments section!

Girls’ Generation (소녀시대)

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.

Picture of Korean girl group Girls Generation

Source: http://www.wikipedia.com

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!

Super Junior (슈퍼주니어)

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.

Korean Kpop SuperJunior

Source: http://sujureactions.tumblr.com

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!

Wonder Girls (원더걸스)

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.

Korean Kpop WonderGirls

Source: http://wondernostalgia.wordpress.com

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.

2NE1 (투애니원)

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 has already received multiple “Song of the Year” awards and has been very well-received by critics, making them one of the best Kpop groups performing today.

Korean Kpop 2NE1

Source: http://www.soompi.com

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!

Shinee (샤이니)

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.

Korean Kpop Shinee

Source: http://www.soompi.com

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!

T-ara (티아라)

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!

Korean Kpop T-ara

Source: http://www.podust.com

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!

Big Bang (빅뱅)

Big Bang is best known for its 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.

Korean Kpop BigBang

Source: http://www.wattpad.com

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!

Kara (카라)

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.

Korean Kpop Kara

Source: http://kpoplovely.wordpress.com

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”!

2PM (투피엠)

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.

Korean Kpop 2PM

Source: http://koreanpopaddict.blogspot.com

Check out the music video for their single “Go Crazy” and see for yourself how this band can move!

EXO (엑소)

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.

Korean Kpop Exo

Source: http://exogallery.minus.com

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!

    113 replies to "Top KPop Groups – The Best Bands Now and Of All Time"

    • Avatar for Randasiah Randasiah

      yess when I saw shinee I drooped but they paved the way for male groups and k-pop period

    • Avatar for Ananya Bhattacharya Ananya Bhattacharya

      BTS

    • Avatar for Liza Liza

      Exo

    • Avatar for ikoc dk ikoc dk

      ikon

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