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When someone asks you the question, “Do you know K-Pop?” people usually answer that they know BTS and BlackPink because they are the most successful internationally and are making history. However, did you know that the Kpop we know has existed for more than 30 years now? The world of Kpop has known several generations of groups that have each marked their decades. Let’s see who these groups are and what you should know about them.


The first group : Seo Taiji and the boys (1992)

Composed of Seo Taiji, Yang Hyunsuk (ex-director of YG entertainment) and Lee Juno, the group made its South Korean national debut on television in 1992. Their title “Nan Arayo” (I Know) stayed on the top of Korean charts during 18 weeks and their album was sold at 1,7 million copies. It’s the beginning of the Kpop era. Hip-hop, techno and rap-dance are the perfect mix, which will inspired next kpop bands. This is the birth of  the first-ever K-pop group.

First generation : H.O.T (1996)

The first generation of kpop groups appeared in the 90s, after the apparition of Seo Taiji and the boys, who opened the way to new kpop groups. One of them marked the history of kpop : the boysband H.O.T. The group were formed by SM entertainment in 1996, the five boys was considered as the first “idole group”. They trained to learn how to dance, sing and rap. They were popularised thanks to their song “Candy”. In the music video, we can see them wearing colorfull outfits. That song became the first of their hit songs. After that, many kpop male groups appeared like Shinhwa, Sech Kies and G.O.D, but also girls group like S.E.S. It’s the beginning of the first Hallyu wave.

Meanwhile, solo idols make their entry in the kpop world like the popular singer Rain. BoA, was considered as the “Queen of Kpop”.


Second generation : TVXQ (2003)

The second generation started in the 2000. K-pop began to be famous in other Asian country and America. The second generation really began with the boysband group TVXQ. The group appeared in 2003 and were composed of five members. They were the first kpop group to play in China, Thailand and Malaysia. TVXQ were also known for having the biggest fan club with 800 000 members, named “Cassiopeia”. Thanks to this, the boysband entered in the Guinness Book of World Records twice. TVXQ sold over 500,000 copies of their fourth album, Mirotic, in Korea.

Soon after, many groups appeared and became icons of the Kpop world like Super Junior, SHINEE, BIGBANG, SNSD or Wonder Girls…


Third generation : BTS, BlackPink, EXO, Twice…

The third generation begin in the 2010s, many kpop groups were created with a unique style. BTS and BlackPink are from of this generation. Other groups are from this generation and are also popular internationally : EXO, GOT7, Twice, Red Velvet, Seventeen, IKON, StrayKids, Ateez… The musical style has changed over the years but the principle remains the same: ultra-trendy outfits and choreographies always more spectacular than the others. This is the key to success.


Thank you for reading this article, I hope you learned a lot of new things about the world of Kpop.

See you next time!


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