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Top 10 Girl Groups in K-Pop

VO: Matt Campbell
Script written by Caitlin Marceau If you miss the good old days when girl groups and choreographed dances were popular, then you’re in luck. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down the ten best Girl Groups in K-Pop. For this list, we’re ranking the groups based on originality, their impact on music, and their pop culture influence. Special thanks to our user Domination402 for suggesting this idea, check out the voting page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Best+Kpop+Girl+Groups

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Top 10 Girl Groups In K Pop

If you miss the good old days when girl groups and choreographed dances were popular, then you’re in luck. While not as popular in North America, they still make up a solid chunk of the South Korean music industry today. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down the ten best Girl Groups in K-Pop.
For this list, we’re ranking the groups based on originality, their impact on music, and their pop culture influence.

#10. Brown Eyed Girls

            This band has been around for the last ten years and, fingers crossed, they’ll be around for another ten. Although they first debuted as an R&B group, they’ve done everything from electro-pop to hard hitting ballads. Their song “Abracadabra,” which came out in 2009, launched them into superstardom, with the song’s accompanying dance—called the “arrogance dance,” which involves moving your hips from side to side—becoming so popular that it was even featured in PSY’s 2013 music video for “Gentleman” with a cameo by Gain, one of the group’s singers.

#9. AOA

            Ace of Angels, better known as AOA, hasn’t been around for very long, but they’ve made quite the impact since their debut. The band consists of seven regular members, with an eighth member who now only performs with the sub-unit AOA Black. The group first captured audience’s attention with their unusual 7+1 member concept. In teaser trailers advertising the group, they released the band’s backstory in which all but one member were “full angels.” While the band has been producing music since 2012, they only just released their first Korean language studio album this past January.  

#8. Apink

            If you hear the word “k-pop” and imagine upbeat, innocent, bubblegum pop tunes, then you’d probably be wrong… unless you’re talking about Apink, that is. Known for their innocent image and upbeat lyrics, the band debuted in 2011 with seven members, but currently performs as a six-member group, with singer Hong Yoo-kyung leaving the band in 2013 to focus on school. In 2015 they became the first group on Music Core to win five consecutive awards, with the band having amassed 33 awards for their work (not including the 29 awards they’ve won on music programs) since their debut. And they say nice girls finish last.

#7. After School

            This band hit the ground running since their 2009 debut, and have been a commercial success since. Inspired by The Pussycat Dolls—and even performing as an opening act for them during the Asian portion of The Pussycat Dolls’ Doll Domination Tour—their debut single “AH” featured the girls in thigh high socks, schoolgirl outfits, and had them dancing in formation to some highly suggestive moves. The song, along with their follow up piece entitled “Because of You,” became an instant success. Unfortunately no band is without problems; members seem to abruptly join After School and leave just as fast, and currently the group is on hiatus, with several of the members pursuing careers in TV.

#6. f(x)
            Although each girl group has their own unique concept, there’a generally a uniform aesthetic to each band, but that’s far from the case with f(x), which seriously celebrates—and pushes—the individuality of its members, most notably with tomboy artist Amber Liu.  f(x) was originally framed as being a dance focused group, however they’ve proven themselves to be powerhouse singers who like to experiment with sound and style. Although their first song “LA chA TA” did well, it was their debut album Pinocchio that helped make them famous, and their second digital EP—“Electric Shock”—that made them a household name internationally.

#5. Miss A

            This South Korean-Chinese girl group debuted in 2010 and fast became one of the most popular. Their first single “Bad Girl Good Girl” made them the fastest girl group to take top spot on KBS Music Bank, a prestigious music show. They were so popular that their music video for “Touch” reached one million views on YouTube the same day it was uploaded as part of their 2012 comeback, and the video for “Only You” gained more than two million views in 24-hours for their 2013 return to music. While the band originally consisted of four members, singer Jia left the group in 2016 and since her departure the remaining trio has been focused on solo ventures, leaving the future of Miss A unclear.

#4. Sistar

            While some girl groups are known for making their entry into the world of k-pop thanks to their vocals, Sistar was—in part—launched into stardom after a video surfaced in which one of the members broke her thumb mid-performance and, after a short break backstage, came out with the band and kept singing. Talk about tough. Although their earlier songs did well, their 2014 smash hit “Touch My Body” has easily become one of their most popular songs. The music video, choreography, and catchy chorus are all especially memorable, and it’s not hard to see why this song is a fan favourite. Their 2016 comeback was also successful, with their song “I Like That” debuting at the top spot, making it their eighth straight number one hit on the charts.

#3. Wonder Girls

            This band debuted in 2007 and fast became a favourite of pop listeners in South Korea. One of their earliest singles, “Tell Me” from their first full-length album The Wonder Years, topped charts upon its release and propelled the band to new heights as people not only fell in love with their music, but with their choreography too. The 2008 single “Nobody” also got people around the world moving to their tunes, and helped solidify them in k-pop history, as they would be the first k-pop group to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 with their english version of the song. Unfortunately the group has disbanded, with their final goodbye having been released in February.

#2. 2Ne1

            Assembled by YG Entertainment the group debuted back in 2009 in a commercial featuring the insanely popular boy band Big Bang for the LG Cyon phone. Although the commercials used their song “Lollipop,” their official debut single was “Fire,” which came out two months later. The single came with two versions of their music video and audiences went crazy for this fierce as hell girl group. Although their previous singles did well, they’re arguably best known for their 2011 hit “I Am The Best.” The video featured the women dressed in cutting edge punk meets Lady Gaga inspired outfits that left an impression on viewers. Sadly, the band announced their disbandment at the end of 2016, with their final song—“Good Bye”—being released in early January of this year.
Before we get to our top band here are a few honourable mentions,
Girl’s Day
Red Velvet

#1. Girls’ Generation

            Also known as SNSD—the acronym of the group’s Korean name—this girl group proves that girl power is very much alive and well. Considered widely to be Korea’s unofficial-official girl group, Girls’ Generation have a signature bubblegum pop sound to their music, although that doesn’t mean they don’t experiment with it as well. The group has sold over 4 million albums, has won over 130 music awards, 100 music program awards, they broke the record for the longest-running number one song on Music Bank, and are the first girl group to win three Daesang awards in a row. While the debuted in 2007, it wasn’t until the release of their single “Gee” in 2009 that they really became pop culture icons. Girls’ Generation indeed. 


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