History of K-Pop

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In Music
  • The Introduction of Western Folk Songs

    The Introduction of Western Folk Songs
    American missionary, Reverend Henry Appenzeller started teaching American and British folk music at a school in Korea. These songs were called 'changga' in Korean, and the original English lyrics were replaced with Korean words.
  • The First Known Korean Pop Album

    'Yi Pungjn Sewol' or 'The Tumultuous Time' by Park Chae-seon and Lee Ryu-saek, was the first known Korean Pop album intorduced in 1925. This album contained popular Japanese songs that were translated into Korean. (Note: The year is correct, but no available source can give me the correct month or day).
  • The Introduction of 'Trot'

    Japanese composer, Masao Koga mixed traditional Korean music with gospel music created by American evgnelists introduced in the 1870's. In Korea, this would come to be known as 'Trot' and was extremely popular. Modern K-Pop Idols recently released new or 'covered' versions of trot music. (Note: No available source can give me the correct month, day or year; only that this genre was founded in the mid-1920's).
  • The First Pop Song Written by a Korean Composer

    The first pop song written by a Korean composer is thought to be 'Nakhwayusu' or 'Fallen Blossoms on Running Water' by Lee Jeong-suk in 1929. (Note: The year is correct, but no available source can give me the correct month or day).
  • Re-Establishment of the USO

    In 1950, when the United States entered the Korean War, Secretary of Defense George Marshall and Secretary of the Navy Francis P. Matthews requested that the USO be reactivated. According to war historian Paul Edwards, Between 1952 and 1953, not a day went by without the USO providing services somewhere in Korea. With the constant playing of Western music, this further helped to shape Korean music. (Note: The year and month is correct, but no available source can give me the correct day).
  • The Kim Sisters

    The Kim Sisters
    Some Korean performers gain international recognition. One Korean group known as, The Kim Sisters performed on the Ed Sullivan Show more than 22 times. (Note: The year is correct, but no available source can give me the correct month or day).
  • Marilyn Monroe Performs in Korea

    Marilyn Monroe Performs in Korea
    Along with Bob Hope, Errol Flynn, Debbie Reynolds, Donald O'Connor, Piper Laurie, Jane Russell, Paul Douglas, Terry Moore, Danny Kaye, Rory Calhoun, Mickey Rooney, Jayne Mansfield, Al Jolson and many others, Marilyn Monroe performed in several areas across UN affiliated portions of Korea during or even after the Korean War. Jolson notably was the first to volunteer and traveled to Korea at his own expense. (Note: The year is correct, but no available source can give me the correct month or day).
  • The American Forces Korea Network Radio Starts Its Broadcast

    In 1957, the American Forces Korea Network Radio started to brodcast Western music. This helped increase the popularity of Western music in South Korea, and also helped to influence the Korean music during this time. (Note: The year is correct, but no available source can give me the correct month or day).
  • Introduction of Korean Rock Music

    Introduction of Korean Rock Music
    When The Beatles fever reached the shores of Korea, the first local rock bands appeared. The very first is said to be Add4 founded by group leader Shin Jung-hyun. However, Trot still remained popular during this time. (Note: The year is correct, but no available source can give me the correct month or day).
  • Introduction of Korean Hippie Folk Pop

    With a new generation on the rise, many did not experience the oppression faced by their ancestors against the Japanese. With that in mind, this generation was heavily influenced by the American Hippie movement. Just as the American hippies opposed the Vietnam War, so too did the Korean hippies which led to the government banning various song that contained more liberal-leaning messages. The leading Korean singer at the time was Han Dae-soo who was eventually banned from performing in Korea.
  • The Era of the Ballads

    In the 1980's, South Korea saw the rise of ballad singers. This genre became popular after the 1985 release of Lee Gwang-jo's 'You're Too Far Away To Get Close" which sold over 300,000 copies. The most popular ballad singers of the decade was Lee Young-hoon, whose songs were compiled into a modern musical in 2011.
  • Cho Yong-pil

    Cho Yong-pil
    After his first single, Yong-pil gained national attention. But what really made him famous was winning the Asia Music Forum which made him famous internationally around Asia. With his first album, he became the first Korean artist to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York. Currently, he has 19 albums released with his latest being a hit; trumping many current K-Pop Idol groups. (Note: The year is correct, but no available source can give me the correct month or day).
  • The 90's Korean Music Fad

    The 90's Korean Music Fad
    Incorporating American music styles like rap, rock and techno, Korean music forever changed. The male K-Pop Idol group known as, the Seo Taiji & Boys emerged on MBC's talent show with their debut song 'Nan Arayo' or 'I Know.' The judges deemed it a fail, but the Korean public loved it; the single becoming widely successful. Their success would form a pathway for many other K-Pop groups to follow.
  • SM Entertainment

    SM Entertainment
    In 1995, Korean entrepreneur, Lee Soo-man founded SM Entertainment; Korea's largest talent agency and record label to date. The label is one of the 'big three.'
  • H.O.T.

    H.O.T.
    The first K-Pop boy band and the forerunners of the 'idol group' trend. Successfully turned mainstream music to music made for teenagers. Is often credited as the most popular K-Pop group during the 90's. Was signed with SM Entertainment. (Note: The year is correct, but no available source can give me the correct month or day).
  • YG Entertainment

    YG Entertainment
    YG Entertainment was founded by Yang Hyun-suk. It is the second most successful K-Pop talent agency and record label to date. The label is one of the 'big three.'
  • JYP Entertainment

    JYP Entertainment
    JYP Entertainment was founded by J.Y. Park. It is the third most successful K-Pop talent agency and record label to date. The label is one of the 'big three.'
  • S.E.S.

    S.E.S.
    The first female K-Pop group, they were widely successful after their debut up until their break-up. Their fanbase was noted to have a rivalry with Fin.K.L's fanbase; another female K-Pop group. They are known for beig one of the 'big three' girl groups of the 90's. They were signed with SM Entertainment. (Note: The month and year are correct, but no available source can give me the correct day).
  • Baby V.O.X.

    Baby V.O.X.
    Baby V.O.X. debuted in the late 90's and was a big success. They are known for pioneering the Hallyu Wave along with H.O.T. They were also considered as one of the 'big three' K-Pop girl groups of the 90's.
  • Fin.K.L

    Fin.K.L
    Fin.K.L was a very popular female K-Pop group. Their fanbase was noted to having an intense rivalry with S.E.S's fanbase. They are often credited as being one of the 'big three' girl groups during the 90's. They were signed with DSP Media. (Note: The year is correct, but no available source can give me a correct month or day).
  • The Hallyu Wave

    Towards the turn of the 21st century, K-Pop music started spreading towards neighboring Asian countries. Many records were broken by K-Pop groups in other countries; this genre even considered more popular than some countries' own music.
  • Rain and the Tokyo Dome

    Rain and the Tokyo Dome
    K-Pop Idol Rain was the first K-Pop music artist to perform at the Tokyo Dome. The show was sold out in two days. (Note: The day is most likely incorrect.)
  • Girls' Generation

    Girls' Generation
    Girl's Generation debuted in 2007 with songs such as 'Into the New World' and 'Kissing You,' but it wasn't until 2009 when they gained significant popularity for their hit single 'Gee,' which was dubbed as the most popular song of the decade. The group's immense popularity in their native country has earned them the titles 'The Nation's Girls' and 'The Nation's Girl Group.' They have also topped Forbes's Korea Power Celebrity 40 list for the years of 2010, 2011 and 2013. They are signed to SM.
  • Wonder Girls and the US Billboard Hot 100

    Wonder Girls and the US Billboard Hot 100
    The Wonder Girls enter the US Billboard Hot 100 music chart with their single 'Nobody.'
  • SMTown Live '10 World Tour in Los Angeles

    SMTown Live '10 World Tour in Los Angeles
    SM Entertainment holds its first concert outside of the Asian continent.
  • Billboard

    Billboard launches the Korea K-Pop Hot 100 music chart.
  • MTV Europe Music Awards

    BIGBANG faces off competition from Britney Spears and German singer, Lena Meyer-Landrut to clinc hthe 2011 MTV Europe Music Awards for 'Best Worldwide Act.'
  • Late Show with David Letterman

    Late Show with David Letterman
    Girls' Generation's appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman, in the US where they performed a remix of the English version of 'The Boys,' marked the first time that a Korean musical act has performed on the show.
  • Live! with Kelly

    Girls' Generation's appearance on Live! with Kelly, in the US where they performed a remix of the English version of 'The Boys,' marked the first time that a Korean musical act has performed on the show.
  • Gangnam Style Craze

    Gangnam Style Craze
    PSY's 'Gangnam Style' became the most viewed K-Pop video on YouTube (surpassing Girls' Generation's 'Gee') and the most viewed video overall on YouTube. After topping record charts in over 25 different countries, it won the MTV Europe Music Award for 'Best Video,' and became the first video on YouTube to hit a billion views.
  • South by Southwest 2013

    South by Southwest 2013
    f(x) becomes the fist K-Pop group to perform at the annual SXSW festival in Austin, Texas.
  • Gee

    Girls' Generation's YouTube video for 'Gee' surpasses 100 million views and becomes the first for a K-Pop Idol group to do so. (Note: The day may be incorrect).
  • TVXQ's Live Tour 2013: Time

    TVXQ concludes its highly successful Japanese tour with two landmark performances at the highly prestigious Nissan Stadium. They become the first Korean artists in history to perform there, and only the fourth musical artist overall to do so.
  • 2013 YouTube Music Awards

    2013 YouTube Music Awards
    Girls' Generation is awarded with the 'Video of the Year' award for their music video for 'I Got A Boy.' They are the first to earn this award and were going up against artists such as Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, One Direction, etc.
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    Japanese Imperial Period

    The era in which Korea was under Japanese rule. During this period, the popularity of changga songs rose exponentially as Koreans tried to express their feelings against Japanese oppression through music. Later on, the Japanese confiscated these songs and published their own lyric books.
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    The Korean War

    The Korean War was a war between the Republic of Korea (South Korea), supported by the United Nations, and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea), at one time supported by China and the Soviet Union.
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    The Korean Wave

    The Korean Wave, or the Hallyu Wave, is a term to referrig to the increase in popularity of South Korean culture. It was dubbed this in mid-1999 by a Chinese journalist who noticed China's growing appetite for Korean exports. The Hallyu Wave is considered to still be occurring as Korean music and Korean Dramas, among other things, are still a huge percentage of Koreas exports.