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By sunhoar
  • Period: to

    History of K-pop

  • The Beginning of "K-pop"

    The Beginning of "K-pop"
    Korean popular music traces all the back to 1885 to when an American missionary, Henry Appenzeller started teaching American and British folk songs at a school in Korea. These songs were called changga in Korean, and they were typically based on a popular Western melody sung with Korean lyrics.
  • The first "K-pop" album

    The first "K-pop" album
    The first known Korean pop album was "Yi Pungjin Sewol" (This Tumultuous Time) by Park Chae-seon and Lee Ryu-saek from 1925 and contained popular songs translated from Japanese.
  • The creation of Trot

    The creation of Trot
    In the mid-1920s, Japanese composer Masao Koga mixed traditional Korean music with Gospel music that American Evangelists introduced in the 1870s. This type of music became known as Enka in Japan, and later in Korea as Trot. This style of music would later on gain tremendous popularity in South Korea.
  • The first "K-pop" song composed

    The first "K-pop" song composed
    The first pop song written by a Korean composer is thought to be "Nakhwayusu" (낙화유수, Fallen Blossoms on Running Water) sung by Lee Jeong-suk in 1929
  • The influence of American culture

    The influence of American culture
    After the Korean War, which started on June 25, 1950 and lasted for 3 years, U.S. troops remained in South Korea for protection. At the cause of their continued presence, American culture began to settle in South Korea, eventually leading to the influence upon their music as well; popular songs started to be modeled after American ones.
  • The Kim Sisters

    The Kim Sisters
    The Kim Sisters, two sisters and their cousin, were one of the first South Korean artists to gain international attention. Starting off their career as singers for American soldiers situated in South Korea following the Korean War, the Kim Sisters were signed to a US contract in 1953. Arriving in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1959, the Kim Sister's caught the eye of Ed Sullivan, a famous TV figure, and performed on his TV show, the Ed Sulllivan show, more than 22 times.
  • South Korea's economic bloom

    South Korea's economic bloom
    In the 1960s, the South Korean economy began to bloom, as did the musical culture. With commercial radio stations starting up, popular music began to become much easier to listen to.Korean musicians and singers, who would only perform at American clubs prior, now began to spread out in terms of their audience.
  • The first Korean rock band: Add4

    The first Korean rock band: Add4
    When the Beatles fever hit Korea, so did the beginnings of their own rock music culture. The first to be made is said to be Add4.
  • The 1970s: Korean hippie folk pop

    The 1970s: Korean hippie folk pop
    The 1970's carried Korean popular music through another transformation. Heavily influenced by American culture, even their music was influenced by the "hippie" style. This led to the writing of many hippie folk style songs.
  • The 1980s: the ballads

    The 1980s: the ballads
    In the 1980s, Korean music next underwent the transformation into the ballad industry, which gained popularity as a genre after 1985.
  • Seo Taiji & Boys

    Seo Taiji & Boys
    The trio group to truly bring K-Pop to a turning point, Seo Taiji & Boys experimentied with many different styles of western music. They were the first dance/pop group, and it was because of them that a new fanbase was created, one that would rise to become the select target audience: teenagers.
  • SM Entertainment

    SM Entertainment
    SM Entertainment, which stands for Star Music, was founded in 1995. They have since grown to become one of the most prominent entertainment labels in South Korea, beating out the countless others. In present time, they have produced and train some of the biggest names in K-pop.
  • Baby V.O.X

    Baby V.O.X
    Considered one of the "big three" female K-pop girl groups of the 1990s and early 2000s, Baby V.O.X was one of the first groups to successfully gain international recognition. Their song "Confidence" released in 2002, gained a large amount of popularity across Asian countries, and they continued to do so with further releases. In 2003, their song "I'm Still Loving You" topped Chinese charts, making them the first "K-pop" group to create a steady Chinese fanbase.
  • BoA

    Considered the "Queen of K-pop" BoA is a solo artist who debuted at the age of thirteen. Gaining huge success in Korea with her debut, she eventually branched out into the Japanese market, where she also garnered huge success. To this day, she is one of the only two artists to have six-consecutive #1 albums on the Oricon Chart, the other being a Japanese artist. To this day, BoA is still active, and has even ventured into the acting scene, having played a lead role in an English movie.
  • Rain

    Artist Rain was the first solo male artist in K-pop to gain international attention. Spreading out towards China and Japan, he was the first to hold a Beijing concert, which brought in 40,000 fans. In May of 2007, he held a concert in Tokyo Dome with 40,000 fans in attendece, with the tickets selling within days. Even today, Rain is considered a respected senior in the K-pop industry, and he is still active as an actor, producer, and singer.
  • Wonder Girls hit the US

    Wonder Girls hit the US
    The Wonder Girls entered the US Billboard Hot 100 music chart with their single "Nobody" in 2009.
  • Smtown goes global

    Smtown goes global
    SM Entertainment was one of the first companies to hold a concert outside the Asian Continent with the SMTown Live '10 World Tour in LA. This was followed up by two sold-out concerts at the Zénith de Paris a few months later in France. The original concert at Staples Center in Los Angeles grossed over $1 million, and took the 9th position on the Billboard Boxscore Chart.
  • Billboard launches the K-pop chart

    Billboard launches the K-pop chart
    Billboard launched the Korea K-Pop Hot 100 music chart.
  • Youtube & K-pop / K-pop hits South America

    Youtube & K-pop / K-pop hits South America
    The total number of YouTube views generated by K-Pop videos in 2011 surpasses 1 billion. It had tripled from 800 million in the previous year to more than 2.3 billion, which was spurred on by viewership from Europe and the Middle East. In the same month, the United Cube Concert was held in São Paulo, Brazil, the first K-pop concert to be held in South America.
  • 2NE1, the best new band

    2NE1, the best new band
    2NE1 was the first K-pop artist chosen as MTV Iggy’s "Best New Band in the World.
  • BIGBANG is the BEST / Youtube goes K-pop

    BIGBANG is the BEST / Youtube goes K-pop
    Big Bang won the 2011 MTV Europe Music Award for Best Worldwide Act against artists such as Britney Spears and German singer Lena Meyer-Landrut to clinch. Shortly after, Google announced that its subsidiary YouTube would launch its own K-pop channel.
  • K-pop hits US Television

    K-pop hits US Television
    Girls' Generation's appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman and Live! with Kelly on January 31 and February 1, 2012, in the United States where they performed remixes of the English version of their song, "The Boys". It marked the first time that a Korean musical act has performed on each of the shows.
  • BIGBANG returns and goes global

    BIGBANG returns and goes global
    After becoming the first K-pop band to enter the Billboard 200 music chart with their album Alive, Big Bang kicked off the Alive Tour in 25 cities worldwide. The tour ended in early 2013, and was attended by 800,000 concert-goers around the world.

    Psy's "Gangnam Style" became the most viewed video on YouTube. He became the first Asian pop star to cross over worldwide as well as helping K-pop penetrate the Western music markets. It was also awarded the MTV Europe Music Award for Best Video, and became the first video on YouTube to hit a billion views.
  • 2NE1 hits Billboard charts

    2NE1 hits Billboard charts
    2NE1 became the first K-pop girl group to rank on Billboard's Current Box Score. The group held their New Evolution Concert at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on August 24, bringing in a gross sales of $653,716, and ranking at #29 on Billboard's Current Box Score.
  • 2NE1 & New York Times

    2NE1 & New York Times
    Towards the end of the year, The New York Times selected 2NE1's performance at the Prudential Center in New Jersey as one of the "Best Concerts of 2012
  • F(x) in Texas

    F(x) in Texas
    F(x), a five member girl group under SM Entertainment became the first K-pop group to perform at K-Pop Night Out at SXSW in Austin, Texas.
  • Girl's Generation & Super Junior

    Girl's Generation & Super Junior
    Girls' Generation's YouTube video for its 2009 single "Gee" surpassed 100 million views which made them the first K-pop idol group to do so. In the same month, Super Junior extended the Super Show 5 Tour to Buenos Aires, São Paulo, Santiago and Lima, making it the largest K-pop tour in South America.
  • TVXQ's live tour in Japan

    TVXQ's live tour in Japan
    TVXQ's Tohoshinki Live Tour was held in Japan in 2013. The concert sold over 850,000 tickets at an average cost of $109 each, generating a total of $92.6 million in revenues.
  • TVXQ breaks records, sets records

    TVXQ breaks records, sets records
    TVXQ finished its Japanese Live Tour 2013: Time, with two landmark performances at the prestigious Nissan Stadium, in front of a total of 140,000 fans within two nights. They became the first Korean artists in history to perform at the venue, and only the fourth musical artist overall to do so.
  • Girl's Generation sweeps up the Youtube Awards

    Girl's Generation sweeps up the Youtube Awards
    Girls' Generation was awarded with the "Video of the Year" at the 2013 YouTube Music Awards for their music video "I Got a Boy".
  • F(x) gets listed

    F(x) gets listed
    F(x)'s 2nd album Pink Tape was the only K-pop album listed by Fuse TV as one of the "41 Best Albums of 2013".
  • 2NE1 hits the billboard charts again

    2NE1 hits the billboard charts again
    2NE1's album Crush debuted at No. 61 on the Billboard 200, setting the record for the highest-charting K-pop album in the United States
  • EXO hits the charts.

    EXO hits the charts.
    EXO, a 12 member boy group's album Overdose sold 3, 000 copies of the Korean version of the album. EXO-K's version of the five-track EP got into the Billboard 200 at No. 129, setting the record for the highest-charting album for male groups in K-pop.
  • 2NE1 & Microsoft

    2NE1 & Microsoft
    Microsoft recruited 2NE1‘s "I Am The Best" to promote the Surface Pro 3.
  • 2NE1 & Youtube

    2NE1 & Youtube
    YouTube released a playlist called "The Evolution of Girl Groups." Amongst names like Destiny's Child, Spice Girls and TLC, 2NE1's 2011 hit "I Am the Best" was included in the streaming video website's playlist, as the only Asian girl group mentioned.
  • 2NE1 & more Billboard

    2NE1 & more Billboard
    2NE1's 'Gotta Be You' was named MTV Iggy's "Song Of The Year." 2NE1's album Crush was the only album of an Asian artist listed on Fuse TV’s 40 Best Albums Of 2014 List. That album was also the only one from an Asian artist named on Rolling Stone's "20 Best Pop Albums of 2014" list. Crush ranked at No. 11 on Billboard's year-end World Albums chart, marking the first time a K-pop act has appeared on the year-end chart.
  • Girl's Generation & Youtube

    Girl's Generation & Youtube
    Girls' Generation's Japanese version of "Mr. Taxi" surpassed 100 million views on YouTube. They became the first K-Pop group to have 4 official YouTube videos, "Gee", "I Got A Boy", "The Boys" and "Mr Taxi (Japanese Version) with 100 million or higher views.
  • EXO sweeps it all

    EXO sweeps it all
    EXO's album Exodus sold over 6,000 copies. It was the largest sales week ever for a K-pop act's album in America, landing the group at No. 70 on the Top Album Sales chart and No. 95 on the Billboard 200. EXO now holds the record for not only the biggest sales week for a K-pop album ever, but also the highest-charting album for male groups.