As 2022 comes to a close, many news and entertainment companies are compiling their “best of lists” for all types of music, including K-Pop. Included in these is the New York-based digital publication site Consequence of Sound (also known simply as Consequence). Consequence has been active for over 15 years in the industry and offers a unique perspective on music, regardless of genre. This year, they have offered a list of K-Pop artists they believe dominated 2022!
Here is their full list in no particular order!
This year, the girl group traveled worldwide for several performances and engagements, including at the Coachella music festival and the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. The group also released an extended play Girls, and in total, they sold 1.98 million albums!
It was another big year for aespa, the K-pop group of the future. Barely two years into their story, these four have found the balance of experimental and conventionally catchy that keeps their music on repeat. As their team dynamic continues to grow, so does their global listener base.
In addition to successfully embarking on two world tours this year, ATEEZ became the first Non-“Big 4” million-seller group with the release of THE WORLD EP. 1: MOVEMENT.
ATEEZ continue to pull fans into their addictive orbit — it’s hard not to root for their team dynamic and harder still not to be amazed by their stage presence.
After a highly successful year, including a successful world tour, the sky is the limit for ENHYPEN.
The “MANIFESTO” world tour took the septet to the next level, seeing ENHYPEN successfully sell out arenas around the globe. Their dynamic 2022 EP, MANIFESTO: DAY 1, kept the group in the conversation, in addition to a successful Japanese-language release that surpassed 300,000 copies sold, making ENHYPEN the fifth K-pop act to achieve that number within one week of release.
After the massive success of their debut album, IVE released two more smash-hit albums in 2022 and won Daesang awards for “Love Dive” at the 2022 Asian Artist Awards, the 2022 MAMA Awards, and the 2022 Melon Music Awards.
It’s a bit shocking to realize that IVE just passed the one-year mark as a group considering the following they’ve build since their debut. Building off the momentum of their catchy debut song, “Eleven,” IVE truly erupted with their late summer smash “After LIKE.”
5. LE SSERAFIM
Though the group debuted halfway through the year, LE SSERAFIM made a huge impact on the industry. So far, the group has won several “Rookie of the Year” awards for their activities throughout 2022.
It’s been a huge year for girl groups overall, and the conversation about K-pop groups in the year 2022 really can’t be had without acknowledging LE SSERAFIM. The act out of HYBE debuted just a few months ago in May of 2022, but you’d never know it from their threshold of performance and success of these early singles.
One of the biggest debuts of the year, NewJeans quickly rose to the top of the charts with the release of their album NewJeans.
In the crowded landscape of K-pop, it takes a lot to stand out — NewJeans have the youthful energy of K-pop’s take on The Cheetah Girls or Spice Girls, giving teen listeners (and anyone who loves a breezy, well-executed pop song, for that matter) so much to look forward to.
SEVENTEEN‘s 2022 was one of their busiest years to date. From becoming one of three K-Pop groups to sell over two million albums in the first week of sales, to their massively successful Be The Sun world tour, SEVENTEEN have worked hard.
Very few groups have the cohesive work ethic or group dynamic of SEVENTEEN. The act’s “BE THE SUN” World Tour was the place to be this summer, and their impact as one of the steadiest and most likable acts in the K-pop industry rang out long after the group’s never-ending encore conclusion of “Aju Nice” finally wrapped.
8. Stray Kids
Alongside SEVENTEEN and BTS, Stray Kids are among the few groups to have sold over two million albums during their first week of sales with the release of their album MAXIDENT. Stray Kids also sold out concerts around the world as they embarked on their MANIC world tour.
Stray Kids continued to bring their chant of “Stray Kids, everywhere, all around the world” to life. Both their 2022 releases landed at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, and while both albums share the group’s affinity for organized chaos, Stray Kids had plenty of range thematically.
TXT celebrated 2022 by going on their first official world tour and selling out nearly every date. The group has made over 2.64 million sales since the beginning of this year!
If TXT have one thing, it’s the range — from the buoyancy of “Crown” and “Blue Hour” to the intensity of newer tracks like “Opening Sequence,” TOMORROW X TOGETHER continue to experiment, all while maintaining the incredible synchronization they’ve had since their debut.
TWICE became the first K-Pop girl group to headline a stadium concert in the United States after the massive success of their 2022 world tour. In July, the group renewed their contracts with JYP Entertainment, ensuring that there will be many more years of TWICE to look forward to!
While there are plenty of girl groups crushing the game right now, no one really does bubblegum joy quite like the ladies of TWICE, with 2022 release “Talk That Talk” just the latest in a long string of wonderfully upbeat offerings. The group has been active since 2015, and their stateside presence only continues to grow as we head into 2023.