The South Korean music industry, known for its vibrant K-Pop scene, has seen numerous groups rise to fame. However, only a select few have managed to achieve what is known as the “Rookie Grand Slam.”
This prestigious accolade is awarded to groups that win all major rookie awards in a single year, including MAMA (Mnet Asian Music Awards), MMA (Melon Music Awards), SMA (Seoul Music Awards), GDA (Golden Disk Awards), and the CCMA (Circle Chart Music Awards). As of now, only seven groups have had the honor of achieving this remarkable feat.
SHINee, debuting in 2008 under SM Entertainment, was the very first group to set this remarkable record. Known for their unique music style and charismatic performances, SHINee quickly captured the hearts of fans worldwide. Their debut title track, “Replay,” was a commercial success, establishing them as one of the leading figures in the K-Pop industry.
Formed by YG Entertainment, iKON made a powerful debut in 2015. The group was instantly recognized for their distinctive hip-hop-influenced sound and engaging stage presence. Their debut album, Welcome Back, was a massive hit, leading them to sweep the rookie awards and earn their place in K-Pop history.
3. Wanna One
Produced from the survival show Produce 101 Season 2, Wanna One had a meteoric rise to fame in 2017. Their debut album, 1X1=1 (To Be One), resonated with a broad audience thanks to their catchy tunes and synchronized choreography. Their impact was significant, earning them a spot in the Rookie Grand Slam club.
ITZY, another gem from JYP Entertainment, debuted in 2019 and immediately stood out with their empowering concepts and energetic performances. Their debut single, “Dalla Dalla,” was a huge success, breaking several records and making ITZY one of the fastest groups to achieve the Rookie Grand Slam.
TXT, or Tomorrow X Together, debuted under Big Hit Entertainment (now known as BIGHIT MUSIC) in 2019. The group quickly gained attention with their fresh sound and visually appealing performances. Their debut album, The Dream Chapter: STAR, was well-received globally, cementing their status as a Rookie Grand Slam achiever.
Debuting in 2020, aespa, another SM Entertainment group, brought a unique concept blending virtual and real-world elements. Their comeback single, “Next Level,” was a hit, showcasing their innovative approach to music and performance. Their rapid rise to fame earned them a place among the elite Rookie Grand Slam winners.
The latest addition to this exclusive list is ZEROBASEONE, a group that stormed onto the scene and captivated audiences with their dynamic performances and catchy music. Winning all major rookie awards, including the recent CCMA, the Boys Planet boy group completed their Rookie Grand Slam, joining the ranks of their esteemed predecessors.