Now that the top girl groups of K-Pop have been discussed, Korean netizens have noted the boy group versions of iconic idols. Each generation had at least one group that made a splash in the industry, innovating as they performed.
Without further ado, here are the boy groups that Koreans believe are the most popular and influential over the 20 years of K-Pop!
1. H.O.T. (First Generation)
H.O.T debuted in 1996 under SM Entertainment. Widely considered the first K-Pop idol group, later acts took inspiration from their songs and it-factor. Their title track “Candy” is still one of the most covered songs among rookie groups. They sold millions of records when they were still active and their disbandment was met by protests from hundreds of loyal fans.
2. g.o.d (First Generation)
g.o.d. was known as H.O.T.’s biggest rival. Debuting under JYP Entertainment in 1999, they had a signature R&B style which they developed into their own recognizable tune. Their songs “To Mother” and “Road” are considered iconic among Koreans today.
3. TVXQ (Second Generation)
TVXQ debuted under SM Entertainment in 2003. They somehow straddle the line between the first and second generations of K-Pop with how popular they were since debut. Their fourth studio album and title track of the same name, “Mirotic”, became one of their most memorable songs.
4. BIGBANG (Second Generation)
BIGBANG is known for pioneering hip hop in K-Pop ever since their debut in 2006. With strong vocals and rap, they garnered international attention for the industry. “Fantastic Baby” was even the most popular K-Pop YouTube video in 2017 at over 300 million views.
5. EXO (Third Generation)
EXO made their mark as one of the most popular boy groups of the third generation. Debuting in 2012 under SM Entertainment, they can boast of a strong local and international fanbase over their career.
“Growl” was the first music video and performance to attempt the one-shoot-only trend, and EXO further became known for their catchy songs and individual talent.
6. BTS (Third Generation)
Finally, BTS is arguably the biggest K-Pop act in history. They are the only K-Pop group that debuted in 2013 to survive until today. BTS pioneered the mainstream popularity of K-Pop and won hundreds of awards thus far. Today, they are seen everywhere in South Korea and abroad, showing just how influential they are.