• (YG Entertainment, SM Entertainment, Fantagio)
Lots of new K-pop groups debuted this year, but who were the best (according to Billboard)?
22 Dec 2016 - 10:52 AM  UPDATED 22 Dec 2016 - 10:52 AM

2016 saw the debut of some great K-pop groups, but who were the most notable and buzzworthy?

In an attempt to answer that question, Billboard combed through all of this year's debuts and compiled its "10 Best New K-pop Groups in 2016". So without further ado, here are who Billboard deem are the best K-pop groups to debut this year!

10. Bulldok

"Four of Bulldok’s members competed on the show and, with the addition of one more member, released their first single “Why Not?” in October. The music video for the swaggering dance song, which fused hip-hop and electronic beats, ended up being one of the most viewed girl group debut videos of 2016."


"The first boy band from Cube Entertainment (BEAST, 4Minute) since BTOB’s 2012 debut, Pentagon garnered a lot of attention in October with the release of the pounding “Gorilla,” a brassy dance track that incorporated hip-hop and funk. Its music video was so popular upon release that “Gorilla” became one of the most viewed K-pop videos in America that month."

8. K.A.R.D

" As the first co-ed pop group to hit the K-pop scene in several years, K.A.R.D built a lot of buzz and landed in the top five on the U.S. iTunes’ K-pop chart."

7. KNK

"Male quintets are a mainstay to the K-pop industry, and no other new act has excelled at being a prototypical boy band than KNK. Their songs, including debut track “Knock” and their most recent release “U,” are powerful dance pop tracks, but the members have also showcased an ability to sing sentimental ballads."

6. Cosmic Girls

"Bigger was definitely better in 2016, and WJSN (also known as Cosmic Girls) with their 13 members lived up to that title. After debuting early in the year with the bubblegum dance single “MoMoMo” and the hip-hop heavy follow up, “Catch Me,” WJSN made their mark on K-pop with the sleek synthpop track “Secret.”"


"February brought Astro, a six-member boy band with a bright, synthpop sound that won over K-pop lovers from around the world. Throughout the year, the act saw three EPs chart on the World Album chart, two of which tied for the No. 6 spot."

4. Bolbbalgan4

"The duo released several singles throughout the year, all of which drew on Bolbbalgan4’s sweet sound and set the tone for what appears to be the start of a successful career."

3. NCT

"Alternating line-ups are a risky concept for a K-pop group, which often build their fandoms based around the popularity of individual members, but the success of NCT’s first year is undeniable."

2. Black Pink

"YG’s iconic girl group 2NE1 may have disbanded at the end of last month, but Black Pink is more than ready to fill the void"

1. I.O.I

"Despite their short lifespan, no other rookie K-pop act could compete with this gaggle of girls in 2016. Success may be limited by I.O.I’s lifespan, but I.O.I had one of the most successful debuts in K-pop history."

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