It goes without saying that there have been many awesome girl groups that have made their debut in the K-pop scene over the past 10 years, but who have been the best and most memorable?
In celebration of K-pop girl groups, Billboard have named who it deems as the top 10 best girl groups who have had the most impact on the K-pop industry over the past decade. So without further ado, here they are:
10. Miss A
Despite being on hiatus for 2 years and the departure of Jia, Miss A's influence is undeniable. Billboard says that that Miss A has been "one of the most forward-thinking K-pop acts" who have covered a wide-range of genres, such as their unconventional debut single "Bad Girl Good Girl" to the aggressive "Only You."
Apink has rocked the light-hearted and cute image ever since they debuted in 2011, something that has resulted in major success for the group. While other groups went for a more girl-power concept, Apink stuck with its innocent concept and this has helped the group become one of K-pop's most popular acts. In fact, Billboard states that "Apink remains one of South Korea’s most popular girl groups and has had a softening influence on many newer K-pop groups, with younger acts (Lovelyz, Gfriend, April, etc.) veering toward lighthearted girlishness."
Known as one of the edgier and more genre-pushing girl groups in recent memory, Billboard says that "4Minute thrived on brash electropop songs during the first half of their career, before experimenting a bit with their sound later on for some funky hip-hop (“What’s Your Name?,” “Whatcha Doin’ Today?”) and melancholic pop ballads (“Cold Rain”)."
With their unique blend of innovative synthpop that's genre-pushing yet accessible, Billboard states that "f(x)'s effervescent brand of electronica and synthpop is both innovative and extremely accessible to non-K-pop fans, with albums like Pink Tape, Red Light and 4 Walls setting this quartet (formerly a fivesome) firmly apart from any other girl group K-pop has seen this decade."
KARA was one of the biggest girl groups back in the early 2010s, and this has helped them cement a spot on Billboard's list. Billboard writes that "The girl group’s legacy rests on being one of the most impactful K-pop acts in Japan; with their addicting songs, Kara dominated Japanese charts and became the first female foreign act to hold a show at the Tokyo Dome. Breaking into the second largest music industry in the world was no small feat, and Kara was considered a leader of the Korean wave's heyday of the early '10s."
5. After School/Orange Caramel
Despite being on hiatus for a number of years now, After School and Orange Caramel are one of the leading girl groups of the past 10 years primarily due to their awesome live performances. Billboard writes that "whether it was transforming into a marching band during promotions for their punchy electropop jam “Bang” or emoting the sorrow of sleek synthpop track “First Love” through interpretive pole dancing, few upped the stakes of K-pop presentation as much as this act."
4. Brown Eyed Girls
One of the longest-running girl groups still together, Billboard praises Brown Eyed Girls by stating that their willingness to push the envelope has helped them stay relevant, writing that "with conceptually driven pop songs that exude power, the quartet -- K-pop’s longest-running girl group without any member changes -- is always happy to push the envelope a bit."
3. Wonder Girls
Described by Billboard as one of the most "resiliant" groups in K-pop before their break up, Wonder Girls' career featured numerous ups and downs, but the final stretch of success with "Reboot" and "Why So Lonely" cemented them as one of the greats.
One of the most badass girl groups ever, Billboard praises 2NE1 as a group whose fierce charisma set them apart from everyone else and helped influence the next wave of badasses, writing that "2NE1’s hard-hitting hip-pop styling launched a career that brought the act to astronomical heights, and they paved the way for a more empowered side to K-pop girl groups."
1. Girls' Generation
Girls' Generation may be 10 years old, but their influence on K-pop over the past decade has been unparalleled, having covered a wide range of musical genres throughout their career and influencing almost every girl group after them. Billboard writes that "though they’ve been around for years and members have pursued their own careers on the side -- some act, some are solo artists -- Girls’ Generation aren’t showing any signs of slowing down."
Hear us on SBS PopAsia Digital Radio
Listen in 24/7 on Digital Radio, by downloading our free mobile app or by streaming live here on our website.
Download the app here: