The world of K-pop is highly competitive and every week various groups release new releases with the dream of being the next big hit of the moment. (Infobae/Jovani Pérez)
Perfectly synchronized choreographies, catchy songs with a diverse mix of genres and indescribably attractive idols are some of the elements that have catapulted K-pop to its international fame, becoming a phenomenon that nets South Korea around 12 billion dollars. dollars a year, according to Forbes magazine.
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Not even COVID-19 could cloud the outlook for this industry, since during this harsh crisis the main entertainment agencies (Hybe Labels, SM Entertainment, YG Entertainment and JYP Entertainment) continued to report income for millions of dollars.
Such is the impact of K-pop that even the South Korean government knows that the hallyu wave (the “Korean wave”) is a fundamental piece for its economy, since the music and entertainment industry alone generates 114.7 million quarterly dollars in the trade balance.
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Likewise, another of the sectors favored by the recent popularity of this Asian country is tourism, since the Hyundai Research Institute (HRI) reports that at least 796 thousand foreigners travel to South Korean territory each year influenced by K-pop, of which one in 13 did it for the group BTS, which shows that K-pop is a 100% profitable business.
In social networks the issue is not left behind either, since Twitter has become one of the main weapons through which artist fandoms can talk about the most recent musical releases, the most shocking news, talk about various celebrities, etc
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Regarding its impact in the West, there are music platforms like iTunes that have given space to K-pop, even creating their own daily rankings of the most popular songs in at least 39 countries, including Mexico.
Here is a list of the 10 most listened to songs today:
1. Love Me Again
2. Back for More
Artista: TOMORROW X TOGETHER & Anitta
3. Rainy Days
Artist: Jung Kook & Latto
5. Slow Dancing
6. THE GIRLS (BLACKPINK THE GAME OST)
8. Love Story (English Version)
9. Love Story (Chinese Version)
10.Love Story (0912…After)
Members of the STAYC group. (Spotify)
Modern K-pop (from English “Korean pop”) originated in the 1990s with the debut of the popular group Seo Taiji and Boys in 1992, known for incorporating Western music styles such as rap, hip-hop, and hip-hop into their songs. , rock, jazz, electronic and techno.
This trio, made up of Seo Taiji, Yang Hyun-suk and Lee Juno, made their debut on an MBC talent show with the song Nan Arayo, perplexing the jury, which gave them the lowest ratings. However, the success that this single achieved on radio and television was resounding, which led to the release of more songs of that style and more artists who opted for it.
It was not until 1995 when producer Lee Soo Man created one of the companies that to this day remain a “heavyweight” in the music industry, SMEntertainment; while former Seo Taiji & Boys member Yang Hyun Suk created YG Entertainment (1996); followed by JYP Entertainment (1997), established by singer Park Jin Young.
These three companies were known for a long time as the “Big 3” – until the success that BTS achieved with BigHit Entertainment (today known as Hybe Labels) – and were dedicated to teaching the first generations of idols, in order to to satisfy the demand of the Korean public to want to see younger artists.
Along this path, the group HOT was one of the first to debut in the industry, followed by others who made up the well-known “first generation of K-pop” such as Sechs Kies, SES, Fin.KL, NRG, Baby VOX, Diva, Shinhwa and god
At the beginning of the new millennium, some of the idol groups that had debuted were without activities while others like Baby Vox were successful in various regions of Asia, an example of this was their song Coincidence, which was promoted at the 2003 Soccer World Cup and which occupied the first position on the Chinese music charts.
At the same time, other artists who launched as soloists also marked a milestone: BoA, the first Korean singer to lead the Oricon chart in Japan, an equivalent to the Billboard chart but Asian and in which artists from other countries rarely manage to enter and Rain, an actor and singer who gave a concert for 40 thousand people in Beijing.
Later, the so-called “second generation of K-pop” would begin, again with groups that were made up of young figures such as TVXQ (debuting in 2003), SS501 (2005), Super Junior (2005), BIGBANG (2006), as well as girl groups such as Wonder Girls (2007), Girls Generation (2007) and KARA (2007).
By 2008, South Korea was already leading the entertainment market in Asia with an annual growth rate of more than 10% in exports of its music and television products with K-dramas even accounting for 68% of the music market. in Japan, ahead of China (11.2%) and the United States (2.1%).
Later, more groups such as SHINee or INFINITE would emerge, the latter who managed to strengthen the record of being the first to top Billboard’s emerging artists list in 2014 with their song Last Romeo; 2PM, EXO, 2EN1, until reaching the third generation of K-pop which includes new groups such as BTS, Seventeen, GOT7, Twice, Red Velvet, BLACKPINK, MAMAMOO, among others, until the current fourth generation, which is all those who debuted between 2017 and 2018 such as Stray Kids, ITZY, Ateez, Astro and more.
It is worth mentioning that a watershed that should be considered is Gangnam Style by rapper PSY, a song that not only managed to break unimaginable records on musical platforms such as YouTube, but also went around the world and showed that language was not a barrier to achieve success in highly competitive countries such as the American industry.
To date, the baton as the greatest exponents of K-pop is held by the group BTS – made up of Suga, RM, Jin, Jimin, J-Hope, V and Jungkook – who, in addition to having dominated the music industry in Korea of the South and consolidate their fame in the rest of the world, they have been named “Asia’s trends leader” by The Economist and “Artists of the year” by TIME magazine, including their Grammy nominations and their 10 Billboard awards. .
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