Want to venture deep into the KPop world? Here are some classic girl groups you NEED to listen to, Pt 1
As BLACKPINK, Red Velvet, TWICE and other girl groups keep on climbing international charts, take a look at the groups before them who laid down these paths.
If you’re someone who was attracted to the K-Pop world recently, have little to no knowledge of idol groups except the 3rd and 4th gen groups and want to learn more - you’ve come to the right place. Today’s topic of discussion is for those who want to take a deep dive and know how the K-Pop world existed, mostly of girl groups, before the extremely chic clothes, incredible stage setups, and a varied style.
Remember the meme, ‘This person walked so that that other person could run’? It’s a similar case with the first and second generation K-Pop girl groups. Music and society is ever-evolving and because the older girl groups created a certain kind of music and environment, they gave way for the idol groups of today to reach greater heights and change with times. Let’s start off with our first list and go back in time, shall we?
S.E.S (1997 - 2002)
Starting from the first generation of K-Pop stars, we have the absolute iconic group S.E.S who debuted in 1997 under SM Entertainment. It consisted of three members Bada (Sea), Eugene and Shoo - Hence, the name S.E.S. They rose to fame in the 90s and became a well-known sought-after girl group in South Korea. They are mostly remembered as the first K-Pop girl group to become famous. They’re debut song ‘I’m Your Girl’ became a huge hit and is still covered by many groups across the industry. Not just the first K-Pop girl group to become famous, they’re also known as K-Pop best bubble-gum novelty. Catchy music, easy lyrics, ever-changing styles - the group released six albums in Korea and five in Japan. The biggest flex of this girl group is that they were considered the female version of H.O.T., a boy band that rose to fame at the same time. Due to their super hit debut song, they made a path for girl groups in the male-dominated music industry!
Girls’ Generation (SNSD) (2007 - 2017, indefinite hiatus)
Also known as SNSD, the group debuted in August 2007 and instantly rose to fame. Originally a nine-member group, the group consisted of Taeyeon, Sunny, Tiffany, Hyoyeon, Yuri, Sooyoung, Yoona, and Seohyun. The famous YouTuber Jessica Jung was a member of the group, till she left in September 2014. Girls’ Generation became incredibly famous with their single ‘Gee’ released in 2009 - which became the first ever music video by a girl group to reach 100 million views on YouTube. This part is extremely necessary and a huge feat as back in the days, there was no concept of ‘streaming’ for likes or award shows and this purely depended on people’s enjoyment. With easy-to-follow choreographies and groovy music, the girl group showcased a soft, vibrant side of girl groups. Not only this, the group even appeared on the famous ‘The Late Show with David Letterman’ and won the Video of The Year award at YouTube Music Awards. The group is on an indefinite hiatus as the members are currently focusing on their solo activities.
Fin.K.L (1998 - 2006, unofficial)
Speculated to be created as rivals to the incredibly talented S.E.S, Fin.K.L debuted in 1998 with four members Lee Hyori, Ock Joo-hyun, Lee Jin, and Sung Yu-ri under DSP Media. They went on to win several grand awards (daesangs) at major shows such as Golden Disc Awards, Seoul Music Awards and Mnet Music Video festival. Fin.K.L, which stands for Fine Killing Liberty, rose to stardom with their varied songs and eventually became a rival group of S.E.S. However, both the groups at the same time had their own hands in leading the K-Pop culture, especially for the girl groups. Their top hit songs include the ballad ‘Blue Rain’, the soft dance song ‘Eternal Love’ and ‘Now’. The group hasn’t officially disbanded but all the members have started their solo careers in other parts of the entertainment industry, after leaving DSP Media in 2006.
Wonder Girls (2007 - 2017)
This group became the face and introduction of the K-Pop industry to the world. Debuted in 2007 under JYP Entertainment, the group is known as South Korea’s Retro Queens. The group saw its own share of changing members too. Originally a five member group with Yeeun, Sunye, Sunmi, Hyuna and Sohee, Hyuna left the group and Yubin was added. In 2010, Sunmi too left the group and was replaced by Hyerim. Later, Sunye and Sunmi also announced their leave, leaving the band with four members. The group won hearts of global fans too and even performed as the opening act for the Jonas Brothers’ World Tour, where they performed English versions of their songs. Their iconic hits include ‘Nobody’, ‘So Hot’ and ‘Why So Lonely’. You might remember some of the members as solo artists. This is how their career actually started!
These four girl groups made their way into the people and the world’s hearts, showcasing girl power in the Korean entertainment industry!
Have you listened to these groups’ music? We’ll be back with Part 2 of Iconic Girl Groups soon!
Journalist. Perennially hungry for entertainment. Carefully listens to everything that start with "so, last night...". Currently making web more...