1. S.E.S, 2. Fin. K.L, 3. Baby V.O.X, 4. Girls’ Generation, 5. 2NE1, 6. Wonder Girls, 7. Brown-Eyed Girls, 8. Afterschool, 9. KARA, 10. Blackpink. Each K-pop Girl Group has its own style and story. K-pop Entertainment companies did a good job of training some of the top talents in Korea in both vocals and dancing before debuting the group. In this article, Toplist will introduce the list of the best K-pop girl groups of all time that you may know.
- Fin. K.L
- Baby V.O.X
- Girls’ Generation
- Wonder Girls
- Brown-Eyed Girls
S.E.S was a South Korean girl group formed by SM Entertainment in 1997, consisting of three members: Bada, Eugene, and Shoo. Their debut album, I’m Your Girl, sold 650,000 copies, making it South Korea’s second best-selling album by a female group. Their subsequent albums, Sea & Eugene & Shoo in 1998, Love in 1999, and A Letter from Greenland in 2000, all sold well.
The group officially disbanded in December 2002, following failed contract renewal negotiations with Bada and Eugene, while Shoo continued to work for SM until 2006. As their final release, they released the compilation album Beautiful Songs in mid-2003.
The members of the group confirmed a reunion in October 2016 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of their debut. The group released the buzz single “Love [story]” under SM’s music project SM Station in November 2016 as part of their 20th-anniversary project, which would later include a concert, an album, and a reality show. On January 2, 2017, their 20th-anniversary special album Remember was released, featuring the title tracks “Remember” and “Paradise”.
DSP Media formed Fin. K.L in 1998, with members Lee Hyori, Ock Joo-hyun, Lee Jin, and Sung Yu-ri. Fin.K.L, along with rival girl group S.E.S, was one of the most popular K-pop groups in the late 1990s and early 2000s. With the release of the songs “To My Boyfriend” in 1998, “Forever Love” in 1999, and “Now” in 2000, the group cemented their popularity in South Korea.
They won several major awards including New Artist of the Year at the 1998 Golden Disc Awards, the Grand Prize at the 1999 Seoul Music Awards, and Best Female Group at the 2000 Mnet Music Video Festival.
Fin.K.L became inactive after releasing the single, “Fine Killing Liberty”, in 2005. However, Fin.K.L reunited on a variety show in July 2019 and released Fin.K.L Best Album, including a new song titled “남아있는 노래처럼 (Just Like The Song That Remains)” on September 22.
Baby V.O.X was a South Korean K-pop group formed in 1997, with Kim E-Z, Lee Hee-jin, Kan Min-youn, Shim Eun-jin, and Yoon Eun-hye as the final and most well-known members. Along with S.E.S and Fin.K.L, they are regarded as one of the most prominent “first generation” K-pop girl groups of the late 1990s and early 2000s, and they are regarded as one of the groups at the forefront of the Korean Wave, having broken into the Chinese market. The band released seven studio albums before disbanding in 2006.
Baby VOX made a number of appearances on variety shows in the years following its debut. After the third album’s success, they began promoting themselves internationally, including in China, Japan, and other Southeast Asian countries.
In addition to their success in Asian markets, Baby V.O.X released a special hits album featuring songs from their first five albums, including the singles Coincidence and Go. For the first time in three years, the group reached number one on the Korean music charts with Coincidence. Coincidence was also released in a World Cup version, and it was performed all over Korea during the 2002 Korea/Japan World Cup season, where it remained popular throughout the summer. In addition, they were able to hold a Live Concert in Seoul, which was a huge success. Baby VOX Music Award was also created in China.
Girls’ Generation made its debut in 2007 after 7 years of member recruitment and training. Girls’ Generation rekindled interest in K-Pop girl groups after a period when male idol groups received the majority of the attention. Girls’ Generation is the greatest girl group of their generation and any generation. They are the nation’s girl groups and one of the biggest leaders of the Hallyu Wave.
With the release of Gee in 2009, the group achieved K-pop royalty status. Gee is widely regarded as the quintessential K-Pop song by the quintessential K-Pop group. From here on out, the hits keep coming, with songs like Genie, Oh!, I Got A Boy, Mr. Mr., Party, Mr.Taxi, Run Devil Run, The Boys, and many more. Two sub-units of Girls’ Generation have also achieved success, with the members also achieving success on their own.
Jessica left the group in 2014, but the group has remained strong in the years since. The main group hasn’t released an album since 2017, and the most recent release coming from Girls’ Generation’s sub-unit, Oh! GG.
2NE1’s influence on the K-Pop world can be seen in a variety of ways. They were unlike any other girl group prior to, during, or after their reign as K-Pop queens. The music, clothing, and hairstyles were all iconic. With the release of their debut EP 2NE1 in 2009, the group experienced immediate success. Lollipop, a collaboration track with label mates Big Bang, and Fire were included on the EP. More classics were released in the K-Pop world, including I Don’t Care, Go Away, Can’t Nobody, I Am The Best, and Follow Me.
More hits followed, including “Ugly” and “Lonely,” and nothing could deter 2NE1. A plethora of prizes, world tours, you name it. In terms of dominance and legendary status, 2NE1 was the female Big Bang. Crush, 2NE1’s 2014 album, is a huge success, but it is also the beginning of the end for the group.
In November of 2016, YG shocked the world by announcing that 2NE1 would be disbanded. In 2017, 2NE1 released their final single, Goodbye, and the era of 2NE1 came to an end. All of the members of 2NE1 are still active in their own right, with both Bom and Minzy having recent musical releases. Some members have hinted at a reunion, but nothing concrete has been announced.
The Wonder Girls’ legacy is undeniable. No K-Pop group has ever done retro sounds as well as the Wonder Girls, and their song Nobody paved the way for K-Pop groups to break into America. They have earned their place as one of the greatest K-Pop groups of all time. Wonder Girls, formed by JYP Entertainment in 2007, quickly became one of the world’s biggest K-Pop wonders. Debuting with the song Irony, a very late 2000s sounding song, the group found immediate success thanks to Irony and their first massive hit Tell Me.
For a time, the Wonder Girls reigned as K-Pop’s queens and they went on a successful world tour. The lead single from their 2011 album Wonder World, Be My Baby, showcased more of the Wonder Girls’ signature retro sound. The Wonder Girls had a lot of international promotions during this time period, which caused their South Korean promotions to decline. The group’s 2016 song Why So Lonely, a Reggae-inspired track, was a big hit and won a bunch of music awards. It turns out to be the group’s final major hit. JYP Entertainment announced in early 2017 that Sunmi and Yeeun’s contracts would not be renewed and that the Wonder Girls would be disbanded. The group released one final single, Draw Me as an anniversary gift to fans on February 10th, and then the Wonder Girls were no more.
Brown Eyed Girls made their debut as an R&B/Ballad vocal group in 2006 with “Come Closer,” and have since performed in a variety of musical genres. For several years, the group had moderate success, but it wasn’t until the release of Abracadabra in 2009 that they became superstars. The song also gave birth to the world-famous “Arrogant Dance.” The Abracadabra era marked a shift in Brown Eyed Girls’ image, and they gained a reputation for their mature and suggestive themes as a result.
Following Abracadabra, the members of the group began to focus more on individual activities. Members Gain and Narsha stand out. Gain has had a successful solo career, and Narsha has become a popular variety show host. BEG began to slow down as a result of their focus on individual activities, with a 2-year wait before the release of their next three albums. The group held a special ten-year anniversary concert in 2016 but has not released another album since 2015.
Fortunately, the group has not disbanded. All of the members have left their original agency, Nega Network, but BEG has signed with Mystic Entertainment and is still together. Narsha clarified that the reason they haven’t made a comeback yet is simply that they haven’t found the time for all of the members to get together (Due to all of their individual activities).
After School officially debuted in January 2009. Whenever Afterschool comes up, the first thing that comes to most people’s minds is Because of You. Probably because it’s one of the most iconic K-Pop songs of all time. Because of You earned the highly coveted Triple Crown on music shows and became one of the best-selling singles in K-Pop history. The song cemented Afterschool’s status as K-Pop royalty.
Unfortunately, their reign was short-lived. Several sub-units were formed in the year that followed Because of You. Orange Caramel was the most popular of these sub-units. Afterschool had a more mature image, whereas Orange Caramel went for a more cutesy one. Orange Caramel was extremely successful and popular for a number of years. They were so prominent that they overshadowed the main group. All of the members of Afterschool graduated in 2015. After group promotions came to a halt in 2015, all members shifted their focus to individual activities. And the halt never came to an end. Instead, it was Afterschool.
Former member Lizzy confirmed that the band disbanded informally in 2015. And with that, another second-generation legend came to an end.
KARA first appeared on the K-Pop scene in 2007. For the first two years of their professional life, KARA was not a critical or commercial success. But the group persisted, and after the release of their classic single Honey, the K-Pop world finally took notice of them. The infectiously catchy song catapulted KARA to stardom almost overnight, giving them their first number one hit.
KARA had a pure and angelic appearance in their early years, but they began to mature in theme after Honey. They followed up the success of Honey with the release of Mister. The song quickly gained popularity, thanks in large part to KARA’s famous “butt dance” choreography in the song.
Lupin, Jumping, Mamma Mia, and Step are some of KARA’s other big Korean hits. KARA brought the party to Japan in 2010 and was a huge success there as well. The group won numerous rookie of the year awards and became the first foreign girl group to top the Oricon in its first week of release with the single Jet Coaster Love.
Youngji was the only member to remain with DSP (as a soloist) in 2016, and as a result, KARA was disbanded. KARA’s members have all remained active in the Korean and Japanese entertainment industries.
Every Hallyu Wave generation has a leader(s). BTS is unquestionably the leader of the third Hallyu Wave of boy idol groups. In terms of girl groups, the third Hallyu Wave leader appears to be YG Entertainment’s Blackpink. When Blackpink first debuted in 2016, they had a sluggish start. But they haven’t lost their momentum since they picked up speed.
As we progress further into the Digital Age, the numbers become increasingly important. Specifically, the MV view count. And no one does it better than Blackpink when it comes to that. Whistle, their debut music video, is the most-watched K-Pop debut MV of all time. Not only that, but three of the top ten most-viewed K-pop videos of all time are Blackpink MVs.
Their MV DDU-DU DDU-DU is the most-viewed MV by an idol group with just over 826 million views. That’s nearly a 100 million view count lead over the second most-viewed MY by an idol group, DNA by BTS.
Blackpink’s second EP was released, and a week later, the group became the first K-Pop girl group to perform at Coachella. Lisa, a member of the group, was also the first K-Pop artist to reach 20 million followers on the social media platform Instagram. Blackpink will most likely have many years of success ahead of them as they continue to lead the Hallyu Wave and increase K-Pop popularity
around the world.