K Music Artists: A Look at the Influential World of K-pop

K Music Artists

K-pop artists, also known as idols, captivate audiences with catchy melodies and dance performances. They’ve even made their way into American TV shows and movies.

But more than a pop phenomenon, the music of these groups and soloists has been infused with social activism. From rallying against anti-Asian hate crimes to hijacking racist trending topics on Twitter, their messages have resonated worldwide.

1. BTS

The most famous K-pop group in the world is BTS. They are a phenomenon that has broken boundaries around musical styles, song topics, fashion, and censorship. They speak out about teen angst and the pressure to succeed within a grueling education system, while embracing their diverse personalities through music.

When Bang left JYP to create Big Hit, he wanted to make a different kind of idol group. His recruits still had to audition and undergo months, even years of training, but they were allowed more freedom in their songs and their interaction with fans.

2. Girls’ Generation

Girls’ Generation is the most successful all-female K-Pop group of all time. Their 2007 debut single, “Into the New World,” topped all major music charts in Korea and helped establish the idea of a girl group as a cultural phenomenon.

Their second mini-album, Genie, won their first #1 on a music chart show, KBS Music Bank, in 2009. The group’s longevity has inspired or influenced many young female K-Pop singers including Twice’s Momo and Sana, Itzy’s Chaeryeong, Fifty Fifty’s Sakura, and Aespa’s Karina.

In 2017, Tiffany, Sooyoung and Seohyun left SM Entertainment to pursue solo careers. However, they agreed not to disband.


The girl groups BTS and Twice may dominate music charts today, but Girls’ Generation—also known as SNSD—paved the way. The South Korean group, which debuted in 2007, was the biggest girl band of its time.

Yuri, also known as Kwon Yu Ri, has the huskiest voice in SNSD and is the best dancer of the group. She has formal dance training and says her fashion icons are Jennifer Lopez and Janet Jackson. She starred in the TV drama Wild Romance and has her own clothing brand, Blanc & Eclare.

4. Psy

Singers and bands whose names start with the letter “K” make up a diverse array of genres, including rock (KISS, Kings of Leon), pop (Kylie Minogue), and hip-hop (Kanye West). These artists have made their mark on music history.

Before achieving global fame with his 2012 hit, Gangnam Style, Psy was a popular South Korean rapper, songwriter, and singer. His comic horse-riding dance satirized the trendy denizens of Seoul’s Gangnam district and spawned imitations, spoofs, and spinoffs. He has since released a few more albums and founded the record label, P-Nation.

5. Monsta X

I really like Monsta X. They have great music and MVs (like Gambler). Joohoney is my fave, he’s a cutie. He also raps. Previously, he was in the boy group NUBOYZ.

They are known for their high-energy dance style and powerful choreography. Their music style is a blend of hip-hop, EDM, and pop.

The band’s debut EP Trespass and their second EP Rush peaked at number five and three on the Korean charts. In 2017, they released the final installment of their Clan series, The Clan Pt. 2.5: The Final Chapter, which topped the Billboard World Albums chart.

6. RM

RM, a member of the band BTS, leads one of the world’s most captivating boy bands. With crisp choreography and a talent for both soaring ballads and EDM-infused bangers, the septet’s socially conscious lyrics help set them apart from their lovestruck peers.

Artists whose names start with the letter K include pop stars like Kylie Minogue and Kelly Rowland as well as iconic rock bands like KISS and Kings of Leon. The list also includes rappers and singer-songwriters ranging from Kanye West to Kim Taehyung (also known as V) of the group BTS.

7. Seo Taiji

Jeong Hyeon-cheol, better known by his stage name Seo Taiji, dropped out of high school to pour all of his energy into music. At 17, he was recruited into the heavy metal institution Sinawe and his journey to success began.

The group became a symbol of youth rebellion, and their anti-establishment message and controversial lyrical content sparked a huge backlash from the public, helping to end the system of pre-censorship that was prevalent in South Korea at the time.

After the band’s disbandment in 1996, he kept a low profile and moved to New York. However, in 2000 he reappeared with modern remixes, rearrangements and mash-ups of his old songs which was met with much fanfare.

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