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KPop: History


History

The Beginnings Of Korean Popular Music

The first known Korean pop album was "Yi Pungjin Sewol" This Tumultuous Time by Park Chae-seon and

Lee Ryu-saek from 1925 and contained popular songs translated from Japanese. The first pop song written by a Korean composer is thought to be "Nakhwayusu" 낙화유수, Fallen Blossoms on Running Water sung by Lee Jeong-suk in 1929. These songs became extremely popular.

1940s 1960s: Arrival Of Western Culture

0 million 2.2 billion 7.0 billion

Other recent milestones attained by K-pop bands and musicians include:


  • May 2007: Rain was the first K-pop music artist to perform at Japan's biggest concert hall, the Tokyo Dome, in front of 40,000 fans. The show was sold out within two days after the tickets went on sale.

  • October 2009: The Wonder Girls entered the US Billboard Hot 100 music chart with their single "Nobody", which was widely noted for its music video's viral spread. It has surpassed 50 million views on YouTube.



  • November 2011: 2NE1 was the first K-pop artist chosen as MTV Iggy’s "Best New Band in the World."


  • December 2011: The total number of YouTube views generated by K-Pop videos in 2011 surpassed 1 billion. It had tripled from 800 million in the previous year to more than 2.3 billion, spurred by growth in viewership from Europe and the Middle East. In the same month, the United Cube Concert was held in São Paulo, Brazil, heralding the arrival of K-pop in South America.

  • February 2012: Girls' Generation's appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman and Live! with Kelly on January 31 and February 1, 2012, in the United States where they performed remixes of the English version of their song, "The Boys". It marked the first time that a Korean musical act has performed on each of the shows.

  • March 2012: The longest running boy band in the industry, Shinhwa, who debuted in 1998, released new music after a four-year hiatus during which the band members had served individual mandatory military services. After becoming the first K-pop band to enter the Billboard 200 music chart with their album Alive, Big Bang kicked off the Alive Tour in 25 cities worldwide. The tour ended in early 2013, and was attended by 800,000 concert-goers around the world.

  • September 2012: 2NE1 became the first K-pop girl group to rank on Billboard's Current Box Score. The group held their New Evolution Concert at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on August 24. 6,680 of the 6,714 tickets put on sale were sold, bringing in a gross sales of 3,716, and ranking at #29 on Billboard's Current Box Score.

  • November 2012: Psy's "Gangnam Style" became the most viewed video on YouTube. He became the first Asian pop star to cross over worldwide as well as helping K-pop penetrate the Western music markets. After topping the record charts of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Honduras, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States. It was also awarded the MTV Europe Music Award for Best Video, and became the first video on YouTube to hit a billion views.




  • August 2013: TVXQ concluded its successful Japanese tour Live Tour 2013: Time with two landmark performances at the prestigious Nissan Stadium, in front of a total of 140,000 fans across the two nights. They became the first Korean artists in history to perform at the venue, and only the fourth musical artist overall to do so.


  • December 2013: fx's 2nd album Pink Tape was the only K-pop album listed by Fuse TV as one of the "41 Best Albums of 2013".

  • March 2014: 2NE1's album Crush debuted at No. 61 on the Billboard 200, setting the record for the highest-charting K-pop album in the United States.

  • May 2014: EXO's album Overdose sold 3, 000 copies of the Korean version of the album. EXO-K's version of the five-track EP got into the Billboard 200 at No. 129, setting the record for the highest-charting album for male groups in K-pop. EXO-K's first-week sales surpassed the chart position of K-pop band Big Bang, who hit No. 150 on the Billboard 200 with "Alive" in 2012.

  • August 2014: Microsoft recruited 2NE1‘s “I Am The Best” to promote the Surface Pro 3.

  • September 2014: YouTube released a playlist called "The Evolution of Girl Groups." Amongst names like Destiny's Child, Spice Girls and TLC, 2NE1's 2011 hit "I Am the Best" was included in the streaming video website's playlist, as the only Asian girl group mentioned.

  • December 2014: 2NE1's 'Gotta Be You' was named MTV Iggy's "Song Of The Year." 2NE1's album Crush was the only album of an Asian artist listed on Fuse TV’s 40 Best Albums Of 2014 List. That album was also the only one from an Asian artist named on Rolling Stone's "20 Best Pop Albums of 2014" list. Crush ranked at No. 11 on Billboard's year-end World Albums chart, marking the first time a K-pop act has appeared on the year-end chart.

  • April 2015: Girls' Generation's Japanese version of "Mr. Taxi" surpassed 100 million views on YouTube. They became the first K-Pop group to have 4 official YouTube videos, "Gee", "I Got A Boy", "The Boys" and "Mr Taxi Japanese Version with 100 million or higher views.

  • April 2015: EXO's album Exodus sold 6,000 copies of their new album. It was the largest sales week ever for a K-pop act's album in America, landing the group at No. 70 on the Top Album Sales chart and No. 95 on the Billboard 200. This beats 2NE1's Crush album, which hit No. 61 on the Billboard 200 after selling 5,000 copies in the week ending March 2, 2014, and formerly held the record for K-pop's biggest sales week. EXO now holds the record for not only the biggest sales week for a K-pop album ever, but also the highest-charting album for male groups.

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