Top 10 Most Popular and Beautiful K-Pop Girl Groups Of All-Time
Top 10 Most Popular and Beautiful K-Pop Girl Groups Of All-Time

‘Hallyu’, or the Korean wave, has driven the popularity of Korean pop, famously known as K-pop, to evolve into a global phenomenon.

For better or for worse, girl and boy groups in K-pop often differ quite extensively in music, narrative, tone, aesthetic, and choreography. It’s hard to put them side by side, as the often-aggressive production and dance routine of boy groups almost drown out the more nuanced and detailed sound of many girl groups. They may sound sunny and playful a lot of the time, but if you read between the (sometimes not so subtle) lines, it’s straight-up savage.

Thanks to their diverse genres, synchronic choreography, strategic camera movements and spotlight-stealing fashion trends, their songs are no less than an audio-visual treat. While BTS and EXO are among the world’s most successful K-pop boy bands, Korean girl groups are now dominating the pop music scene with their high-octane performances and euphonious vocals.

Check out these 10 all-girl K-pop groups that have become a global phenomenon and continue to top the charts worldwide.

What Are Most Popular and Beautiful K-Pop Girl Groups Of All-Time?

1. S.E.S

2. Wonder Girls

3. 2NE1

4. Girls’ Generation

5. Brown Eyed Girls

6. Sistar

7. Red Velvet

8. Mamamoo

9. BlackPink

10. Twice

******

Top 10 Most Popular and Beautiful K-Pop Girl Groups Of All-Time

1. S.E.S

Photo: revelogue
Photo: revelogue

S.E.S. which stands for Sea, Eugene, Shoo was a South Korean girl group formed in 1997 by SM Entertainment, featuring three members: Bada, Eugene, and Shoo. Their debut album ‘I'm Your Girl’ sold 650,000 copies, becoming the second best-selling album by a female group in South Korea. Their follow-up albums, ‘Sea & Eugene & Shoo’ in 1998, ‘Love’ in 1999 and ‘A Letter from Greenland’ in 2000 also became best-sellers. Early in their career, they were dubbed as the female counterparts of H.O.T., who were also their labelmates.

S.E.S. is considered one of K-pop's first highly successful girl groups. They were challenged by groups like Fin.K.L and Baby V.O.X, which debuted soon after S.E.S. and also enjoyed success.

In October 2016, the group's members were confirmed to form a reunion in order to celebrate their debut's 20th anniversary. SM later confirmed that the group would return with an album and a concert. In November 2016, the group released the buzz single ‘Love [story]’ under SM's music project SM Station as a part of their 20th-anniversary project, which would later include a concert, an album and a reality program. Their 20th-anniversary special album 'Remember' was released on January 2, 2017, with double title tracks ‘Remember’ and ‘Paradise’

2. Wonder Girls

Photo: ngoisao
Photo: ngoisao

One of the most resilient groups in the industry before their break-up at the beginning of this year, Wonder Girls dominated South Korea with their modernized retro-pop sound. Hits like “Tell Me” and “Nobody” was some of K-pop’s first-ever viral successes, and, following a failed attempt at breaking into the U.S. market and some lineup changes, the group’s band-oriented Reboot in 2015 is one of the most impactful and successful rebrandings K-pop has ever seen. It resulted in late-in-career greats, with the synthpop slow burn “I Feel You” and the psychedelic “Why So Lonely” enabling Wonder Girls to end things on an extremely positive note.

4Minute’s Hyuna was initially a member of the Wonder Girls but left a few months prior to the group’s debut due to health issues. Debuting with the track Irony, a very late 2000s sounding song (Yes, this is a good thing) the group saw immediate success thanks to Irony, and their first huge hit Tell Me. JYP was well-known for his vast musical genius, and he really strutted his stuff when it came to Wonder Girls’ discography. As the world would soon find out.

The Wonder Girls reigned as queens of K-Pop for a time and held a successful world tour. In 2010, the group unfortunately lost member Sunmi, who decided to leave in order to pursue her academic studies. She was replaced by a new member Hyerim, and the group would continue on.

The legacy left by Wonder Girls is undeniable. No K-Pop group has ever successfully done retro sounds like the Wonder Girls, and WG opened up the gates for K-Pop groups to break into America with their song Nobody. They more than deserve their spot as one of the greatest K-Pop groups of all time.

3. 2NE1

Photo: vov
Photo: vov

The “I Am the Best” quartet dominated K-pop with its fierce charisma from day one with the first single “Fire” in 2009. 2NE1’s hard-hitting hip-pop styling launched a career that brought the act to astronomical heights, and they paved the way for a more empowered side to K-pop girl groups. Between their pump-up jams and more vulnerable tracks, like “Ugly” and “Lonely,” 2NE1 endeared the singers to K-pop fans around the world. Though they struggled to move forward after peaking and were on hiatus between 2014 and their breakup track early this year, 2NE1’s final album, 2014’s Crush, was the highest-ranked Korean album on the Billboard 200 for two years until it was beaten last October by BTS’ Wings.

The impact of 2NE1 on the K-Pop world is in a number of avenues. They were unlike any other girl group before, during, or after their reign as queens of K-Pop. The music, the fashion, the hairstyles were all iconic.

All of the members of 2NE1 continue individual activities with both Bom and Minzy having recent musical releases. Some of the members have hinted at a reunion, but nothing concrete yet. Blackjacks can only hope.

4. Girls’ Generation

Photo: vov
Photo: vov

Perhaps no other girl group in Kpop history is as lauded as 소녀시대 (So Nyuh Shi Dae or SNSD), also known as Girls Generation. The Nation's Girl Group consists of Taeyeon, Sunny, Tiffany, Hyoyeon, Yuri, Sooyoung, Yoona, Seohyun, and formerly Jessica. The originally nine-member group entered Into The New World back in August of 2007. Immediately after they debuted, Girls Generation was smashing records and selling 200k with their first album.

Although they had a successful start, it was the first mini-album Gee that propelled them into stardom. Perhaps no other song in Kpop history has converted so many fanboys to Kpop than Gee. It was the epitome of Bubblegum Kpop sound, winning an insane 14 music show wins. Gee was called the 'Song Of The Decade'. Since then, SNSD became a global phenomenon. At one point, they were generating $1.4 million a year in endorsements alone. They shot more commercials and advertisements than any other celebrity in Korea by a large margin. In the last decade, they sold nearly five million albums and snagged 71 music show wins. SNSD became the foundation of the Kpop sound we know today. Many girl groups wouldn't exist if it wasn't for the influence of SNSD. They had essentially prepared a way for another nine-member group

5. Brown Eyed Girls

Photo: tinnhac
Photo: tinnhac

One of the longest-running girl groups still together, Billboard praises Brown Eyed Girls by stating that their willingness to push the envelope has helped them stay relevant, writing that "with conceptually driven pop songs that exude power, the quartet -- K-pop’s longest-running girl group without any member changes -- is always happy to push the envelope a bit."

Brown Eyed Girls’ “Abracadabra” isn’t as obvious a banger as many others on this list but more of a sleeper track. Once you hear that intro though and see that little hip dance that went insanely viral long before TikTok, you understand why it was such a massive hit. “Abracadabra” is considered Brown Eyed Girls’ breakthrough, and it put them on the map as independent and mature city girls but the video also received major criticism for being way too racy. But as with other tracks on this list, the suggestive aspects of the video also hold a lot of power depending on who’s watching.

6. Sistar

Photo: billboardvn
Photo: billboardvn

Formed by Starship Entertainment in 2010, Sistar out the gate earned a name for themselves for having more suggestive music, and for their tans. Yes, you heard that right. Pale skin goes over big in South Korea. Tans? Not so much.

It didn’t matter too much though, as it wasn’t long before the group found success with their single So Cool. The song debuted at number 1 on the Billboard Korea K-Pop Hot 100 chart right after the formation of the chart.

The girls would go on to find their niche; summer hits. And boy did the summer hits come. Touch My Body, I Swear, Loving U, and Shake It, would go on to become some of the group’s biggest hits, and Sistar’s reign as the Queens of Summer K-Pop was established.

All good things come to an end though, and after the group performed their best hits and their final title track Lonely on music shows, the group disbanded in 2017.

Members Soyou and Hyolyn are still active in the music industry as soloists, and Daseom and Bora have transitioned into acting. It’s great that they are all still working, but their disbandment has left a void in Summer K-pop that has yet to be filled.

We will miss Sistar, but their summer bops will always make us happier on those hot summer days!

7. Red Velvet

Photo: yeah1music
Photo: yeah1music

The younger sisters of the legendary girl group Girls Generation, Red Velvet. During their debut in 2014, the five-member group from SM is a powerful force in the KPOP scene, starring Seulgi, Wendy, Yeri, Joy and visual leader center main rapper Irene. Known for having an experimental duality of concepts, red being bright and bubbly and velvet being dark and R&B. Red Velvet was able to have their most successful year yet, selling more than 300k albums in 2019. They have hundreds of millions of views and eight million followers on Instagram and have snagged an incredible 64 music show wins. Red Velvet will only continue to lead the industry at an elite level.

Red Velvet has made a name for themselves thanks to their musical versatility. The name Red Velvet represents two aspects of the group, with the Red being the cutesy side, and the Velvet being the mature side. With bubble tracks like Happiness, Dumb Dumb, Power Up, and Russian Roulette, and sultry songs like Bad Boy, and Automatic, Red Velvet has something for everyone.

8. Mamamoo

Photo: billboardvn
Photo: billboardvn

Mamamoo is well known for its retro, jazz, and R&B concepts and vocal performances. They formed in 2014 with four members: Solar, Moonbyuk, Wheein, and Hwasa. The group debuted with their retro-inspired song with a funk rhythm, titled "Mr. Ambiguous" (to their first mini-album Hello), and was considered one of the best debuts of 2014. The next year they solidified their position in the K-Pop world with the album Pink Funky with the title song "Um Oh Ah Yeh". Known particularly for their funky pop songs, Mamamoo surprises the audience with a powerful pop ballad "Paint Me" (2017) that emphasizes the group’s soulful side.

Many experts in the Kpop industry feel that their debut back in 2014 is considered as one of the best Kpop debuts that year. Their fame has come organically in Korea but has yet to break out internationally. This could change in 2021.

9. BlackPink

Photo: thanhnien
Photo: thanhnien

Debuted in August 2016, BLACKPINK is one of the most popular all-girl K-pop groups. The four-member South Korean pop group made history with the most first-day views of their 2018 single “Ddu-Du Ddu-Du” from their mini-album Square Up under the label YG Entertainment.

The members of the quartet, Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa, are also popular for their style and have been dubbed as fashion icons. While all of them can sing, Jennie and Lisa are rappers lending a unique edge to the band’s overall upbeat vibe. The fans of this K-pop group are known as Blinks.

BLACKPINK songs are also a visual treat featuring glamorous outfits, impeccable choreography and outstanding concepts. With over one million copies sold in the world, it is the best-selling K-pop girl group of all time.

The multilingual group also collaborated with Dua Lipa for the song “Kiss and Makeup”. Their latest song “How You Like That” ranks No. 1 on Billboard’s World Digital Song Sales. In 2019, BLACKPINK is the first K-pop girl group to perform at Coachella.

The girl group also has a reality show called the BLACKPINK House which follows the singers carrying on with their daily lives.

10. Twice

Photo: baotintuc
Photo: baotintuc

Asia's Girl Group is a multinational girl group featuring Nayeon, Jeongyeon, Momo, Sana, Jihyo, Mina, Dahyun, Chaeyoung, and Tzuyu. Debuting in just 2015 from the JYP Survival Show Sixteen, TWICE is quickly taking all over Asia thanks to their cutesy colorful pop sound, their stunning visuals, and their addictive and fun choreography, causing fanboys all over the world to fall in love. Since their debut, their image has constantly been evolving into a more mature and bold concept with Fancy, Breakthrough, and Feel Special.

TWICE is easily by far the best-selling Kpop girl group of all time, selling seven million albums in the last decade! This is almost 2.4 million more than the girl group in second place. Of the top 20 selling girl groups albums of the last decade, TWICE owns 13 of them. Moreover, TWICE has gotten 97 Music Show wins, the most of any girl group in the last decade. TWICE has also won 12 Daesangs, the most of any girl group. Here's the scary thing: they've accomplished all this and the group is only four years old! If they keep this up, they will soon take over the whole world. Knock Knock! TWICE is here!

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