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South Korea K-pop
Stylistic origins Electronic • Hip hop • Pop • Rock • R&B
Cultural origins Mid to late 1990s, South Korea
Typical instruments Vocals • Drum pad • Drums • Electric bass • Keyboards • Piano • Sampler • Sequencer • Synthesizer • Occasional use of various other instruments
Mainstream popularity Mainstream throughout Asia. Expanding popularity in the United States and Canada, Northern Africa, Eastern  and Northern Europe, Latin America,and the Middle East.

K-pop (an abbreviation of Korean pop or Korean popular music) is a musical genre consisting of electronic, hip hop, pop, rock, and R&B music originating in South Korea. In addition to music, K-pop has grown into a popular subculture among teenagers and young adults throughout Asia, resulting in widespread interest in the fashion and style of top Korean idol groups and singers.

Through the presence of Facebook fan pages, availability on iTunes, Twitter profiles, and music videos on YouTube, the ability of K-pop to reach a previously inaccessible audience via the Internet is driving a paradigm shift in the exposure and popularity of the genre.


1990s: Conception and industrialization

The debut of the group Seo Tai-ji & Boys in 1992 was a turning point for popular music in South Korea. Incorporating elements of popular musical genres in the United States such as rap rock and techno, the group had tremendous success in South Korea. Hip hop duos such as Deux also became popular in the early 1990s.

Jonghyun, lead vocalist of the popular boy band SHINee.

Lee Soo Man broke K-pop barriers in 1995 with the formation of SM Entertainment, South Korea’s largest entertainment agency. Soon to follow were YG Entertainment, DSP Entertainment, and JYP Entertainment, all of which began producing highly successful artists.

The first K-pop girl groups and boy bands began appearing in the mid to late 1990s. Groups such as as Fin.K.L, g.o.d., H.O.T., Sechs Kies, and S.E.S. were hugely successful throughout Asia. The 1990s also saw a surge in the popularity of hip hop and R&B music in South Korea, with artists such as Epik High, Drunken Tiger, MC Mong, and 1TYM launching successful careers.

2000s: Globalization

Today, apprenticeship is the universal strategy for nurturing girl groups, boy bands, and solo artists in the K-pop industry. To guarantee the high probability of success of new talent, talent agencies fully subsidize and oversee the professional lives and careers of trainees, often spending in excess of $400,000 to train and launch a new artist Through this practice of apprenticeship, which often lasts two years or more, trainees hone their voices, learn professional choreography, sculpt and shape their bodies through exercise, and study multiple languages all while attending school.

K-pop is gradually gaining influence in foreign markets outside of Asia, most notably in the United States, Canada and Australia. In 2010, solo artist Taeyang and girl groups Girls' Generation and 2NE1 began topping various music charts throughout the United States and Canada with the release of various albums and hit songs.

In 2009, the Wonder Girls became the first Korean singers to place on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart with their single, Nobody.

K-pop artists are increasingly working with talent outside of Korea in a push to further globalize the genre. In the United States, artists from Korea are touring with groups like the Jonas Brothers and collaborating with producers including Kanye West, Rodney Jerkins,and


In China, Japan, and the entire region of Southeast Asia, K-pop culture has become so popular that authorities and nationalists fear that it is leading to a xenocentric preference for Korean styles and ideas.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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