K-pop has been creating waves across the global music industry and the Korean girl groups are the literal torchbearers of this movement.
They have come to the forefront of mainstream music and have amassed fans worldwide, thanks to their playful music and excellent choreography.
Although K-pop is not limited to its female singers and performers, these girls have always been at the forefront.
Related: List of Korean Actors
Related: List of Korean Actresses
If you are just getting to know about K-pop or are already fangirling over some of the stars, check out our list to know more about some of the hottest K-pop stars.
Here, we take a look at some of the best K-pop girl groups that have created waves and brought Korean music to the forefront.
Korean Girl Groups 2021
YEARS ACTIVE: 2016- present
ALBUMS: BlackPink consists of five singles, two EPs and ten music videos. BlackPink released its first single on the CD entitled Square One on August 8, 2016.
PRODUCTION COMPANY: YG Entertainment, Avex
MEMBERS : Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, Lisa
Despite only being five years old, Blackpink is the most popular Korean girl group.
The members of the group are Jennie, Lisa, Rose and Jisoo who have already been performers or models before forming the group.
One reason for their huge popularity is their immense social media presence that has huge following and engagement.
Unlike other Korean female performers that focus on eluding a cute and cheeky vibe, Blackpink has a more badass and playful image that attracted their fans.
Through their social media handles, they have managed to have relatable backstage personalities that their followers just love.
Talking about their music, the group has two vocalists, Rose and Jisoo and two rappers are Jennie and Lisa.
They have collaborated with popular musicians including Selena Gomes for the song “Ice Cream”, Dua Lips for “Kiss and Makeup”, Lady Gaga for “Sour Candy”, Cardi B for “Bet you wanna” to release some of the biggest hits.
They are also famous for being fashion icons and have been signed up as brand ambassadors and collaborations for numerous fashion and skincare brands including Celine, Channel, Dior and Burberry.
YEARS ACTIVE: 2015- present
ALBUMS: Twicetagram (2017)
PRODUCTION COMPANY: JYP Entertainment, Warner Bros Japan
MEMBERS: Nayeon, Jeongyeon, Momo, Sana, Jihyo, Mina, Dahyun, Chaeyoung, Tzuyu
TWICE is a Korean group with nine members, Nayeon, Jeongyeon, Momo, Sana, Jihyo, Mina, Dahyun, Chaeyoung, and Tzuyu.
This group was formed in quite an unconventional way. They were formed through the TV series “Sixteen” which was a reality show where the contestants had to showcase their personality, charisma, and of course their singing talent.
The final nine contestants were then selected to form the group “TWICE”. They are most famous for their single “Cheer up” which shot up their fame.
Other popular songs include the Japanese maxi-single “One more time”.
They are also the first Korean girl group that earned Platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ).
They are lovingly called “Teudoongie” as a group by their fans.
YEARS ACTIVE: 2014- present
ALBUMS: The Red (2015), Perfect Velvet (2017)
PRODUCTION COMPANY: SM Entertainment, Avex Trax
MEMBERS: Irene, Seulgi, Wendy, Joy, Yeri
Red Velvet was formed in 2014 with four members but they soon became a five-member gang with the entry of Yeri in 2015.
This group is loved for their unique music which is a combination of bold, lively and pop-inspired “red” side and the mysterious R&B “Velvet”.
The former is intense and captivating while the latter is a little more feminine and soft.
This is one of those girl groups with young female fan bases. They are also well known for their diverse discography. “Hook” songs.
They created hit singles like “Red Flavour” that won the Best Pop Song award at the Korean Music Awards.
They also won the 2015 Golden Disk “New artist” award, named by Time and Billboard as one of the most popular Korean Girl groups.
YEARS ACTIVE: 2019- present
ALBUMS: Arrival of Everglow, Hush, Last Melody
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Yuehua
MEMBERS : Aisha, Sihyeon, E: U, Onda, Yiren, and Mia
This Korean girl group with six members debuted in 2019 and their debutant album is “Arrival of Everglow”.
The leader of the group is Sihyeon who is also the face of the group, lead vocalist. The main rapper, main dancer and sub vocalist of the group is E: U. The main vocalist is Mia.
Aisha is the lead rapper and sub vocalist while Yiren who is the youngest member of the group is another face of the group and the lead dancer, sub vocalist and sub rapper.
YEARS ACTIVE: 2015- 2021
ALBUMS: LOL (2016), Time for Us (2019), Fever Season (2019), Gfriend 1st Best (2018)
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Source Music, King Records
MEMBERS : Sowon, Yerin, Eunha, Yuju, SinB, Umji
GFriend is also commonly known as Girlfriend and is a six-member Korean Girl group that debuted in 2015.
Although they hail from a relatively small production company, they have won numerous awards and accolades them for their talent and performance.
Their album, “The Awakening” sold more than 100,000 copies in pre-sales which marked their comeback.
Their popularity made them the brand ambassadors and endorsers of Celebon Korea which is a Korean cosmetic brand.
They were also the brand ambassadors of the Japanese animated fantasy film “Maquia: When the promised flowers bloom”
Unfortunately, after the end of their contract on May 22 2021 with Source Music, the group disbanded and the members went their separate ways.
YEARS ACTIVE: 2014- present
ALBUMS: Melting (2016)
PRODUCTION COMPANY: RBW
MEMBERS: Solar, Moonbyul, Wheein, Hwasa
Their career started with the single “Mr Ambiguous” on June 18 2014 and was received well by fans and critics alike.
They churned out some amazing music the following year with the hit album “Pinky Funky” which included hit songs like “Um Oh Ah Yeh”.
Their music includes retro, jazz and R&B concepts that were widely accepted by the audience.
Their unique name “Mamamoo” symbolises the first time a baby babbles. It is a cute and fun way to approach things like a baby.
By the end of 2014, they were ranked the 10th highest among idol girl groups for digital sales.
Mamamoo is a successful and critically acclaimed girl group from Korea that has won a total of 43 awards out of the 159 nominations they received.
YEARS ACTIVE: 2012- present
ALBUMS: Street (2016)
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Banana Culture Entertainment, AB entertainment
MEMBERS: Solji, LE, Hani, Hyelin, Jeonghwa
One of the oldest girl groups on the list, EXID consists of five members who are talented performers and singers.
Their debut single “Whoz that girl” was released in February 2012. But their rise to fame only took place two years later in 2014 with the single “Up & down”.
The song was number one in the “Gaon Singles Chart” four months after release when a fan-recorded video of their live performance went unexpectedly viral.
However, in 2019, the group took an unexpected hiatus because a few of their members decided to leave the agency “Banana Culture Entertainment”.
YEARS ACTIVE: 2018
PRODUCTION COMPANY: SM Entertainment
MEMBERS: Yuri, Yoona, Sunny, Taeyeon and Hyoyeon
If you are familiar with the South Korean girl group “Girls Generation”, Oh!GG is the second sub-unit of the group.
In the beginning, the group had faced some difficulties when three members of the group decided to leave the production company and the group had to go on a hiatus.
However, the group was not disbanded due to this reason.
The rest of the members debuted with the single “Lil Touch” in 2018 which also has a music video directed by Vikings League.
YEARS ACTIVE: 2019- present
ALBUMS: It’z Icy
PRODUCTION COMPANY: JYP Entertainment
MEMBERS : Lia, Yeji, Ryujin, Yuna, and Chaeryeong
This is another girl group that is run by JYP entertainment that contains five members. They debuted with the singles “It’z different” in February 2019.
They rose to fame in a short period because of being associated with one of Koreas biggest and successful K-pop agencies.
Some of their members like Chaeryeong and Ryujin were also well known before the group was formed since they were participants in various reality shows like Mixnine, Sixteen and K-pop start 3.
YEARS ACTIVE: 2018- present
ALBUMS: Color*Iz, Heart*Iz, Buenos Aires, Vampire
PRODUCTION COMPANY: EMI Korea Ltd.
MEMBERS : Kang Hye-won, An Yu-jin, Lee Chae-Yeon, Kim Min-Ju, Hitomi Honda, Kim Chae-won, Sakura Miyawaki, Kwon Eun-bi, Jang Won-young, Nako Yabuki, Choi Ye-Na, Jo Yu-ri
This is the biggest Korean girl group on the list with a total of 12 members! Yes, you heard it right. It was formed through the Mnet reality TV series “Produce 48”.
They debuted in October 2018 with extended play Colour*lz and soon became a huge commercial success.
They scored second place in South Korea’s “Gaon Album Chart” and sold over 225,000 units.
Highest Selling Korean Pop Albums
|Kim Gun-mo||“Wrongful Encounter”||3,300,000|
|Jo Sung-mo||“For Your Soul”||2,047,152|
|Jo Sung-mo||“Let Me Love”||2,042,096|
|Seo Taiji and Boys||“Seo Taiji and Boys IV”||2,000,000|
|g.o.d||“Chapter 3: Lies”||1,824,278|
|g.o.d||“Chapter 4: Road”||1,738,082|
|BTS||“Wings (Full & RG)”||1,702,266|
And those were some of my favorite Korean girl groups. K-pop is not just limited to South Korea but people all over the world are listening to it.
So it’s no surprise that these girl bands are becoming more popular everyday.