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The Power of K-pop and the Rise of Korean Culture
Do Hyo-young, Editor-in-Chief | 승인 2019.08.16 20:09

 

  Due to globalization of our world, culture, the economy, and society have all blended and become one. In addition, many people from around the world are getting interested in other countries’ cultures. In particular, after the extreme success of PSY, people started to get interest in K-pop, and now, many young people and teenagers are crazy for K-pop and idols. Among the most famous K-pop idols, BTS, TWICE, and BLACKPINK all have great influence around the world.

 

BTS

  It is disappointing to hear when people who are interested in K-pop do not know BTS. BTS is now rewriting the history of K-pop. BTS debuted in 2013, and they started to get famous with the song “DOPE (2015)” and became the top idol with the big hit called “DNA (2017)”. Recently, BTS ranked number one on the Billboard Top 200 with their album “LOVE YOURSELF 轉 ‘Tear’ (2018)” and “LOVE YOURSELF 結 ‘Answer’ (2018)”. They have also received recognition, the Social Media Artist Award, as the first K-pop group on Billboard Music Awards. Not only that, every time they release a music video, it records a high number of views and their song DNA got more than 730 million views. (2019.05.29) Furthermore, they also sold more than 10 million albums, which is the highest ranking among K-pop groups. BTS also collaborated with famous artists, too. For example, Nicki Minaj featured BTS’ “IDOL (2018)” and she also appeared on their music video. Halsey, a famous Pop artist in America, also featured BTS’ latest song, “Boy With Luv (2019)”. Recently, with the song “Boy With Luv” taking only one day and 13 hours, BTS broke the record for reaching 100 million views on YouTube in the fastest time ever recorded. Now, many famous artists and singers are willing to collaborate with them. BTS is especially famous not only in Korea, but also in Europe and the U.S.A., too. They appeared
on many American TV shows such as The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Late Late Show, Saturday Night Live (SNL), and so on. They are also going to have a world tour starting from Los Angeles, moving on to London and Paris. 

 

TWICE

  People who like to listen to K-pop might have heard “I am like TT, just like TT.” TWICE has many hit songs such as “CHEER UP (2016)”, “TT (2016)”, “YES or YES (2018)”, and so on. TWICE debuted in 2015, and with the song “CHEER UP”, which was the best song of the year in 2016, they became one of the top K-pop groups. Most K-pop girl groups do not get a high number of records sold. Most of them sell albums from 1,500 to 40,000. However, TWICE is now selling more than 200,000 albums for each release and they sold more than 1.5 million albums in 2018. This is relatively higher than many boy groups, who sell better than girl groups most of the time. Therefore, TWICE got the nickname of “A boy group who does not go to army”. Not only in Korea, but TWICE is also having a great impact on Japan. Due to the special moves of “TT”, many Japanese got interested in the Korean girl group, TWICE. Many experts say that TWICE has opened a third Korean Wave in Japan. Furthermore, the Japanese who like them started to learn Korean to communicate with them. TWICE is also the first K-pop group to perform in Korean on a famous Japanese music program, Music Station, and every time they release new albums, they perform there. Starting from March, 2019, TWICE started the Dome Tour in Osaka, Tokyo, and Nagoya. They are the first K-pop girl group to perform on the Dome Tour and more than two million people enjoyed the performance. TWICE is also going to have a world tour starting from Asia, and then on to Mexico and the U.S.A. in 2019.

 

BLACKPINK

  Even though BLACKPINK has only released a few songs, they now have the title of “being the first”. BLACKPINK debuted in 2016 with the catchy and colorful music performance. After the great success of “BOOMBAYAH (2016)” and “WHISTLE (2016)”, people started to pay attention to them. Every time they release new songs, their music video became the fastest K-pop girl group to reach 100 million views on YouTube with their latest song “Kill This Love (2019)”. They are also the first and the fastest K-pop group to reach 800 million views on music video and now that music video, “DDU-DU-DDU-DU (2018)” has reached more than 820 million views. (2019.05.29) BLACKPINK also collaborated with a popular artist Dua Lipa, “Kiss and Make Up (2018)”. Starting from 2019, BLACKPINK started to perform in the U.S.A. They appeared on famous TV programs in the U.S.A., The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Good Morning America, and so on. On April 12, BLACKPINK performed at one of the largest American Music Festival, Coachella, giving us the insight of BLACK PINK as one of the most influential K-pop groups to promote Korea and its culture globally.

 

  Not only BTS, TWICE, and BLACKPINK, but many other K-pop groups are having a great impact around the world. Foreigners who did not know about Korea started to get interested in Korean culture through K-pop idols, and they come to Korea to experience various activities. For a time, the Korean Wave was almost dead, but thanks to these K-pop groups, it is now rapidly rising, giving a positive image of Korea. Moreover, the negative attention toward K-pop artists and their fandoms have changed a lot. Lots of fans get inspired by their artists, and they donate lots of money to charities under their artists’ name or do volunteering activities. K-pop includes lots of things and now it is one of the most representative cultures in Korea. Who knows, maybe one day, these artists’ name will be put on a textbook and become history.

 

 

Do Hyo-young, Editor-in-Chief  ninibin0@konkuk.ac.kr

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