Before we jammed to the songs of the 3rd Generation K-pop groups (debuted from 2011 to 2018) today, we were first obsessed over their 2nd Generation sunbaes (debuted 2000 to 2010,) the groups who we can certainly describe as legends. They are the groups who made K-pop popular worldwide, the idols whom you'll never forget since they paved the way for this generation.
Some of them already disbanded, but the impact and influence they brought in the industry remain. And to show our appreciation, let's take a look back at our favorite 2nd Generation groups and why we will never forget them.
1. Girls' Generation
Debuted in July 2007, Girls' Generation remains to be one of the most-loved K-pop girl groups in the industry. The group won numerous awards, became a prominent figure of the Hallyu Wave, and got the honorific nickname "The Nation's Girl Group." Despite the controversies they faced from 2014 to 2018 with members Jessica, Tiffany, Sooyoung, and Seohyun leaving SM Entertainment, the group is still active and even celebrated their 10th anniversary, released a full album entitled "Holiday Night" in 2017, and debut a massively popular subunit Oh!GG in 2018!
A K-pop girl group formed by YG Entertainment in 2009, 2NE1 was considered as one of the most successful and popular female acts of all time. The first idol group to be dubbed as a "monster rookie," 2NE1 instantly rose to fame with their debut single "Fire." Being one of the best selling girl groups of all time and ranked by Billboard as one of the best K-pop girl groups of the past decade, it's safe to say that they made history in the K-pop industry. Sadly, the group faced a controversy involving member Bom Park which followed a long-term hiatus. In April 2016, Minzy departed from the group while the rest of the group disbanded later in November.
Reigned supreme on the K-pop charts since their debut back in August 2006, boy group BIGBANG is widely known as the "Kings Of K-Pop." Throughout the years, the group wrote experimental and diverse songs which made them stand out from the rest. Everyone who saw them perform live can attest that they're the true definition of performers. The group is currently on hiatus because three out of four members are serving in the military, while their oldest member Choi Seunghyun just got back this year. The group faced many controversies, the most recent one related to Seungri. But we believe that BIGBANG and VIPs remain stronger than ever!
4. Wonder Girls
Established themselves as "South Korea's Retro Queens," Wonder Girls debuted in February 2007 with the single "Irony." Their first hit single "Tell Me" topped numerous Korean charts and was then followed by a single in 2008 which was their most popular single ever entitled "Nobody." The song ranked number 76 on the Billboard Hot 100 which made them the first K-pop group to do enter the chart. They also became the opening act for the Jonas Brothers' World Tour during the same year. The group experienced a lot of changes when they were still active until they officially disbanded in January 2017 because of unsuccessful contract renewal negotiations with some of the members.
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5. Super Junior
Launched into international recognition with their best-selling single "Sorry, Sorry" in 2009, Super Junior is a K-pop boy group that debuted in November 2005 with 13 members. They're the top-selling K-pop artist for four years in a row, and even won the "International Artist" and "Best Fandom" at the 2015 Teen Choice Awards. Up until now, the group continues to release albums even without the members who left, on hiatus due to controversies, and are still in the army.
Known for their experimental style of electric pop sound, K-pop girl group f(x) is one of the first few groups who got recognized internationally after being the first K-pop act to perform at SXSW. Originally a quintet, member Sulli left the group in 2015. From 2016 to the first few months of 2019, the group members have embarked on their music and acting careers. In August 2019, the group reunited and performed together at SM Town Live 2019 in Tokyo concert without member Victoria. And just this September; members Amber, Luna, and Victoria have officially announced that they're leaving their agency SM Entertainment. Up until now, there's still no news if the group will disband due to the recent changes.
Widely known as the "Princes of K-Pop," SHINee was formed by SM Entertainment in 2008. Over the years, the group became trendsetters in all areas of music, fashion, and dance. With their songs like "Replay" and "Ring Ding Dong," they gained popularity all over Asia. They also started a fashion trend which the media dubbed as the "Shinee Trend." In 2017, their main vocalist Jonghyun passed which shook the whole industry. Since then, the group had dedicated numerous songs and performances to their lost friend that up until now fans still mourn.
Adored by fans for their sexy and edgy image, 4Minute was a five-member K-pop girl group formed by Cube Entertainment in 2009. With their songs like "Volume Up" and "Hot Issue," they were one of the few girl groups who attracted a lot of female fans because of their "girl crush" image. The group received several major awards and became popular in South Korea and Japan. Sadly, in June 2016, the majority of the members didn't want to renew their contracts which led to their disbandment.
With incredible groups like 2NE1 and Wonder Girls having closed the curtain on their careers together, we're glad that there are 2nd Gen K-pop groups that are still here and continuing their legacy in the Hallyu Wave. No matter what happens, these 2nd Gen groups will forever have a place in the hearts of OG K-pop fans!
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