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This decade's most influential k-pop artists and songs

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I need your opinion
As this decade is coming to a close after next month, I am preparing to write an article to select 10 artists (and their one most representative song) who is the most influential to k-pop music over the last 10 years. I already have a rough list on my mind but I would like to hear from all of you what you think.

The criteria for most influential is selected not only based on the artists' recent popularity or just one song, but their influence on the whole k-pop industry over a longer period of time. It may be based on their songs, their album sales, their styles, their overseas popularity (in other words, their hallyu status), etc.

Most of us have pretty much the same list on some of the artists while a few names may be different. That's why I want to collect as much opinions as possible but I start writing. You can comment on one artist only or you can comment on multiple artists. Be sure you write down the reason why they are considered the most influential. Remember to select one of their most representative song as well.

Here are some rules:

1. Do not bash any artists.

2. Just write your own and do not comment or criticize on how other people thinks.

Let me know if you have any questions.

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What a great idea, thank you for asking our opinions :)

I have to say one of the most influencial group or artist for this decade is the Wonder Girls. Putting all fangirlism aside, I feel they have contributed a lot to kpop. They have brought some girl power to the previously male dominated music scene. Before them, girl groups could have never been considered as rivals, but when it comes down to Wonder Girls, their gender is somewhat secondary as their music seem to be liked by all age groups, gender and class. As this year's influx of girl group showed, their influence has been major (of course I can't credit WG for these girl groups, but I think having a Girl Group in one's roaster became less of a gamble, after "Tell Me"). Many artists have hit songs, but when it comes down the these Girls it seems the whole country goes into a frenzy together and it becames a national affair. One could say their music almost unites the country in some sense.

One song I feel revolutionized kpop for this decade has to be "Tell Me". There was a documentary called "The memories of Tell Me:Thank You Tell Me" and it talked about how this song changed fandom culture in South Korea and had a huge impact on the society as a whole.

It wasn't until "Tell Me" that so many people started putting up uccs them dancing to their idols favorite songs. Also, after "Tell Me" you could feel the sound of kpop change a little. Right after the song's major success, you had groups like Jewelry who another a craze with the "ET dance" and other groups like Kara, SNSD, (amongst others) followed the trend. Everybody tried that formula of repetitive lyrics, catchy hook and addictive dance moves, a trend that we could still see insome of this year's biggest hits (Gee, Again&Again, Sorry Sorry, Mister etc).

Also looking at the Girls slowly making their way into the American (& Chinese) music scenes just shows that they are one of the defining voices of this decade's kpop history.


1-First to enter Billboard HOT 100 Chart

2-Unprecedented number of digital sales

3-First Girl Group to have a world tour

4-Successful US tour (their own tour, not the one with Jobros)


Fangirl mode back on. YAY WONDER GIRLS!! :D

sorry if this is too long =.=

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Guest smithers

I think sg wannabe should be included in this list...

Sg wannabe was so succesful for a couple years and sold so many albums for a nonidol group. I think they made ballads really big for a while as well

Than again...same things could be said of jo sungmo : /

I'll make a list in no order : )

Yoon dohyun


seo taiji





Jo sungmo

drunken tiger

lee hyori

Kim jonggook

I'm looking forward to the list!

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Guest xeudaemonic

1. Shinhwa - not only are they known as one of THE legendary boygroups, they've also shaped the idea of a boygroup and the relationship that all boygroups should have with each member. for the past 10 years, they've been a role-model and an inspiration (Song - Perfect Man).

2. Lee Hyori - one of Korea's most iconic woman, being powerful, sexy and influential on all; after Fink.L she was able to still be active in the music industry and releasing catching hits such as Toc-Toc-Toc and U-Go-Girl.

3. Epik High - one of the more prominent hip-hop focused group; consecutive successful albums and has caught much attention around the world. they have a certain style that only Epik High can pull off and their lyrics are always so passionate (Song - Fan).

the more obvious ones I would say would be -

4. SNSD - (Song - Gee)

5. Big Bang - (Song - Lies)

the reasons are pretty obvious too, haha.

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Guest kangeroo

I really don't have time for elaboration, so I'm just gonna list some artists.

Maybe I'll edit this post later with reasons.

Dong Bang Shin Ki




Epik High

Sg Wannabe

Seo Taiji

Wonder Girls


I will probably add a few more artists.

Coming up with a list like this needs a lot of time and thinking.

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Guest Radish

off the top of my head~

BoA (?): built Korea-Japan music bridge, allowed others to cross over; "Asia's Pop Princess"

Super Junior ("Sorry, Sorry"): the definition of "Idol Group", mold for much of the new idol groups in this idol-dominated industry, expanded Kpop/Hallyu throughout Asia

JYP (?): mastermind behind Wonder Girls and 2PM, produced their hit songs

Wonder Girls ("Tell Me"): JYP's baby, "Tell Me" craze turned Korea into a hook song nation, leader of 2nd generation of girl groups (WonSoKa) in 2008 which popularized the notion of girl groups leading to the girl group boom of 2009

Big Bang ("Lies"): made popular the concept/music that everyone's trying to bank on now (don't deny it!), "Lies" craze, (GDragon) "new type of idol"

Seo Taiji, TVXQ, Epik High ("Fan"), Rain, Lee Hyori, Jewelry, SNSD ("Gee") etc.

- - -

Broke up in early 2000s. Although I don't know much about them, these groups are referenced to a lot:

HOT, Shinhwa, S.E.S, Fin.K.L etc.

too many people~ Dx I give up. How big is this list going to be?

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Guest zahieyjunki

I only think of

Big Bang - Remember

SNSD - the 1st album!

WG - if they ever have their full album, I would rank them here but they always released minies/single..

Seo Taiji - one of best sellers i think

DBSK - Mirotic

Super Junior - the 3rd album - sorry sorry

Rain - rainism

best artists : going to be DBSK (obviously), Soshi, BB, WG, Rain, BoA, Suju

i think no one can surpass all of these artiste ^^ popularity now~

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since this is about the DECADE's most influential artist, meaning thats from 2000-2009, i would have to say BoA.

BoA made her debut in 2000 in korea, and was a huge hit instantly. she took the whole korea by storm and surprised them with her amazing dancing and singing abilities even at a tender age.

when she crossed over to japan 2 years later, she achieved success once again, topping the oricon charts many times, and performing at the prestigous kouhaku. on top pf that, she has had sold-out tours and concerts every year in japan, and is arguably one of the top 4 princesses in avex.

BoA has many chart toppping albums and #1 hits. almost all her albums have topped the oricon charts, and she has gone platinum in so many countries, so many times. she also has numerous awards under her belt, including the most influential asian artiste award at the mtv asia awards in 2004, crowning her status as Best of Asia.

All throughout this decade, BoA has been active every year, releasing albums and singles non-stop in both korea and japan. with her foray into the american music industry, she is set to climb even higher and set higher benchmarks for other asian artistes.

Outside of music, BoA has also helped improve the longstanding tense relations between Korea and Japan. although her contributions in that area are not great, it is because she is limited by her position as a celebrity, and given her status, she has done her best.

BoA is also one of the leading Hallyu stars, and a top one too, and i would consider one of korea's most representative artistes. She's well known not only in korea and japan, but also taiwan, china, hong kong, singapore, malaysia, thailand, philippines, and tons of other countries outside of asia.

choosing just 1 song out of her many hits is almost impossible, but i would have to say it would be No. 1. this song was a hit both in korea and japan (as with many of her other songs) but i think it is probably her biggest hit. also, i think the title pf this song suits her perfectly, she is the No. 1 female artist in Asia.

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Guest catalima

Here is my list:

Wonder Girls: "Tell Me" set the trend and the WG become Korea's favorite girl group.

Shinhwa: They are considered as a legend and the longest running boyband

BoA: Queen of K-Pop, she is probably one of the most world wide know asian artist


Lee Hyori

Big Bang

Since this is about the decade most influential artist I don't think I can add SNSD, they only gained popularity this year, same thing for 2ne1.

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My list:

Shinhwa : The longest running boy band, influenced every idol group that came after them. They set the standard with their high level choreography and still managed to deliver stable vocals. A group like this is Once in a Lifetime- pun intended.

( Song - Brand New or Perfect Man)

BoA : IMO she's is this decade's most influential artist. She was the first Korean artist to find success in Japan , also she caught the interest of American viewers. I remember when she sang the theme song Every Heart for Inuyasha and all my friends who never listened to Asian music were obsessed with Every Heart. Also BoA is very influential because she doesn't just stick with one style, from her Key of Heart to Girls on Top to My Name she showed many different styles that other female artist tried to copy. (Song- Girls on Top)

Lee Hyori: She's the sexy queen of Korea/Asia. She broke the cutesy and innocent girl image when she stepped on the scene with her sexy and charismatic style. Of course many singers were influenced by her ( Song - 10 minute)

Rain : The bad guy. He made American R&B popular in Korea and his hip hop style dancing caught a lot of viewers attention. He also experimented with acting and stared in the massively successful drama Full House that helped the Korean Wave. ( Song - It's raining)

Fly to the Sky - If you haven't listened to their music ... shame on you! Their ballads are insanely heartfelt. Not much to say about them because they were the best R & B singers in kpop since Brown Eyes. ( song : Like a Man/Goodbye/Missing You? * they have too many hits to choose from.)

DBSK - They got the largest fan club in the world! Found a lot of success in Japan. Considered Asia's biggest boy band & their song O addressed important world issues which is something that many idol groups haven't addressed since HOT. They matured from idols to artist , they're def. the rising Gods of the East. One of the few accapella groups of their generation. (Song - Rising Sun)

GOD - The golden standard this decade. Two albums that sold millions something that I dobut will happen in Kpop again. Their music can't be described any other way, it's simply beautiful. To my Mother is a song every korean knows and makes everyone person tear up inside. Lie was the song that started the " boy doesn't love girl anymore" phase that's so popular in kpop. Their other hit, Road, again I'm at a lost at how stunning it is. They had a show in 2000 where they babysat an adorable baby named Jaemi <3 It was insanely popular and still to this day you have shows like ' Hello Baby' which copied GOD's. Nowadays kpop is all about looks which is saddening. GOD wasn't a very good looking group but through their beautiful music and humble souls they captured Korea's hearts.

Also others that have been influential to the newer generation:

Wonder Girls - Tell me spread like wildfire in Korea ! Seriously if you go on Youtube you'll probably find a 100 covers of this song. Also appealed to American audiences.

Big Bang- Lies, no one can deny that is song is extremely catchy. One of my favorite Korean songs and a lot of my friends who only listen to American music really enjoy this song. They also appealed to the American audience. The VP of Interscope records even likes them.

That's it for my list. Some of these artists are not as talented as others that aren't included but they are definitely more influential. I miss old kpop *sighs* HOT, Sechskies, Deux, Seotaiji and the Boys, SES, FINKL, DJ Doc, 1TYM. COME BACK! TT___TT

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If I really have to choose one though, I will choose JYP no doubt. I know I wrote a whole essay about WG (which I still think they are deserving), but JYP ranks as the most influential overall. Though his influence during this decade was more for his role as a producer with Rain, G.O.D, Park Ji Yoon and the rest.

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Guest crashandburn

For me, the most influential kpop artist is
. No doubt.
pretty much summed

most of the reasons up. Her performing skills are amazing, just watch her

'mkmf Over the top' performance and you'll see why. If i'm right, she fainted after

the performance too.

I admire her for the amount of determination she has, it's part of the reason she's so successful. I even remember reading a thread here about the other celebrities comments

on Boa and they all praise her for her hard work and determination.

Boa has quite a few good songs but i think 'Girls on Top' is one of her best. Its hard to choose just one actually, but the lyrics to that song is all about girl power.

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Guest MissBoAngel

JYP perhaps not as an artist but as a producer absolutely.

Wonder Girls - I would quote everything Dothat36 has said but also remember they are the first Korean artist to enter the billboard hot 100.

BoA - She was once one of the biggest and first hallyu starts as she took Japan and many other asian countries by storm.

TVXQ - They have been making HUGE waves as hallyu starts as well and have the biggest fanbase in the world.

FIn.k.l/Hyori Lee - Though S.E.S and Baby VOX are remembered and well celebrated I believe their peek was more in the 90's. Fin.k.l is probably the old school group with the most covers from 2005 + idols.

Others would include Shinhwa, Seo Taiji and Rain.

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I just want to add this:

god - Lie (3rd album, 2000)

They are the BIG thing in korea at that time (although the newer generation may not know about it)

Their album sold over one million copies and they are like the national group during their prime time.

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Wonder Girls no doubt lol. no questions asked. Tell Me, So Hot, Nobody. I dont think any song can top off what Tell Me did to the whole nation! On top of that alot of CF deals. And they already have one record behind them : first asians to break into billboard hot 100.

Big Bang they mixed what seemed strange - kpop and western hip-hop. Garnered much more success after Lies and to me, theyre the only male idol group that can pull off a real rugged hip-hop style!

Bi did everything from acting dancing singing and he has recieved success all around asia. Not so much with America YET but i think time will come :)

Shinhwa duh? lol anyone who knows kpop would know what these guys did to korea! They HAVE to be in it!

BoA is known. BoA is amazing. Alot of people in asia LOVE and adore her music like me! Not only that, she was one of the original wave stars that set the bar higher for korea.

I would have added SNSD but they didnt get much attentiont even after Kissing You. Yes they DID get attention, but not the kind they wanted. I also wanted to add Hyori but i think BoA is a better choice.

i rest my case !

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Hmm, the first artist coming to mind (for me) is TVXQ.

Not because I'm a fan, but because of not only their influence on the current industry, but their influence on people as well.

Chart topping songs are one thing, but the ability to sway and move such a large number of audiences is another thing.

My second choice would be Fly to the Sky. They've been around for a decade too, and has made so many epic epic songs.

BoA would be pretty big too, because of her innate abilities and her influence not only in Korea, but as a J-pop artist. She has done so much.

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Guest hankyungsaranghaex3


Three words: 800 thousand fans

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Artist/group: Brown Eyes (Yoon Gun, Na Ul)

Song: "벌써 일년" (Already A Year) [First album: With Coffee]

As solo artists, Yoon Gun and Na Ul have graced Korea with their brilliant compositions and amazing voices already. Yet, together they bring a much more powerful force. Although the duo are not active together anymore, their years together as a group has made a large impact on the Korean music industry. They are the originator of the Korean mid-tempo R&B ballad phenomenon and set the stage for the success of today's chart-topping ballad groups like SG Wannabe, Brown Eyed Girls, See Ya, M to M, KCM, etc. Many anticipated for their reunion after their disbandment after their 2nd album in 2002. The duo fulfilled that wish in 2008 in their classic fashion via having no public appearances for album promotions; still, they managed to top music charts and sell over 15,000 copies in one day, saving the stagnation of the Korean music industry. Brown Eyes is definitely a group one cannot forget and I will forever be grateful for their masterpieces and the new dimension they brought to the face of Korean music. ^__^ Their songs for each album come with a soul-fulfilling mist, however, I specifically chose "벌써 일년" because it is the first Brown Eyes song to be released, imprinting its genre into the Korean music industry.


I must agree with Koyote and SHINHWA. :rolleyes:

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Guest teukiie

I'd say 김종국:) Even though he didnt release any album this year (correct me if Im wrong, I think he released his 5th album last year) I mean, all his albums have done really well. He did start out with Turbo, which also did well in the korean music industry. Then he went off solo, releasing many hit songs, "어제보다 오늘 더", "고맙다", "사랑한다는 말" & so on. He's been to Japan for concerts too. Im not too sure about his status overseas though, but he has quite a lot of international fans. I mean, sure, he doesnt have as many fans as 소녀시대or 동방신기, but he's captured many people's hearts with his songs & his unique voice. But that's my own opinion (& perhaps, biasness? :P) & he's been on various shows like, "패밀리가 떴다" & "Gold Miss Is Coming"

Others would include 소녀시대 & 동방신기:) Especially the latter cuz they've been through so much throughout this decade. :)

Just my own personal opinion btw.

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Guest roujin

Glad to see a lot of singers mentioned who are not as expected. I am not specialist in any artist's history or track record but I want to mention the names of who I think were highly influential in music this past decade.

Park Ji Yoon - Adult Ceremony imo the first to really break the original image of innocent through her song Adult Ceremony

Hyori Lee - 10 Minutes who really redefined the definition of a female singer in Korea through her stage performance and sexier image

BoA - No. 1 was a powerhouse in the Hallyu movement.

Brown Eyes - One Year Already They really popularized the R&B genre...and just extremely talented.

G.O.D. - Road Probably their song Lies was more influential...but I think Road is such a powerful song... The group was very popular at their time. Some of their tracks...were just beautiful for the lack of a better term.

COOL - All For You When I think about music I grew up listening to, COOL always comes to mind. Just some great music that I believe was too good to pass for many.

SG Wannabe - Timeless It is hard to choose a song for them too...but they were able to outsell a lot of other boybands strictly based on their music and talent. Quite a feat in today's time.

Wonder Girls - Tell Me along with their popularity, imo although video covers had been around, it was Tell Me when the dancing covers became a craze.

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