Cosmopolitan (UK)

The rise of K-POP

How it got bigger than Bieber


The ’90s

It might surprise you to know that K-pop can be traced back to the ’90s, to a group called Seo Taiji And Boys, who topped the South Korean chart for 17 weeks with I Know.


Girl-group Girls’ Generation had been active since 2007, but it was their single Gee that hit the big time in 2009. It’s considered the start of Korean bubblegum pop.


You probably (definitely) remember Gangnam Style by Psy. When it hit the world, it hit hard, becoming YouTube’s most-viewed video, surpassing Bieber’s Baby.


In 2018, BTS’s album Love Yourself: Tear debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, and the band was named one of Time’s “25 most influentia­l people on the internet”.


By 2019, BTS ranked 43rd on the Forbes Celebrity 100 list, which reveals the world’s highest-paid celebritie­s from that year. Guess they’re doing pretty well then…

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