2000s Korean Pop Music History - THE YEAR OF 2011

RIAK: Recording Industry Association of Korea

by Recording Industry Association of Korea

21st century is when the culture and new media are joined together, thus, the world can encounter (or share) new culture very easily. 

K-pop is one of the pop culture in Korea that has been spot-lighted. In the early 2000s, marketing on Korean drama and its OST as well as idols in oversea countries succeeded to grab their attention. Consequently, K-pop was known as Korean Idols Music at that moment.

The development of new media, such as social network services as well as streaming services, Korean ballad, hip-hop and other genres has introduced to the world. Spontaneously, the strength of K-pop such as, easy melody, showy performance, music videos with the stories that arouse audiences’ interest, etc. causes to grab attention from Asian countries. Not only the Asian countries. Since 2011, K-pop has been spread out to western countries and also grabs their attention easily.

Consequently, the interpretation of k-pop has expanded. 

The exhibition “2000s K-pop History” introduces the trend of Korean Pop culture by using k-pop contents from every year. “2000s K-pop History” would help people to understand Korean culture and Korean pop culture and expect people to enjoy it.

The Year of 2011

          SM’s girl group, Girls’ Generation was most prominent this year with winning of the best song of the year at Golden Disk Award. Actually, it was awarded the best song of the year for 3 consecutive years making it number one superstar of K-pop. As soon as the title song <the boys> of its third album was released, it was ranked top at all music sites, and was ranked top at TV music ranking programs including Music Bank, Popular Music, and M-Countdown 1 week after its comeback. It was also ranked top at Gaon Digital Chart and Billboard Korea K-pop hot 100. Sweeping most music charts including Gaon Album Chart and Hanteo Chart, they kept gaining popularity with its next song <mr. taxi>, which was released first in Japan. 

The group released its first Japan album <<girls' generation>>on June 1, 2011. On the day of releasing in Japan, 73,583,000 copies were sold putting it ranked top on the daily album chart. It recorded the most selling album of the week as a foreign artist in Japan. It sold million copies becoming the Album certified million by the Recording Industry Association of Japan for the first time as a Korean Girl group, and second as Korean singers after Boa in 7 years.

SM’s boy band, Super Junior, introduced the title song <mr. simple> of its 5th regular album <mr. simple> as a song that sarcastically depicts contemporary people’s empty minds that lose their love, dream and goals due to busy life. The album was first released online on August 2, 2011, and the next day in offline stores. It was awarded the best group of the year at many charts including Gaon Chart and MAMA, boasting SM’s potential.

IU of Loen was popular that year, gaining a glorious moniker “younger sister of everybody”. The song <a good day> of her third mini album <<real>> released in December of 2010 captivated the public’s attention with her 3 step high pitch. The song was regarded as the best song of the year. 

She was especially popular among male fans.  One day after the song was released, it was ranked top at all the music charts, and at TV music ranking shows including SBS Popular Music, KBS Music Bank and Mnet M-Countdown.

Another single album <<real+>>released in February of 2011 was also ranked daily top at all music sites on the next day of release. She also released her second regular album <<last fantasy>> in November, and the title song <you and me> gained popularity.

Miss A’s song <good-bye baby>, which was a title song of its first regular album <<a class>>, topped various real-time music charts soon after its release along with Gaon chart.

 In 1 week of its comeback, it was ranked top at TV music ranking shows such as M-Countdown, Music Bank and SBS Popular Music. Its ”big snake dance” became popular. It started preparation for China market after completing the album, and it released first special edition album on September 30, in Taiwan putting the album top rank in the local chart. It also released album in Hong Kong.

 Later, it kept doing promotion activities such as TV appearance and fan meeting. They was awarded new star award in Asian Song Festival and China CETV 10 Greatest Star Award.

2NE1 of YG made many songs including <don't cry>, <lonely>, 〈I am the best.〉, <hate you> and <ugly> big hit from its second mini album <<2NE1 2nd Mini Album>>. It announced its entry of Japan market, and released its first Japan regular album <<collection>>. Although it didn’t plan to play the song <lonely> on TV, it played just once on SBS Popular Music on May 29, and gained great popularity winning “Mutizen song award”. 

The music video of the song gathered attention from all over the world, getting 10 million views on Youtube, the most watched video of first half year in Korea. Its second single <i am the best> was also ranked top at Gaon chart twice in a row. Its third single <hate you> topped various real-time music charts, and was ranked third at Gaon digital chart.

The title song <ugly> of mini album released in July was ranked 5th at the time of release and top on the second week of August at Gaon Chart. Its 5 songs out of 6 were ranked top, making it one of the greatest Korean girl groups.

JYP had <be my baby> by Wonder Girls and 《Hands Up》 by 2PM along with Miss A’s songs. 

2PM’s second regular album 《Hands Up》 was released on June 20, 2011 with digital format, and actual album was released on the next day.  The song <hands up> was ranked top for 4 weeks at Music Bank and top at M-Countdown. It was also chosen as Mutizen Song for 2 weeks.

Cube had <mirror, mirror> by 4minute, <bubble pop!> by Hyuna and <on rainy day> by Beast. DSP had <step> by Kara, Starship had <so cool> by Sistar, and Core had <roly poly> by T-ara.

Regarding new stars of each entertainment company, 6-member boy group of Starship, Boyfriend, made a debut with its song <boyfriend>.

SunnyHill of Loen, which made a debut in 2007 as a 3 member boy and girl group, added 2 girl members and its member, making a comeback with its new album <<midnight circus>>. 2015 Now, Janghyun had switched his job to a producer, and SunnyHill became 4-member girl group.

Through the popularity of TV show “I’m a singer”, established singers such as Bumsoo Kim, Jaebum Lim, and Jeonghyun Park were popular.

C2K's new boy group of 6 members, which means new music and sonic, N-SONIC made its first song <super boy>.

Credits: Story

Curation — Recording Industry Association of Korea
Head Researcher — Hye Jee Kim
Researcher — Jungzoo Yoon

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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