The Chosun Ilbo compiled a list consisting of three tiers on which girl group will dominate the Korean charts this year: the strong, the middle, and the weakest. Their list was based off of music portal’s Bugs and KBS Music Bank’s annual top charts last year, and also took into account stage presence, fan loyalty, their capabilities, management, and a track record of all their performances.
The year 2010 was the year of girl groups. More than 23 girl groups made their debut last year to try and take the top position. The fight for that position will most likely intensify this coming year as groups like Dal Shabet and 5dolls are already making their presence known to the public.
The Strong Four – SNSD, 2NE1, miss A, KARA
In 2010, SNSD won the majority of the Daesangs for “Oh!” during the award shows and music festivals. Their hits also included “Run Devil Run”, where fans saw the ‘dark’ side of the nine-girls for the first time, and “Hoot”. According to Chosen Ilbo, they scored higher than other girl groups in management, fan loyalty, and performances.
2NE1 are not far behind, however. They scored high in stage presence and their members’ capacity were stronger than SNSD’s. 2NE1 made their big comeback with a full album in 2010 and made an unprecedented move by promoting 3 songs at once! In addition, they are the first group to ever win 4 Mutizen awards on Inkigayo during a single promotion. They won a triple crown for their song “Can’t Nobody” and once more for “Go Away”.
Having only made their debut last year, miss A has proven to be a strong contender as well. The group won their first award at M! Countdown for their debut song “Bad Girl Good Girl” and also won once for K-chart and Inkigayo. According to Chosen Ilbo, because miss A made their debut much later than SNSD, they are behind in fan loyalty. However, there isn’t much of a gap between SNSD and miss A’s stage presence, and their abilities to sing and dance.
KARA has also had huge success last year in both Korea and Japan. KARA is currently the leading Korean girl group in Japan. The group released two hits last year, “LUPIN” and “Jumping”, in which the latter was the more popular. “LUPIN” generated the ’emergency exit’ dance and also showed a ‘darker’ side to KARA not seen previously.
The Middle Five – T-ara, After School, SISTAR, f(x), Brown Eyed Girls
T-ara made their presence known this year with hits like “Bo Peep Bo Peep”, “Like The First Time”, and “I Go Crazy Because of You”. The second half of the year, they announced a change of group leadership and the addition of a 7th member, Hwayoung. With the addition, they made their comeback with Native American themed “Yayaya”. The group’s members also branched out in other entertainment areas such as acting.
After School started 2010 with two additional members, Raina and Lizzy, after Soyoung had announced her withdrawal from the group. Together with the new members, the 7-member group promoted “Because of You”. The song showed a more mature side to the grown women and topped various online charts. Then before releasing their next single “Bang!”, it was announced that an eight member would be joining the group. For “Bang!”, the group showed a drummer’s concept and even went through training to actually learn how to play the drums.
Orange Caramel became After School’s first sub-group. Nana, Lizzy, and Raina showed their individual charms with “Magic Girl” and “A~ing”. Leader Park Gahee will also be going solo in February before joining After School in their official comebacks. Her solo debut is expected to raise After School’s popularity.
f(x) and Brown Eyed Girls are also expected to have a great year. Both groups showed their potentials and talents on variety shows last year. In particular, f(x) member Victoria has gained extreme popularity for her participation in “Invicible Youth” and for being paired with 2PM’s Nickhun in “We Got Married”.
The members of Brown Eyed Girls have all split off to make their solo debuts, starting off with Narsha. Ga-in was the next member to make her solo debut, and then Jea. All of the members so far have topped online charts. In addition, Ga-in has gained popularity in her marriage with 2AM’s Jo Kwon in “We Got Married”. Narsha has also raised the group’s presence in the industry with her participation in “Invicible Youth”.
The Weak Four – Wonder Girls, Rainbow, Secret, 4minute
Due to their U.S. promotions, the Wonder Girls were not in Korea for long. They spent approximately two weeks in Korea to greet their fans and perform. The Chosun Ilbo notes that while the Wonder Girls are one of the most popular girl groups in Korea, their long absence has affected fan loyalty. In addition, their hit songs “So Hot” and “Nobody” had similar concepts, and fans have not seen any new material from the group for awhile.
Rainbow and Secret are relatively new to the entertainment industry and therefore fall behind in fan loyalty. However, the Chosun Ilbo notes that if the members can find individual ways to seek the attention of fans, the two groups have the potential to rise in popularity and perhaps become forces to reckon with.
Shockingly, the Chosun Ilbo listed 4minute as one of the weakest groups. This is due to their lack of success last year. However, they scored high in fan loyalty. The Chosun Ilbo writes, “Unless they come up with something of greater impact in the near future, their chances of surviving in the extremely competitive K-pop world look slim.”
Did your bias make the list? What are your opinions? Which girl group do you think will make it big this year?
Sources: Chosun Ilbo and 4-minute