21 K-Pop Groups to Know (and Love)

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SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – NOVEMBER 07: Big Bang perform onstage during the 2015 Melon Music Awards at Olympic Park on November 7, 2015 in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by The Chosunilbo JNS/Multi-Bits via Getty Images)

K-pop has plenty of groups on offer, with more debuting every year, but here are 21 groups as an introduction to the wide, wide world of Korean pop music.

As it has been four years since PSY’s “Gangnam Style” became an international sensation, K-pop probably doesn’t register on most people’s radars anymore. Fads come and go far faster than that, after all.

However, just because K-pop, a term describing, well, the pop music of South Korea, doesn’t get talked about doesn’t mean it doesn’t still exist. In fact, several groups actually came to the United States this year.

Unfortunately, getting into the genre requires a lot of fortitude. Companies have new groups debut all the time, and just keeping up with one or two can become a chore, if you can even find a group or two you like. At the very least, many K-pop songs have clearly taken inspiration from international pop genres, as you’ll see and hear throughout this slideshow.

Enter this list, intended as a new international fan’s introduction to some big names, featuring both boy bands and girl groups. For example, solo artist Rain does not appear on the list.

Just based on the fact that there are so many groups, we can’t cover every single popular group out there. For fans, we may have skipped your favorite. Don’t think of this list as a definitive ranking. Nor do we presume to present these in any particular order, though some of the biggest groups are naturally towards the end.

That all being said, let’s get started. Perhaps you’ll find a new favorite group.