These are the first major breakthroughs in K-pop before it became a global phenomenon.
Before K-pop reaches its global status, the music industry has gone through many unforgettable, defining milestones. These are the highlights that one may not have known about:
The first K-pop group in history: Seo Taiji and Boys
It is often said that K-pop only started when Seo Taiji and Boys was born. In realily, SoBangCha was a group debuted in 1987 before Seo Taiji and Boys and gained considerable popularity. However, they were not considered the first generation of K-pop.
Instead, the first generation is often defined by the 1992 mark with the birth of Seo Taiji and Boys. They were a phenomenon after debut, garnering a massive loyal fanbase. Yang Hyun Suk, founder of YG Entertainment, is also a member of the group.
The group only worked for four years, but their legacy remains until this day.
K-pop’s first female group: S.E.S
S.E.S includes 3 membesr, namely Sea, Eugene, and Shoo. They formed the first female K-pop group and were known for a fairy-like beauty.
S.E.S debuted in 1997 under SM Entertainment. They successfully released a hit album in 2000. The group also initiated making MVs for title tracks, starting from a cute image to a more seductive one.
K-pop’s first lightstick: Big Bang
Before lightstick became a necessity in K-pop concert, fans usually brought balloons in a group’s signature color to show support for their artists. For example, in a Big Bang’s concert, they would brigh yellow, while in a Super Junior’s concert, they would bring blue.
However, G-Dragon came up with a great idea to seperate VIP (Big Bang’s fandom) from other fandom: giving them a lightstick. At the time, Big Bang’s lightstick was called Bangbong and was also the first lightstick to be made in K-pop.
K-pop’s first photocards: SNSD and DBSK
Photocards are the most sought-after items in K-pop these days. Their variety and diversity alone can kick up sales by the miles. Some rare photocards can be sold at a whopping price.
The first photocards came out in 2007 when SM Entertainment released DBSK’s photocards in Japan. However, photocards were only released in Korea in 2010 included within Girls’ Generation’s album “Oh.”
K-pop’s first artist to have 1 billion views on YouTube: PSY
PSY once made headlines with the global hit “Gangnam Style.” He was the first person to surpass 1 billion views in the history of K-pop and YouTube.