From BABYMONSTER to ZB1, Upcoming Boy and Girl Groups Mark the Beginning of K-pop 5th Gen

The K-pop industry is experiencing a generational shift as a new wave of boy and girl groups is about to debut. 

Outstanding 4th generation idols such as TXT, ENHYPEN, Stray Kids, ITZY, aespa, (G)I-DLE, IVE, LE SSERAFIM, NewJeans, have been achieving remarkable results thanks to their global popularity. It is clear that they will continue to dominate the K-pop industry for some time to come.

However, several groups are already claiming to be the vanguard of the 5th generation, a brand new era. These new groups come with fresh concepts and K-pop fans are eagerly anticipating their debut.


One such group is ZEROBASEONE (ZB1), a nine-member boy group that was born through Mnet’s “Boys Planet.” ZB1 will be active as a project group for 2 years and 6 months and is expected to follow in the footsteps of successful project groups from Mnet’s survival shows namely I.O.I, Wanna One and IZ*ONE.

Another highly anticipated 5th gen group is BABYMONSTER from YG Entertainment. The group is getting launched seven years after BLACKPINK’s debut. Although their debut has not been confirmed yet, they are receiving a lot of attention. The group has been promoting their debut project through the reality show “Last Evaluation” on YouTube. The final lineup will be announced on May 12th.


Attention is also on BOYNEXTDOOR, a six-member rookie boy group under KOZ Entertainment led by Zico and HYBE, BOYNEXTDOOR has teased three music videos for three title tracks, indicating an impressive debut with high-quality music. The group will debut on May 30th.

The Wind, the younger brother group of HIGHLIGHT under the label Around Us, is also debuting this year. The Wind is attracting attention as the “youngest 5th gen boy group,” with an average age of only 16.8.

Fantagio is also introducing a new boy group, LUN8, around seven years after ASTRO’s debut. LUN8 is set to debut in the first half of this year.

In addition, Pledis Entertainment, SEVENTEEN’s agency, will launch a new boy group later this year, 8 years after SEVENTEEN’s debut. They will be HYBE’s 2nd rookie boy group debuting in 2023, adding to the excitement of fans. 

JYP Entertainment is also preparing a group selected through SBS’s survival program “LOUD” and the Chinese boy group “Project C,” as well as a boy group version of NiziU. SM Entertainment is also preparing for the debut of the subunit NCT Tokyo.

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