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The nation’s least favorite but an international’s darling – who are they in K-Pop?

Extremely famous abroad but not doing very well in South Korea is an ironic situation of many K-Pop groups.

It has been a long time since K-Pop fans started realizing the idols who are loved by international fans but ignored by the Korean public. To these idols, this is quite a difficult situation because who wouldn’t want to be accept at their hoemcountry?

Below are the groups who are currently in this ironic situation and still cannot find a solution to balance their fame both inside and outside of Korea.

Super Junior

During their first few years after debut, Super Junior had a huge Korean fanbase and a stable position in the entertainment industry. However, after many change in their line-up, the drunk driving and assault scandal of Kang In,…Super Junior started losing their position in their Korean’s fans’ eyes and received many negative comments from K-netizens.

Super Junior is always a target for K-netizens to bash and mock.
Super Junior is always a target for K-netizens to bash and mock.

However, after 10 years of performing, Super Junior’s international fame is still big, especially in China and Latin America countries.

With their world tour called the Super Show, they are the first Korean group to have 100 concerts in other countries. They are also the first Korean group to defeat One Direction at the Teen Choice Awards (2015) and won the community vote award. With their latest comeback “One More Time”, Super Junior has ruled the #1 of iTunes chart in 26 countries even though it couldn’t even stay in the top 100 of many Korean music charts.


Super Junior is still doing well on international charts.

Super Junior’s name is never missing from SM’s top artists with the highest profit. They were at #4 out of the 5 artists with the highest profit in 2019 with more than 34 million USD through their concerts as the main sources. Super Junior is not as big in South Korea anymore but they are still doing well abroad.

T-ARA

After the wrongful bully scandal in 2012, T-ara was boycott by the Korean public which caused a downfall in their career. Even though they didn’t give up and still tried their best to maintain the group’s name, T-ara’s later albums wasn’t welcomed, not until 2017 did they received their first #1 cup on music shows after 5 years of living in shame.

T-ara is not welcomed at their own country anymore after the wrongful bully scandal.
T-ara is not welcomed at their own country anymore after the wrongful bully scandal.

However, at the South East Asia and China market, T-ara is still widely loved. They was honored many times as the Most favorite Korean artist, Best Korean girlgroup and Best Korean Group respectively in 2015, 2016 and 2017 at YinYueTai.

VChart Awards – one of the biggest awards shows in China. They were also the first K-Pop girlgroup to be invited to Hong Kong Youth Music Festival Asian Idol.

T-ara has received countless of awards in China.

T-ara’s concerts in China is always sold out, which gave them a busy schedule at this crowded country during 2014-2017. In 2018, the group’s contract with MBK Entertainment went expired, they was focusing mostly on their solo activities but T-ara still topped the chart as the girlgroup with the biggest fandom in China.

GOT7

GOT7 is often called the international darling because it has the “middle-class” reputation in Korea but is popular overseas.

GOT7 has a dreamlike starting point when it comes from JYP Entertainment but so far many Koreans only remember the 2015 hit song of the group “Just Right” as the following songs were not very popular in Korea. The group’s reputation easily “sinks” between many boy groups like BTS, EXO, WINNER, iKON, … Even the group members have to admit that they know they are more famous in the international market than in the country.

GOT7 acknowledges that the group is more famous internationally than in the country
GOT7 acknowledges that the group is more famous internationally than in the country

Even so, GOT7 is very famous internationally. The only 7 Asian names in the top 10 most successful tour in the US by Billboard poll in 2018, topped the Billboard World Albums chart with 4 different albums. GOT7’s revenue from the world tour was so big that they not only topped JYP artist revenue last year but also contributed the most to the construction of the company’s new headquarters.

Few know that GOT7 is JYP's "golden artists" thanks to its overseas tour revenue
Few know that GOT7 is JYP’s “golden artists” thanks to its overseas tour revenue

Stray Kids

Like GOT7, though from JYP, Stray Kids also suffered the same fate as it’s famous overseas but not so popular in their homeland.

Debuted in 2018 and won the Rookie Award of the Year but so far Stray Kids’ mark in the Korean market is still quite fuzzy. Typically, the new song “Miroh” of the group has just had a “free fall” from the domestic music charts, even dropped to 965 on the Melon chart after 3 days. The previous songs of the group did not leave an impression on the Korean people. Many people believe that the music of 10 boys is unfamiliar to the public in the country.

Stray Kids’ music has not yet reached the taste of Koreans

But Stray Kids’ new song did well on the foreign chart. “Miroh” reached iTunes No. 1 in 15 countries and territories, reaching the top 10 iTunes in 32 countries. The international fan reaction on social networks about Stray Kids is also very positive.

However, Stray Kids still has the ability to overturn the situation since it has just debuted for 1 year, there is much time to improve themselves to balance popularity in the two markets.

Stray Kids still has the ability to build a reputation in the homeland in the near future
Stray Kids still has the ability to build a reputation in the homeland in the near future

LOONA

LOONA was once noticeable with the title of “the group that was invested 8 times as TWICE was”, but the group’s reputation in Korea is still very long to reach the popularity of 9 JYP girls.

Through two songs of theirs are quite popular with the audience, LOONA has not won any trophy on the music show. “Butterfly” – the title song of the group’s latest comeback, only debuted at No. 63 in the domestic digital music chart and quickly fell off the top 100 after a few hours.

After the media play effect, LOONA has not yet proved its potential
After the media play effect, LOONA has not yet proved its potential

On the contrary, LOONA made 4 achievements on Billboard’s social chart system: “Butterfly” ranked No. 6 in the Digital Digital Song Sales chart, the album “XX” ranked 4th at the World Albums (behind 3 albums of BTS) and reached 8th in the Heatseeker Album chart. In addition, LOONA also won the award of Outstanding Korean Artist at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2018, although it has not achieved any awards in Korea.

LOONA also won awards abroad before winning awards at home
LOONA also won awards abroad before winning awards at home

Sources: k14

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