The top 4 girl groups of Kpop Gen 4 and their latest comeback: aespa and ITZY maybe falling behind 2 groups from small companies?

The achievements of aespa, ITZY, (G)I-DLE, and IVE are constantly discussed by Kpop fans.

As Kpop’s 4th generation has exploded these recent years, many netizens have started to pose the question: “Who’s the Kpop queen of Gen 4?”, to which most mentioned names are aespa, ITZY, (G)I-DLE, and IVE. As a result, people look to these groups’ most recent comebacks for discussion. 

According to most netizens, why aespa maintains a decent popularity through every comeback, their once strongest contender ITZY is seeing an alarming downward trend. Meanwhile, (G)I-DLE and IVE, who are from small companies, prove themselves to be formidable opponents.

aespa made a strong return with “Girls”, broke BLACKPINK’s record 


On July 8th, aespa made an impressive comeback with their album “Girls” and title of the same name. Embracing the dance genre and a strong melody, “Girls” is said to be the conclusion to part 1 of aespa’s SMCU.

aespa – Girls
aespa girls
Members of aespa looked like female warrior in the latest comeback

In addition, aespa managed to set a new record for the highest number of album pre-order of a Kpop girl group, surpassing BLACKPINK. In particular, “Girls” pre-order quantity was a whopping 1.61 million copies, exceeding the previous record-holder, BLACKPINK’s “The Album”.

aespa girls
“Girls” helped aespa become the Kpop girl group with the highest number of pre-order for one album, surpassing BLACKPINK

As of July 14th, “Girls” has sold 1,126,068 copies according to Hanteo chart, making aespa the highest-selling Kpop female artist within the first week of release. In addition, “Girls” also debuted at #1 on Worldwide iTunes Album Chart and #1 on the iTunes Album Chart of 13 countries. 

On July 17th, Billboard also announced that aespa’s 2nd mini-album landed in 3rd in the music chart’s Top 200 Albums ranking, making them the first Kpop girl group after BLACKPINK and TWICE to attained such an achievement. In addition, they are the fastest group to reach such a position, after just 2 years since their debut. 

“Girls” helped cemented aespa’s position on the Kpop map

ITZY showed an alarming downward trend 

In July 15th, ITZY officially entered the Kpop race with their mini-album “CHECKMATE” and the title song “Sneakers”. Unfortunately, this song is showing much lower achievements than the group’s previous comeback with “Loco”.

ITZY – Sneakers

In particular, “Sneakers” only managed to reach #4 and #5 for Bugs’ Daily and Real-time chart, and was out of Top 50 for the remaining music streaming platform. Despite “Sneakers” just releasing days ago, ITZY’s digital performance is already lower than IVE’s release of 3 months ago, “Love Dive”, and that of aespa’s pre-release single “Illusion”.

ITZY’s new title song showed a disappointing digital performance

This is an alarming downward trend for the JYP girl group, especially as they used to be the best female digital artist back in 2019 in Korea with their debut track “DALLA DALLA”. Even on Spotify – which was considered one of the group’s playground, “Sneakers” are completely missing from global charts. Their first day stream for “Sneakers” also dropped to 784,901 – just a half of “Loco”. 

itzy chart
“Sneakers” is an example of ITZY’s dwindling popularity

Once considered a top contender to become the queens of Kpop’s Gen 4, yet ITZY is now losing out to its opponent aespa, and even fails behind groups from small companies like IVE and (G)I-DLE.

ITZY is losing their advantage in the competition to become Gen 4’s most successful Kpop artist. 

(G)I-DLE after Soojin’s school violence scandal: Breaking records and taking music charts by storm

As Soojin was accused of being a school bully and eventually ended up leaving (G)I-DLE, many were worried about the girl group’s future. However, with “TOMBOY”, (G)I-DLE proves that their prospects are still as bright as ever. 

Tomboy – (G)I-DLE

With a catchy melody and an addictive hook, “TOMBOY” quickly learn the love of Kpop fans. The song also helped (G)I-DLE gain their first Realtime All-kill on music charts, making them the first to nail such an achievement in 2022. The song then continued to get even more popular, earning (G)I-DLE their first PErfect All-kill.

gi-dle chart
(G)I-DLE’s “TOMBOY” earned the group their first Perfect All-Kill

Now, “TOMBOY” has entered Top 10 songs with the most hours of Perfect All-kill, making them the first 4th gen Kpop artist to make the list.  

“TOMBOY” is the only 4th gen song that managed to enter Top 10 Kpop songs with the most hours of Perfect All-kill
(G)I-DLE is still a strong contender in the 4th gen girl group battle 

IVE – a rookie filled with potential and explosive with mega-hit “Love Dive” 

While not managed by a big entertainment agency,, IVE is still regarded as one of the most successful 4th gen Kpop girl groups. The group debuted with “Eleven”, which saw decent achievement, before becoming a household name via their comeback single “Love Dive”. 

Love Dive – IVE

With its catchy and addictive melody, “Love Dive” brought IVE their first Realtime All-kill, even whilst competing against popular artists like (G)I-DLE and BIGBANG.

“Love Dive” pushed IVE into a top star

In addition, “Love Dive” witness popularity in foregin countries as well. The song debuted at Top 10 Apple Music Global, making IVE the first Kpop group after BTS and BLACKPINK to have achieved such a feat.

IVE also saw strong physical sales, with over 338 thousand albums sold, and thus landed in 6th place among the best-selling Kpop girl groups on Hanteo. Moreover, “Love Dive” also became Gaon’s top seller album, something that rarely happens to Kpop girl groups. 

“Love Dive” brought IVE successes in both digital and physical album sales. 

It has been 3 months since the release of “Love Dive”, and yet IVE continues to win music show cups, and be nominated for top contender of the week. As of the moment, the song has also won the most music show cups in 2022. 

3 months after release, yet “Love Dive” continues to win on Korean music shows.

IVE recently confirmed to be coming back in August, making the month a whole girl group battlefield with familiar faces like SNSD, BLACKPINK, and TWICE. 

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