Published Mar 26, 2012What is it?
K-pop is popular music from South Korea that usually features hyper-cute boy or girl groups that take their cues from European and American dance, bubblegum, R&B and hip-hop.
Why is it called that?
Like J-pop (Japan) and C-pop (China), K-pop represents its country of origin. K-pop artists are also known to sing in both Japanese and Mandarin Chinese.
Who's doing it?
Though it's been around for decades, K-pop really emerged in the early '90s with the huge success of Seo Taiji & Boys (pictured). That band's Yang Hyun Suk went on to form YG Entertainment, which along with SM Entertainment and JYP Entertainment act as the big three K-pop manufacturers.
Where should I start?
Seo Taiji & Boys' "Nan Arayo (I Know)" is the jam that started it all, but contemporary acts like BIGBANG, Girls' Generation and SHINee are currently tearing up the charts.
Both Grimes and Elite Gymnastics have been preaching their love for K-pop. But there's a North American takeover underway thanks to Billboard launching a K-pop Hot 100 singles chart in both South Korea and the U.S. SM Entertainment also demonstrated the feverish demand in October when its showcase concert sold out Madison Square Garden.
Check out our K-Pop playlist on Rdio here.