This Korean government’s Ministry of Culture just released the results of the 2020 Overseas Hallyu Survey, which asks thousands of people across the world to name their favorite K-Pop artists.
The most surprising part of this year’s results for the U.S.? Almost all the artists on the list are from the second generation of K-Pop or earlier! In fact, only 3 artists in the top 10 debuted within the last decade. Read on to see which ones made the cut.
K-Pop fans often debate on whether Rain is considered a first or second-generation artist. Either way, he managed to make it into the U.S.’s top 10 favorite K-Pop artists list despite debuting as a soloist almost 20 years ago.
Coming in at #9, EXO is one of just 3 third-generation artists on this list. Back in 2017, EXO played to over 14,500 fans across 2 concerts in the U.S., solidifying their presence in the country. Now, two EXO members (Baekhyun and Kai) are part of the US-focused group SuperM.
#8. Girls’ Generation
Only 2 girl groups made the top 10—first up is Girls’ Generation at #8. Everyone knows how popular Girls’ Generation has been across Korea and Asia, but it’s amazing to see them make the list in the U.S. too—especially with little push besides a Madison Square Garden performance and an English version of “The Boys”.
BIGBANG makes the list at #7, with several US concerts and Billboard World Chart hits under their belt. This year, BIGBANG is set to grace the stage at Coachella, which will undoubtedly gain them even more fans. It wouldn’t be surprising to see them rank even higher on this survey in 2021.
SHINee was one of the first K-Pop groups to hold a solo concert in the U.S., and now they’re making the list at #6. While the rest of the group is currently serving mandatory military duty, Taemin is keeping SHINee alive in the U.S. at events like the Korea Times Music Festival, ensuring the fanbase stays strong for years to come.
BoA has long been called “Asia’s Star”, but it’s clear she’s a star in the U.S. too. The only female soloist on this list, BoA made the top 5. Her English album made the Billboard 200 a decade ago, making her the first K-Pop artist to achieve the feat.
Alongside BIGBANG making the list, the group’s leader and main rapper G-Dragon comes in at #4. Living up to his “King of K-Pop” nickname, he’s appeared all over the U.S., from performances to fashion week.
In at #3 is BLACKPINK—the only girl group that ranked in the top 10 besides Girls’ Generation, and the only third-generation girl group to appear at all. Their 2019 U.S. tour earned over $11 million USD, showing just how big they are stateside.
Even Americans who don’t know about K-Pop know “Gangnam Style”, so it’s no surprise that Psy ranked #2 in the survey. Without a doubt, he’s one of the artists who helped pave the way for K-Pop’s success in the U.S. today.
By a very significant margin, BTS scored the #1 spot on the list of top 10 favorite K-Pop artists in the U.S.! Every year, they reach more and more historic achievements in the country, from topping charts to performing at the GRAMMY Awards.