Said to be a product of South Korea's robust economy, optimism and cultural pride, K-Pop has taken over the eastern part of the world and is now making its mark in the West. K-Pop really made a hit in American pop culture this past summer, with the rapid online spread of Psy's "Gangnam Style." That video was released on July 15, and by the end of August had reached the No. 1 position on YouTube's Top 100 Music Videos chart with more than 9 million views per day.
In September, Psy was signed to Schoolboy Records, the U.S. label also home to Carly Rae Jepsen and Justin Bieber. Now, this past weekend, "Gangnam" surpassed Bieber's record for most-viewed YouTube video of all time at more than 820 million times and counting.
"Gangnam Style" is essentially about big balling in the affluent Gangnam district of Seoul, while the "horse-riding" dance move featured in the video is now a staple on dance floors worldwide. But Psy is hardly the only dynamic K-Pop performer out there. For your curiosity, here are a few other K-Pop upstarts with all kinds of style.
Here's PSY doing the horse-riding dance, via Know Your Meme
5. Girl's Generation, "Mr. Taxi"
Girl's Generation is a South Korean girl group that rose to special popularity in Japan. "Mr. Taxi" has been notably remixed into fist-pumping fun by Steve Aoki.
4. Wonder Girls, "Nobody"
This South Korean girl group sometimes sings in English, and this song happens to be one of their greatest hits. "Nobody" lets their sunny disposition shines with a little added humor. (On a side note, the actual song starts two minutes in.)
3. 2NE1, "I Am the Best"
This group dances, sings and raps. Here they take Western pop-EDM to another level.
2. T-ara, "Yayaya"
T-ara, often styled T♔ARA, is a group whose name is indeed based on the word "tiara." "Yayaya" is a single of their first album, Temptastic.
1. Super Junior, "Sorry, Sorry"
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Here's a music video with subtitles. Super Junior is an all-boy group that won the Favorite Artist-Korea award at the 2008 MTV Asia Awards. This is their top-selling single, and you're welcome.