Here’s the Genealogy of 1st to 4th Generation of K-Pop — Which Lineup is Your Favorite?

Big Bang, Girls' Generation, BTS, and BLACKPINK
(Photo : YG Entertainment | SM Entertainment | Big Hit Entertainment)

GENERATION OF KPOP: Currently, K-pop and Hallyu have been dominating the music scene and fashion industry. With their unique blends of sounds and stunning beauty that became the standards of several gurus around the world, people are surely captivated by this Korean wave.

However, you may wonder, when do K-pop and the idea of idol groups start in Korea? Who is the contributor to the current success of the modern groups? It is still best then to know the history of the K-pop groups' line throughout the years.

You surely heard of the "Generation of K-pop" that includes the first, second, and third-gen groups. However, are you aware that we are currently in the fourth-gen K-pop?

In this sense, IDOLOGY, one of the longest-running critic website-magazines in Korea, had a full analysis of the genealogical theory of the K-pop's four generations based on the paradigm shifts overseas of these K-pop groups, trends, and many more.

1ST GENERATION

Groups included: H.O.T, S.E.S, SECHSKIES, FIN.K.L (birth of K-pop)

Here’s the Genealogy of 1st to 4th Generation of K-pop: Which Lineup is Your Favorite?
(Photo : Sm Entertainment)
Here’s the Genealogy of 1st to 4th Generation of K-pop: Which Lineup is Your Favorite?
(Photo : Sm Entertainment)

SM Entertainment, one of the leading Korean agencies produced the first-ever idol group called H.O.T. The concept of their group that started in 1996 is actually based on American boy bands as well as to Japanese idols which are also based on the hit Korean music group, Seo Taiji and Boys.

1.5 GENERATION

Groups and idols included: SHINHWA, CLICK-B, Chakra, Jewelry, BoA

Here’s the Genealogy of 1st to 4th Generation of K-pop: Which Lineup is Your Favorite?
(Photo : Sm Entertainment)
Here’s the Genealogy of 1st to 4th Generation of K-pop: Which Lineup is Your Favorite?
(Photo : Sm Entertainment)

These generations showed the transition and were characterized by experimental groups and idols that became widely known in East Asian countries including China and Japan.

2nd GENERATION

Groups included: TVXQ, SS501, BIGBANG, Super Junior, Girls' Generation, KARA, Wonder Girls

Here’s the Genealogy of 1st to 4th Generation of K-pop: Which Lineup is Your Favorite?
(Photo : Sm Entertainment)
Here’s the Genealogy of 1st to 4th Generation of K-pop: Which Lineup is Your Favorite?
(Photo : YG Entertainment)
Here’s the Genealogy of 1st to 4th Generation of K-pop: Which Lineup is Your Favorite?
(Photo : Sm Entertainment)

Due to the success of first-gen idols, the genre met a highly commercialized popularity despite a crisis in the economy of Korea. These groups also produced an industry with one of the most profits, and started a full-fledged overseas expansion, according to IDOLOGY.

In this era, the World Tour started due to fame in various countries as well as global fandom began.

2.5 GENERATION

Groups included: SHINee, 2PM, INFINITE, BEAST, f(x), 2NE1, 4Minute, Miss A, SISTAR

Here’s the Genealogy of 1st to 4th Generation of K-pop: Which Lineup is Your Favorite?
(Photo : Sm Entertainment)
Here’s the Genealogy of 1st to 4th Generation of K-pop: Which Lineup is Your Favorite?
(Photo : YG Entertainment)

In the early 2010s, overseas digital music markets such as YouTube attracted attention in North America. 

The overall second-gen idol groups established the K-pop industry structure and overseas expansion.

3rd GENERATION

Groups included: EXO, NU'EST, VIXX, BTS, GOT7, WINNER, Red Velvet, MAMAMOO, TWICE, LOVELYZ, OH MY GIRL, and GFRIEND

Here’s the Genealogy of 1st to 4th Generation of K-pop: Which Lineup is Your Favorite?
(Photo : Sm Entertainment)
Here’s the Genealogy of 1st to 4th Generation of K-pop: Which Lineup is Your Favorite?
(Photo : Big Hit Entertainment)
Here’s the Genealogy of 1st to 4th Generation of K-pop: Which Lineup is Your Favorite?
(Photo : Sm Entertainment)
Here’s the Genealogy of 1st to 4th Generation of K-pop: Which Lineup is Your Favorite?
(Photo : JYP Entertainment)

In this era, simultaneously domestic and international growth and activities are pursued, and YouTube became one of the bases of popularity as well. Survival programs that aim to produce K-pop groups also surface such as TWICE.

EXO was also cited by the website-magazine as a "group that advocated a unique superpower worldview and made a simultaneous debut in Korea and China; EXO-K and EXO-M.

3.5 GENERATION

Groups included: BLACKPINK, SEVENTEEN, MONSTA X, NCT, WANNAONE, COSMIC GIRLS, I.O.I, KARD

Here’s the Genealogy of 1st to 4th Generation of K-pop: Which Lineup is Your Favorite?
(Photo : YG Entertainment)
Here’s the Genealogy of 1st to 4th Generation of K-pop: Which Lineup is Your Favorite?
(Photo : Pledis Entertainment)
Here’s the Genealogy of 1st to 4th Generation of K-pop: Which Lineup is Your Favorite?
(Photo : Sm Entertainment)

Though BTS debuted in 2013, they became huge in the industry in 2016 along with BLACKPINK, which became pioneers of the use of social media including Twitter and Naver that became platforms for daily communication. These groups also became massively popular in North America and reached the Billboard Music Awards and Charts.

Survival shows also proved the power and voices of fandoms through the launching of K-pop groups wherein members are chosen by the netizens and fans.

4th GENERATION

Groups included: Stray Kids, ATEEZ, LOONA, EVERGLOW, WayV, SuperM, Boy Story, NiziU, TXT, ITZY

Here’s the Genealogy of 1st to 4th Generation of K-pop: Which Lineup is Your Favorite?
(Photo : JYP Entertainment)
Here’s the Genealogy of 1st to 4th Generation of K-pop: Which Lineup is Your Favorite?
(Photo : JYP Entertainment)
Here’s the Genealogy of 1st to 4th Generation of K-pop: Which Lineup is Your Favorite?
(Photo : Twitter)

In this era, the horizon of K-pop is not limited to Korea only but became widely accepted and acknowledged in a wide-range of locations including various countries. Also, these generations produced experimental groups such as groups with mixed races, groups which members came from established K-pop groups.

 4th-gen K-pop eradicated the borders and K-pop became a global genre.

Which generation do you belong in?

Tags
H.O.T.
S.E.S.
Fin.K.L.
sechs kies
Shinhwa
click b
BoA
Jewelry
TVXQ
SS501
Big Bang
Super Junior
Girls Generation
KARA
Wonder Girls
SHINee
2PM
INFINITE
BEAST
f(x)
2NE1
4minute
miss A
SISTAR
EXO
NUEST
VIXX
BTS
GOT7
winner
Red Velvet
MAMAMOO
Twice
lovelyz
Oh My Girl
GFRIEND
BLACKPINK
seventeen
monsta x
nct
Wanna One
WJSN
cosmic girls
I.O.I.
KARD
'Stray Kids'
ATEEZ
Loona
EVERGLOW
TXT
Itzy

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