These 23 3rd Generation K-Pop Songs are Considered 'National Hits' in South Korea

The K-pop industry produces several popular tracks, but not every song could be considered a "National Hit." Here are songs from 2010 to 2018 that were honored that title.

1. IU - "Good Day"

"Good Day" was released on Dec. 9, 2010. It was named as Billboard's best K-pop song released in the 2010s. It is the sixth best-selling single in South Korea.

2. 2NE1 - "I Am The Best"

"I Am The Best" was released on Jun. 24, 2011. It is often considered one of the most iconic and influential K-pop songs and is credited as a key contributor to the spread of the Hallyu wave worldwide.

3. PSY - "Gangnam Style"

"Gangnam Style" was released on Jul. 15, 2012. After the music video for the song went viral worldwide, former President of the United States, Barack Obama, used "Gangnam Style" as an example of how people around the world are falling in love with the Hallyu Wave.

4. EXO - "Growl"

"Growl" was released on Aug. 5, 2013. The song is known as EXO's breakthrough into the mainstream market and has accumulated two million digital downloads.

5. Miss A - "Hush"

"Hush" was released on Nov. 6, 2013. Besides charting well in South Korea and China, "Hush" is one of the earliest songs to hit big in the United States, peaking at number four on the Billboard K-Pop charts.

6. Apink - "Mr. Chu"

"Mr. Chu" was released on Mar. 30, 2014. The song was a smash hit during its release, as it was dropped during a time where sexy girl groups were dominating the market. Apink was able to stand out thanks to their bubblegum-pop music style.

7. EXID - "Up & Down"

"Up & Down" was released on Aug. 27, 2014. Though it failed to debut on the charts during its release, the song became an overnight hit after a fan cam of member Hani went viral. By the end of 2015, the song sold more than 1.4 million digital singles.


"BANG BANG BANG" was released on Jun. 1, 2015. The song was the best-selling and most-streamed single in South Korea in 2015. The track is considered one of BIGBANG's best-selling works.

9. TWICE - "Cheer Up"

"Cheer Up" was released on Apr. 25, 2016. The TWICE song topped the Gaon Digital Chart and was the best-performing single of 2016 in South Korea. The song became viral thanks to Sana's "shy, shy, shy" line.

10. TWICE - "TT"

"TT" was released on Oct. 24, 2016. This song, along with "Cheer Up" was named as one of the best-performing singles of 2016. Billboard included "TT" in their best K-pop songs of the 2010s list.

11. BTS - "Spring Day"

"Spring Day" was released on Feb. 13, 2017. BTS received critical acclaim from music critics for the song. Despite it being four years since the song's release, it is still charting on the MelOn charts, making it the longest-charting song in MelOn history.

12. Red Velvet - "Red Flavor"

"Red Flavor" was released on Jul. 9, 2017. It is Red Velvet's first number one hit and is their longest-charting single. "Red Flavor" is one of the longest-charting girl group songs on the Gaon Digital Chart.

13. EXO - "Ko Ko Bop"

"Ko Ko Bop" was released on Jul. 18, 2017. When the song was first released, numerous music streaming servers crashed due to the number of fans streaming at the same time. The song also became viral thanks to the EXO's "Ko Ko Bop Challenge.

14. Sunmi - "Gashina"

"Gashina" was released on Aug. 22, 2017. The song marks Sunmi's first release following her departure from JYP Entertainment. The song became a viral hit thanks to her iconic chorus finger gun dance.

15. HyunA - "Lip & Hip"

"Lip & Hip" was released on Dec. 4, 2017. While its performance on the chart was lackluster, HyunA brought attention to the song thanks to her performance at the 2017 Melon Music Awards, where she performed her legendary chest bounce move.

16. MOMOLAND - "Bboom Bboom"

"Bboom Bboom" was released on Jan. 3, 2018. The song is MOMOLAND's first hit and is the first girl group song to earn platinum certification from the Gaon Music Chart. The song earned them a massive fan base in the Philippines.

17. iKON - "Love Scenario"

"Love Scenario" was released on Jan. 25, 2018. "Love Scenario" became extremely popular, especially with kindergarteners and elementary school students, due to its easy-to-follow melody and catchy tune. The song was featured on numerous popular Korean shows, such as "Running Man" and "Infinity Challenge."

18. TWICE - "What is Love?"

"What is Love?" was released on Apr. 9, 2018. The song has earned a silver streaming certification from the Recording Industry Association of Japan. The song has since amassed over 135 million streams on Spotify and 486 million views on YouTube.


"FAKE LOVE" was released on May 18, 2018. "FAKE LOVE" is BTS's first top ten single in the United States. By 2020, "FAKE LOVE" was included in numerous decade-end lists, such as NME and Consequence of Sound.


"DDU-DU DDU-DU" was released on Jun. 15, 2018. The song peaked at the top of the Gaon Digital Charts for three consecutive weeks and also topped the charts in Singapore and Malaysia. The song has sold over 2,500,000 digital units in South Korea and has been certified platinum.

21. IU - "BBIBBI"

"BBIBBI" was released on Oct. 10, 2018. Released to commemorate IU's tenth debut anniversary, the song debuted at the top of the Gaon Digital Chart. This makes it IU's 20th number one song in the country.

22. IZ*ONE - "La Vie en Rose"

"La Vie en Rose" was released on Oct. 29, 2018. The song peaked at number one on three major South Korean charts and ranked in the top 10 of eight countries. Billboard included it in their greatest K-pop songs of the 2010s list.

23. Jennie - "SOLO"

"SOLO" was released on Nov. 12, 2018. The song peaked at number one on the Gaon Digital Chart and the Billboard World Digital Songs Chart. The track has been certified platinum twice by the Korean Music Contents Association.

Did your favorite third-generation K=pop song make the list?

For more K-Pop news and updates, always keep your tabs open here on KpopStarz.

KpopStarz owns this article.

Written by Alexa Lewis

miss A
Red Velvet
blackpink Jennie
Ko Ko Bop
Fake Love


Latest Photo Gallery


Real Time Analytics