Article: Top 10 First Generation K-pop Groups

Kpop's history can be divided into generations, with some bands belonging to one generation and others to a different age. For a better understanding of the history of Kpop as a culture, this divide is made. In this line, it can be seen that there are four recognized and accepted generations of Kpop, with the first generation consisting of Kpop bands that were the genre's pioneers. Kpop was created as a result of these bands. While the second generation of Kpop bands came into being during an economic downturn, the third generation is referred to as the "golden age of Kpop" and features bands like BTS and Blackpink. The Kpop groups from the 1990s are known as the 1st Generation. Here are the top 10 iconic first-generation kpop groups.

1. S.E.S.

One of the original girl groups in the K-Pop movement was S.E.S., formed by S.M. Entertainment in 1997. As the female equivalent of H.O.T, the most well-known K-Pop group at the time, they were referred to as such. While Bada, Eugene, and Shoo have pursued their careers as solo musicians and actors, the quartet never formally split. "I'm Your Girl," "Running," "Just A Feeling," "Dream Come True," and other songs from the group are among their top hits.


2. Fin.K.L

When Fin.K.L made its debut in 1998, it was with S.E.S as one of the most well-known girl groups. With more than 2.2 million records sold, Fin.K.L stands for Fin Killing Liberty. "Blue Rain," "Everlasting Love," "To My Boyfriend," "Now," and other songs from this group are among their hits. Fin.K.L, like S.E.S, never formally split up, but the members have been on an extended break since they decided to pursue solo careers and acting roles in 2006.


3. Seo Taeiji And Boys

In 1992, Seo Taiji and Boys made their debut and swept the nation. The three-member boy trio from Yedang Company is credited with introducing rap music into mainstream Korean music during their active years. Seo Taiji, Yang Hyun-suk (founder of YG Entertainment), and Lee Juno were the trio's three members. Before breaking up in 1996, the boy group constantly released music following their debut. Seo Taiji and Boys are one of the most well-known groups in the nation because of the success of all of their albums. By experimenting with Korean ballads and fusing them with western music forms, the group is credited with influencing the course of Korean music and creating modern K-pop. I Know, Classroom Idea, and Comeback Home are a few of their hits. Interestingly, Seo Taiji and Boys have been mentioned by BTS frontman RM as one of his musical influences.


4. Baby V.O.X

In 1997, Baby V.O.X made their debut to become the Korean version of the Spice Girls. They were one of the first girl groups to have significant success in China and the first to feature a rapper in their line-up. Among their top hits are "Doll," "Accident," "Get Up!" and "What Do I Do."


5. H.O.T (Highfive Of Teenagers)

Highfive Of Teenagers, sometimes known as H.O.T, made their debut in 1996 under the management of SM Entertainment. H.O.T is one of the first Korean musicians to extend the Korean wave outside of Korea and is regarded as the first K-pop idol group owing to its effective training methodology. Moon Hee-joon, Kangta, Lee Jae-won, Jang Woo-hyuk, and Tony An were the other members of the group. After conducting a thorough survey asking high school students about their dream K-pop group, Lee Soo Man of SM Entertainment created the group. His efforts paid off when H.O.T made its debut, selling over 6.5 million units and enjoying similar success in China and Japan. Unfortunately, due to issues with their contract, the group split up in 2001, which sparked numerous protests against the business. Candy, Hope, We Are The Future, and many other songs from the group are hits. One of the most successful first-generation K-pop bands is H.O.T.


6. Shinhwa

Another boy group created by S.M. Entertainment, SHINHWA made their debut in 1998. They are the longest-running K-Pop group in history and are still putting out albums and performing live today! Members aggressively pursue their professions as actors and singers while they are still a group.


7. Sechs Kies

Sechs Kies, a six-person first-generation K-pop idol group, was established by Daesung Planning (DSP Media) in 1997. They made their debut with the album School Anthem. They eventually sold more than 1,800,000 copies of their album, making them an immediate success in South Korea. Eun Ji-won, Lee Jae-jin, Kim Jae-duck, Jang Su-won, Kang Sung-hoon, and Ko Ji-yong were among the group. The sextet was regarded as one of Korea's first big-hitting bands and was given credit for popularising the idol fanbase scene. Sechs Kies broke up after three fruitful years of producing songs for their devoted following. Fortunately, they changed, being signed to YG Entertainment, and are now performing as a quartet without Ko Ji-yong and Kang Sung-hoon. In 2021, the band dropped Don't Look Back as their most recent single. The band has also had success with songs like Com' Back, The Way of Man, and Couple.


8. God

One of the earliest K-Pop bands JYP Entertainment created was God. As one of the most well-known K-Pop acts of the 2000s, they made their debut in 1999. Yoon Kye Sang, one of the members, quit the group to pursue a career as an actor, while the remaining members carried on to produce albums as a four-member group. However, they regrouped in 2014 and made their comeback with Yoon Kye Sang. The members have also been pursuing their careers as actors and singers.


9. Chakra

Known for their dance music with Indian influences, Chakra was a popular first-generation K-Pop girl group. Their 1999 debut was followed by a 2006 split. Numerous songs by them have become hits, including "To You," "End," "Bitter Sorrow," "Come Back," and "Hey U." Members Hwangbo and Jung Ryeo Won continue to perform and appear on TV.


10. Jewelry

Star Empire Entertainment created Jewelry in 2001, and until their dissolution in 2015, they were the longest-running girl group. They have had success with songs including "Superstar," "I Really Like You," "One More Time," and "Again." Seo In Young, Park Jung Ah, Lee Ji Hyun, and Kim Ye Won continue to perform and appear in Korean media although they went through various phases of changing their membership.