Before K-pop invaded the world and became mainstream, there were times when this rich genre was really starting to blossom thanks to the groups that led the Hallyu wave. This resulted in a fair share of significant moments the industry witnessed a few years back.
While newer K-pop enthusiasts might be more into the fresh groups who are dominating the United States and increasingly expanding in other parts of the world, old fans still reminisce about the glorious times they’ve shared with their favorite idols back in the day.
Here are seven unforgettable K-pop moments from the past that might be unfamiliar to newer K-pop stans.
1. When H.O.T sold 1 million albums
That’s right, OG idols H.O.T was one of the first to achieve the title of having a million-seller album. They achieved this with their debut album titled “We Hate All Kinds of Violence.” Their single “Candy” became an instant hit and they won Best New Artist at the 1996 Golden Disk Awards. Talk about a stellar career launch!
2. When Wonder Girls charted on Billboard’s Hot 100 with “Nobody”
Following the release of its English version, “Nobody” was the first K-pop song to make an entry on the highly-acclaimed chart, debuting at No. 76. Wonder Girls’ historic achievement introduced K-pop to the American music industry and earned the genre a lot of curious new fans in the process.
3. When f(x) performed “LaChaTa” under the rain
With f(x)’s 10th anniversary celebrated a couple of weeks ago, this throwback fits perfectly. Just when the girls were about to perform their debut single “LaChaTa” during KBS’s 2009 “Open Concert,” it started pouring rain. The group smiled through the entire performance and gave us all a stage to remember.
4. When KARA’s “Mister” dance went viral
Many things in K-pop went viral over the years, but KARA’s “Mister” is definitely one for the books. Thanks to its famous “butt dance” choreography, the song received a lot of attention both in Korea and in Japan. As you watch the video below, you’ll find yourself immediately hooked to the cute dance!
5. When Girls’ Generation appeared on the “Late Show with David Letterman”
Girls’ Generation was another group to make their U.S. debut, starting with a network television appearance at the “Late Show with David Letterman.” Serving as the show’s musical guest, the ladies performed the remix of their English single “The Boys” and blew the audience away, ending the night on a high note.
6. When Orange Caramel incorporated a quirky “Hah” into their song “Catallena”
Honestly, this one entirely speaks for itself. Orange Caramel is known for their peculiar concepts, and this time they outdid themselves. As the song starts, the trio lets out a sharp “Hah” that gradually becomes more high-pitched from one member to another. Consequently, this momentous introduction made this track rise in popularity upon its release.
7. When 2NE1 performed at the 2015 Mnet Asian Music Awards
So many emotions were felt during this exceptional moment. Many fans were awaiting 2NE1’s comeback after their hiatus at the time. As CL set the stage on fire with her solo performances, no one would’ve expected a quartet reunion in the same night. The minute all four members appeared, the crowd went wild, and the girls gave the performance of a lifetime. While it was perhaps the last time for us to see OT4 on one stage, we’re still hoping to be proven otherwise.
Are you a newer K-pop stan? How familiar are you with the iconic moments listed above? Let us know in the comments below!
Esmee L. is a Moroccan lively dreamer, writer, and Hallyu enthusiast.
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