K-pop girl groups take center stage on S. Korean music charts

June 25, 2021

 All-female groups, often dubbed as “girl groups,” are ruling domestic music charts in South Korea, taking the lead in the summer dance-pop race.

With the exception of superband BTS and American pop star Justin Bieber, who have long led the charts with “Butter” and “Peaches,” girl groups are reigning in the top 10 spots of most domestic music charts.

At the forefront is aespa, which released the single “Next Level” in mid May. The song is a remake of the original song that was part of the movie soundtrack “Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw.”

In a rare case for a song by a rookie, the track recently reached the top spot on the daily and “24 hits” chart of Melon Music as of Thursday, outpacing BTS’ Billboard-topping hit “Butter” that had sat atop charts upon release.

This photo, provided by SM Entertainment, shows K-pop act aespa posing during an online news conference on May 17, 2021. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE)(Yonhap)
This photo, provided by WM Entertainment, shows K-pop act Oh My Girl. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)
This photo, provided by Brave Entertainment, shows K-pop girl group Brave Girls posing at a news conference on June 17, 2021. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)
This photo, provided by JYP Entertainment, shows K-pop act TWICE. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

This photo, provided by SM Entertainment, shows K-pop act aespa posing during an online news conference on May 17, 2021. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE)(Yonhap)

The 24 hits chart, which includes 40 percent of streaming and 60 percent of downloads in the past 24 hours, is considered a tough chart to break in even for groups with sizable fandoms, considering that streams are only counted once per user.

It also sits among the real-time, daily and weekly charts of other streaming platforms, like Genie Music and Bugs Music.

The music video for “Next Level” has also made a splash, hitting 100 million views in roughly a month and renewing the record the group set with its earlier single “Black Mamba.”

Oh My Girl is another group that has proved to be a strong contender. The seven-piece act’s upbeat number “Dun Dun Dance” sits on the top 10 list of all 24 Hits, daily, weekly and monthly categories on Melon.

“Dun Dun Dance” is the main track of the group’s eighth EP “Dear Oh My Girl” released in May.

Brave Girls, the four-piece act that made a surprise ascent at the brink of disbandment thanks to its 2017 song “Rollin’” that went viral in 2021, is another act making a strong impression.

After topping domestic music charts with the 2017 song that was a massive phenomenon among the country’s conscripted soldiers, the group also saw belated success with its 2020 city pop track “We Ride” that was little noticed upon its release.

Earlier this month, the group took another shot at the K-pop scene with its album ambitiously named “Summer Queen.”

“We would like to become a group people think of when summer comes,” the group said during a news conference marking the release of its fifth EP, titled “Summer Queen,” with member Eunji adding that “it would be great if we could see an immediate response for our song this time because we worked really hard.”

The EP’s main track “Chi Mat Ba Ram” seems to have hit the spot, ranking No. 4 on Melon’s 24 Hits and daily charts as of Thursday. On Genie and Bugs Music, it sits in the top spot.

The quartet’s other songs — “Rollin’” and “We Ride” — also rank in the top 10.

TWICE has also made a successful return with new single “Alcohol-Free,” the main track of its new EP “Taste Love.”

The summer song sits at No. 3 on the real-time and daily charts of Bugs Music and No. 8 on the 24 hits and daily chart on Melon.

Earlier this week, the EP debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard main albums chart, becoming the second K-pop girl group to make the chart’s top 10.

It became the nine-piece act’s highest charted album after its full-length album “Eyes Wide Open” hit 77th place last year.

TWICE is the second South Korean girl group to rank in the top 10 on Billboard’s main albums chart after BLACKPINK debuted at No. 2 with its first full-length album “The Album” last October.