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Top 10 Iconic K-Pop Songs

VO: Matt Campbell
Script written by QV Hough Who said South Korea couldn’t create great pop music too? Join http://www.WatchMojo as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Iconic K-pop Songs. For this list, we're looking at the best songs that the K-pop genre has to offer, taking into account popularity and influence on the genre. Special thanks to our users mac121mr0, Jerome Magajes, Alexander Cruz, Nana Amuah and Alexander9091 for submitting the idea at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Top 10 Top 10 Iconic K-pop Songs

Who said South Korea couldn’t create great pop music too? Welcome to, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Iconic K-pop Songs.

For this list, we’re looking at the best songs that the K-pop genre has to offer, taking into account popularity and influence on the genre.

#10: “No. 1” (2002)

One of the first major hits by the now superstar BoA, the artist otherwise known as Kwon Bo Ah was only 16 when “No. 1” was released. With a music video and beat that is reminiscent of early-2000s Britney Spears, “No. 1” proved to be a huge early success for the singer, as the album the song was found on became to fourth best-selling record in Korea in 2002. Lyrically, BoA longs for a lost love, which is backed up by her soulful, yet bubbly vocals.

#9: “Ring Ding Dong” (2009)

All it takes is a few seconds of this boy band hit to get your body movin.’ Written by producer extraordinaire Yoo Young-jin, “Ring Ding Dong” focuses on the familiar concept of good girls and bad boys. With imagery of butterflies in both the song and video, SHINee will croon their way right into your heart as the lyrics convey a man dedicated to win a woman’s heart. In essence, “Ring Ding Dong” explores the idea of two people rockin’ their bodies simply because it feels good, and the crew from SHINee were equally devilish in their hit “Lucifer”.

#8: “Ringa Linga” (2013)

This modern K-pop classic destroyed the Korean album charts with a unique blend of dubstep, hip-hop and reggae. Performed by the tatted-up Taeyang, “Ringa Linga’ opens with the Big Bang member asking listeners to shake like they’re having a seizure. Becoming a critic and K-pop fan favorite, the track’s music video features some mesmerizing dancing and stunning visuals that are almost as amazing as the song itself. A dance performance video preceded the official music video by two days, and both swiftly broke the Internet by melting K-pop fans’ faces everywhere.

#7: “Growl” (2013)

As part of the best-selling album in Korea in over a decade, this boy band phenomenon went on to win a World Music Award for…” World’s Best Song.” How’s that for a title? Exo is relatively new to the K-Pop industry, but their track about dangerous love effectively hypnotized listeners, while the well choreographed music video instantly became a fan favourite. The song was also recorded in Mandarin, as Exo is split into two groups, EXO-K, who sing in Korean, and EXO-M, who sings in Mandarin. In the end, K-pop nation was growling for some more, and they certainly got it with the 2014 release of “Overdose.”

#6: “Bubble Pop!” (2011)

Meet Hyuna. She once dropped rhymes for the South Korean group Wonder Girls and later joined 4Minute at 16 years of age. And then on an early summer day in 2011, she made the Korean Communications Commission completely sweat thanks to the provocative music video for “Bubble Pop!”. Lyrically, the love song is rather tame, but the overall package was deemed too hot for TV. Strangely enough, it’s still not as suggestive as American music videos.

#5: “Gangnam Style” (2012)

Speaking of Kim Hyuna, she made a cameo in this international hit that took over the world. You don’t need to be a K-Pop connoisseur to understand the power of this novelty track from 2012, which has since become the most viewed video on Youtube with over 2 billion views. It’s not important that you know the correct lyrics to “Gangnam Style”, all that matters is that you get down with the song’s infectious beat. The music video is one of YouTube’s most iconic, and I think we all can agree that it’s a special experience to watch someone enjoy it for the first time.

#4: “Sorry, Sorry” (2009)
Super Junior

Yet another K-Pop smash written by Yoo Young-jin, this song was the lead single from Super Junior’s third album and reintroduced the crew with a little American funk and R&B. Lyrically, “Sorry, Sorry” revolves around a lovesick man who wants to get naughty-naughty-naughty with his shawty-shawty-shawty, and a massive marketing campaign ensured that everybody knew Super Junior was back on the scene. The black and white music video conveyed a GQ vibe, as the 13-man ensemble seemingly apologized for party rocking. If this song doesn’t float your boat, the group brought the funk back once again in 2011 with the equally extravagant “Mr. Simple”.

#3: “I Am the Best” (2011)

It’s quite the boast to proclaim yourself the best at anything, but it always helps if you carry some type of bedazzled belt to back up the talk. Just ask the ladies of 2NE1. These women are known for their in-your-face style, and the lyrics of “I Am the Best” can be described as pure girl power. With a futuristic music video and sultry looks, 2NE1 proved to be much more than a happy-go-lucky K-Pop foursome. They have the attitude of Destiny’s Child and the style of Hunger Games characters. Even if you think they’re NOT the best, they’ll probably find a way to convince you otherwise, because that’s how they roll.

#2: “Gee” (2009)
Girls’ Generation

How did this happen? That’s what the members of Girls’ Generation were asking themselves in this extraordinary bubblegum production. While the opening has some sensual demands spoken in English, the totality of “Gee” has more of a Britney Spears “Oops I Did It Again” feel with innocent lyrics about young love. After all, the title actually means “Gee!” as in “OMG.” For nine weeks, the eight young ladies of Girls’ Generation held down the top spot on the South Korean show “Music Bank,” and the music video is considered a classic of the genre.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“Crayon” (2012)

“Why Did I Have to End Up Falling Completely in Love with You?” (2008)

“Fxxk U” (2014)
Ga-In feat. Bumkey

“Electric Shock” (2012)

#1: “Fantastic Baby” (2012)
Big Bang

In 2006, a South Korean boy band was formed that would ultimately become the first K-Pop act to crack the Billboard Top 200 album charts. Fueled by a universal concept and production by G-Dragon, “Fantastic Baby” helped the genre reach a new audience, and the androgynous music video established Big Bang as the first K-Pop boy band to reach 100 million views. Today, each individual member is a superstar in their own right, but it was “Fantastic Baby” that opened the doors to a new level of international stardom.

So, do you agree with our selections? What is your favorite iconic K-pop song? For more mind-blowing Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to


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