K-Pop Generations - 1992 until today

by Janina Sauer
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Perhaps you have already come across the term "Generations" in our K-Pop ABC. Here you can find out exactly what it is and which band belongs to which generation.

The respective generation of a K-pop band can be determined with the help of the average age within the band and the respective decade in which they debuted.

However, many believe that the average age is pure coincidence. The 4 generations so far are as follows:

  • 1st generation: 1992 to 2000 + birth average in the 70s
  • 2nd generation: 2001 to 2011 + birth average in the 80s
  • 3rd generation: 2012 to 2020 + birth average in the 90s
  • 4th generation: mid-2020 to present

1st Generation

The first generation, which lasted from 1992 to 2002, is also known as "The Pop Legends Generation". The music style was still strongly influenced by American music and was very similar to classic pop. Well-known groups of the 1st Generation include:

  • g.o.g
  • H.O.T
  • S.E.S
  • Seo Taiji and Boys
  • Shinhwa

Here are a few examples:

H.O.T


Shinhwa


2nd Generation

In the period from 2001 to 2011, the artists of the K-pop scene slowly developed their own style. They became bolder, stayed more and more true to themselves and made K-pop what it is known for today. You still find English terms from time to time and the typical rap interludes are not missing either.

Here you can find out exactly what it is :)

South Korea's language and culture became more and more internationally known - the wave was unstoppable. But it was mainly South Korean music with its unique choreographies, melodies and lyrics that captivated people.

Well-known groups of the 2nd Generation include:

Here are a few examples:

SHINee


Girls' Generation


3rd Generation

During the third generation, which lasted from about 2012 to mid-2020, K-pop made its international breakthrough. Since then, the bands have enjoyed not only national, but also equally relevant international success.

One can see a clear development from the first to the third generation. While in the beginning they were clearly oriented towards American influences and classic pop, now you can also find some techno, rock and ballad elements. The lyrics are also becoming more creative and daring.

Well-known groups of the 3rd Generation include:

Here are a few examples:

Red Velvet


GFRIEND


4th Generation

The fourth generation was officially proclaimed in mid-2020 by Korean media and a representative of the Korean music industry, after a long period of debate as to whether we are still in the third generation or have long been in the fourth.

The fourth generation is characterised by a strong turnaround due to the pandemic. The increased number of online concerts is creating a completely new connection to the fan base and thus strengthening contact.

Well-known groups of the 4th generation include:

Here are a few examples:

Weeekly

PURPLE KISS

To which generation does your idol belong and since when have you been part of the community? Let us know in the comments :)

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