K-pop is a type of popular music originating in South Korea that forms part of the culture of the country. The Korean music traditions that form the foundation of the music, but influences of many cultures, such as popular, experimental, rock, jazz, gospel, hip hop, R&B, reggae, electronic dance, folk, country, and classical, are applied to it as well. The genre first evolved into current form with the creation of Seo Taiji and Boys, one of the early K-pop boy bands, in 1992. Experimentation with diverse musical forms and genres, together with the incorporation of influences from outside the country, revolutionized the South Korean music industry.
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Although K-pop had started to grow as a subculture for teens and young adults, it began to gain wider recognition when boy band H.O.T. was formed in 1996. After a few years of music-industry slumps, TVXQ and BoA created a new wave of K-pop idols, which led to a breakthrough for K-pop in Japan and throughout the world today. The growth of Korean culture and entertainment called the Korean Wave has expanded not only to Southeast Asia and East Asia, but also to other regions in Asia and Africa, and all across the Western world.
“K-pop” entered the public consciousness in the 2000s. Pop music in South Korea has always been referred to as “gayo.” In South Korea, “K-pop” is a broad term for popular music, but it may also be used to refer to the specific genre known as “K-pop.” K-pop had considerable growth in 2018, growing from a “hobby” to a “power player,” and this led to a 17.9 percent rise in income. For 2019, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry’s “Global Music Report 2019,” K-pop is rated at number six in the world’s ten largest music marketplaces, with BTS and Blackpink being highlighted as stars driving industry growth. K-pop enjoyed a record-breaking year in 2020 when it increased its market share by 44.8% from the previous year.