Survey Ranks Top K-Pop Idols And Songs In The Past 20 Years

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Korean media outlet Donga Ilbo, partnered with web magazine Idology and the research company M Brain, recently conducted a survey among 2000 ordinary citizens and 30 pop music experts about the best K-pop idol groups and songs in the past 20 years.

The 2000 citizens were made up of 200 men and 200 women from each age group from the 10s to the 50s.

The top three male idols were BIGBANG at 44.0 percent, H.O.T at 28.8 percent, and g.o.d at 18.9 percent. The other groups on the list were, in order: TVXQ, Shinhwa, Super Junior, EXO, Sechs Kies, BEAST, BTS, SHINee, 2PM, CNBLUE, INFINITE, and FTISLAND.

The top three female idols were Girls’ Generation, at 55.7 percent, Fin.K.L at 18.7 percent, and S.E.S at 17.8 percent. The other groups on the list were, in order: Wonder Girls, BoA, IU, 2NE1, TWICE, SISTAR, GFRIEND, A Pink, AOA, KARA, 4Minute, and f(x).

The top three songs sung by male idols were “Lies” by BIGBANG (40.2 percent), “Candy” by H.O.T (26.5 percent), and “Lies” by g.o.d (22.8 percent). The other songs on the list were, in order: “Sorry Sorry” (Super Junior), “Growl” (EXO), “Couple” (Sechs Kies), “Rising Sun” (TVXQ), “Fiction” (BEAST), “Ring Ding Dong” (SHINee), “Be Mine” (INFINITE), “Heartbeat” (2PM), “It’s Raining” (Rain), “Run” (BTS), and “Adore U” (SEVENTEEN).

The top three songs sung by female idols were “Gee” by Girls’ Generation (34.2 percent), “Tell Me” by Wonder Girls (30.9 percent), and “Good Day” by IU (16.5 percent). The other songs on the list were, in order: “No. 1” (BoA), “10 Minutes” (Lee Hyori), “Forever Love” (Fin.K.L), “I’m Your Girl” (S.E.S), “Cheer Up” (TWICE), “I Am the Best” (2NE1), “Up and Down” (EXID), “Rough” (GFRIEND), “Bad Girl Good Girl” (miss A), “Mister” (KARA), and “Roly Poly” (T-ara).

The experts picked BIGBANG, TVXQ and H.O.T (tied), and SHINee as their top three male idols, and Girls’ Generation, Wonder Girls, and 2NE1 for the female idols. As for songs sung by male idols, they chose “Lies” (BIGBANG), “Candy” (H.O.T) and “Growl” (EXO), and as for songs sung by female idols, they chose “Gee” (Girls’ Generation), “Tell Me” (Wonder Girls), and “I’m Your Girl” (S.E.S).

Many citizens in their 30s chose H.O.T and those of that age and older preferred g.o.d’s music, while the 10s and 20s were disposed to vote towards EXO, BIGBANG, and Super Junior. The experts noted that 2007 and 2008 were important years in the history of idol music, with the release of BIGBANG’s “Lies” and Wonder Girls’ “Tell Me” as well as the debuts of Girls’ Generation and SHINee.

There were also some differences between genders, with women likely to choose “Tell Me” by the Wonder Girls and SISTAR as a group while men leaned towards “Gee” and TWICE. “10 Minutes” and “Bad Girl Good Girl” also showed high preference among women rather than men.

Thanks to Van for the tip!

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